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East High School shooting March 22 exemplifies trauma inflicted on community with youth access to firearms

Students from East High School and West High School call for gun control measures to be considered by state lawmakers Thursday, March 23, 2023, during a rally outside the State Capitol in Denver. A shooting left two administrators injured at East High School on Wednesday, one of a series of gun-related events at the school in the past six weeks. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

East High School shooting March 22 exemplifies trauma inflicted on community with youth access to firearms

Denver, Colo., March 27, 2023 Colorado Ceasefire News Release. For more information, contact Pat Smith

On the second year of remembrance of the mass shooting at the Boulder King Soopers, which killed 10 people, widow Ellen Mahoney was preparing to testify at Colorado’s capitol. Also testifying the same day, seven hours after lockdown, was East High School student Alexander Cisneros. About a mile away, Denver East High School student Austin Lyle, 17, entered school after 9 a.m., and during a scuffle when a handgun was found in his possession, two administrators were wounded, one seriously, when Lyle allegedly shot them. Lyle fled, and his body was later found near Bailey, Colo., dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Cisneros and Mahoney mustered the courage and emotional fortitude to debate their gun violence prevention positions after each marked a traumatic day in their lives.

The gun recovered was a ghost gun, an unserialized weapon, which is easily assembled from a kit. The recovery of ghost guns at crime scenes has increased 1000% in the last 5 years.  Because purchase of these kits can skirt background checks, they are a perfect means for youth and other prohibited individuals to acquire arms.  

For the third time in less than a year, and twice in one month, Denver’s East High School has had a shooting. Last month, one student, Luis Garcia, was shot in his car just off-campus and later died from his wounds. Two youth are suspects in that shooting.  East High parents confronted Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock about how they will stop gun violence in Denver Public Schools. 

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