On 23rd March 2023, Austin Lyle allegedly shot Jerald Mason and Eric Sinclair, two faculty members, as they searched him for weapons. Sinclair is in critical condition, and Mason was released after treatment. Austin fled the scene following the shootings and was found dead in the woods about 50 miles from the East High School in Denver, Colorado. Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said:
“There was a large multi-agency response including Jefferson County Sheriff, Denver Police Department, FBI and ATF. Jefferson County SWAT approached the abandoned vehicle and after a search in the area, found a deceased person nearby.”
Austin Lyle’s parents have been informed of his death and will speak to the Superintendent
According to a Facebook post by the Park County Coroner’s Office, the coroner confirmed that the deceased person found on Park County Road 68 was Austin Lyle. “Mr. Lyle’s next of kin were notified of the positive identification,” the post read.
“The preliminary autopsy findings confirm that Mr. Lyle’s death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” The coroner’s office said it would release more details about Austin’s death via its final report, due to be issued in 8 -10 weeks.
Austin Lyle’s parents, who we’ve yet to identify, will meet with Denver Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero on 24th March 2023. Noelle Phillips, a reporter for The Denver Post, tweeted:
“Marrero will meet tonight with the parents of Austin Lyle’s family. “We all as educators came into this profession to support, help students thrive and most importantly provide them an opportunity to succeed. I can acknowledge we failed Austin as a district.”
The shooting has sparked calls for reform in Denver and across the United States, where school shootings have become ubiquitous.
Most netizens have sent well wishes to Mason and Sinclair. Others have sympathized with Austin, wondering what motivated him to shoot two people before killing himself.
Austin was a student at Overland High School, where he was expelled for policy violations. The Independent reports that Austin was on probation at the time of the shooting for possessing a ‘ghost gun’ and a high-capacity magazine. “It’s illegal in Colorado for a juvenile to be in possession of a handgun,” CBS News Colorado reported.