One of the two Colorado school shooting suspects appeared in court Wednesday.... Eighteen-year-old Devon Erickson is being charged as an adult for murder and attempted murder, after he and another student walked into the STEM school in Highlands Ranch and allegedly opened fire with pistols, killing one person and wounding eight.
His accused accomplice, who is under 18 and has not been publicly identified, is being charged separately as a juvenile.
A Denver TV station, citing a police source, reported that the second suspect wanted to transition to male from female and had been bullied for it.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DOUGLAS COUNTY SHERIFF TONY SPURLOCK SAYING: 'We originally thought we had a juvenile male in custody but through our interviews yesterday, late afternoon, determined that we have a juvenile female who is custody right now that is the other suspect.
All of the victims that were shot have been released except for three.
Three children that are still in intensive care at area hospitals.'
The slain student, 18-year-old senior Kendrick Castillo, was just days away from graduation.
Reports say he acted heroically, lunging at one of the shooters while classmates scrambled to safety.
The district attorney noted that some of the worst mass shootings in America have happened in the area.
The STEM school is located just 5 miles from Columbine High School, where a dozen students were murdered 20 years ago.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DISTRICT ATTORNEY GEORGE BRAUCHLER, 18TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT, COLORADO, SAYING: 'If you had suggested to anyone behind me or in this room, that within 20 years and 20 miles, we would've dealt with Columbine, Aurora Theatre, Arapahoe High School, the shooting of (Deputy) Zack Parrish and four other deputies, we'd had thought you mad.
And yet here we are again.'
The sheriff said the two suspects opened fire in two separate classrooms, and that there was a 'struggle' as officers entered the building.
The STEM school is a K through 12 public charter school located about 25 miles south of Denver.