Fistfight Escalates into Shooting Near Denver High School

A fistfight between two students from Excel Academy, a Denver public high school, turned into a shooting incident this week, causing panic and concern among residents in the neighborhood. The altercation occurred on Monday around 12:15 p.m. in the 3100 block of West Colorado Avenue, just a short distance from the school.

According to Principal Cynthia Navarro’s letter to parents, the fight involved two students and their families. She assured parents that at no point were the students or staff inside the building in any danger. However, the incident has raised questions about Denver Public Schools’ handling of gun violence among students, especially following a similar incident last year where two school administrators were wounded by a 17-year-old student.

Residents living near Excel Academy expressed their long-standing concerns about the school during a neighborhood meeting with the Denver Police Department. They cited issues such as students parking across driveways, littering, and drag racing in the streets, and questioned whether school officials were doing enough to ensure the safety of both students and residents.

Eyewitnesses reported that two young women met in the street to fight, with a crowd of approximately a dozen people, including adults, gathering to watch. Disturbing video footage reviewed by The Denver Post captured the moment when at least one person from the crowd drew a gun and fired shots, causing chaos as people scattered for cover. Fortunately, only one adult man was injured in the incident, and he survived.

As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made, and the police did not provide any updates on the man’s condition or further details about the shooting. Cyan Santillana, who witnessed the fight, expressed her concern about the escalating violence in the neighborhood, emphasizing the need for immediate action to address the issue.

Excel Academy, a pathway school designed to help students catch up on credits for graduation, has approximately 250 students. While most students do not cause problems, a small group’s behavior tarnishes the school’s reputation. One student who happened to be passing by during the shooting had to seek shelter.

The incident occurred during the school’s lunch hour when many students were outside enjoying the warm weather. In response to the fight, the school implemented a 20-minute “secure perimeter” protocol, during which staff and students remained inside the building with locked exterior doors.

Denver Public Schools spokesman Scott Pribble stated that there is no indication that any of the involved students had a gun on school grounds before the shooting. He declined to comment on potential disciplinary actions, as the process takes time.

Data provided by the Denver Police Department revealed that between 2018 and April 2023, there were 59 gun-related incidents at 31 Denver public schools. However, none of these incidents occurred at Excel Academy. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College had the highest number of police responses, with five incidents, followed by three incidents at East High School.

Author: CrimeDoor

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