Last month, as the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting approached, STEM School Highlands Ranch joined hundreds of schools near Denver in closing temporarily amid security concerns. The anniversary came and went, and schools returned to their routines.

But Tuesday afternoon, the STEM school's worst fears were realised when eight of its students were shot and one killed — less than 12km from Columbine — and two fellow students were being held as suspects.

"We know two individuals walked into the STEM school, got deep inside the school and engaged students in two separate locations," Sheriff Tony Spurlock

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