Security at Denver East High School Under Fire After 2 Shootings

The Denver Public Schools Board has voted to bring back two armed police officers to patrol East High School through the end of the year.

Security at Denver East High School Under Fire After 2 Shootings

photo via Adobe, by Africa Studio

Denver, Colorado – Two shootings at East High School in just over a month have prompted parents to demand better security on campus.

The first incident happened on February 13 when 16-year-old Luis Garcia was sitting in his car outside of the school. He was shot and succumbed to his injuries more than two weeks later on March 1.

Garcia’s family is suing Denver Public Schools for not providing enough student parking and for removing school resource officers (SROs) from East High School, reports the Greeley Tribune.

The second incident happened on March 22. Two East High administrators were shot by a 17-year-old student. Both survived the attack, possibly because paramedics were already at the high school responding to a student who was experiencing an allergic reaction, reports Axios.

The shooter in the second incident has been identified as Austin Lyle, who was found dead that evening of an apparent suicide.

Lyle had been on probation on a weapons charge, so he was on a safety plan, and administrators were careful to check him each day for guns, reports CPR. The shooter was allowed to attend classes despite having been expelled from another high school.

On the day of the shooting, the administrator who usually conducted the search wasn’t available. Two other administrators – Jerald Mason and Eric Sinclair – did the pat down instead. They were shot when they found a gun on Lyle.

The Colorado Sun is now reporting that the shooter had been seen carrying a firearm at East High School weeks before the second shooting. At that time, when officials tried to search Lyle, he fled the campus. Despite this, he was still allowed to attend classes at East High.

The shootings have prompted parents to demand police officers patrol the school and metal detectors be installed.

In response to the March 22 shooting, the Denver Public Schools Board voted to bring back two armed police officers to the campus through the end of the year, reports Denverite. The officers will receive de-escalation training and will not be used for disciplinary issues.

The decision to remove officers from East High School was made in 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd.

If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can text TALK to 741741 or initiate an online chat at You can also call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Additional resources can also be found at

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author

robin hattersley headshot

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo