Shooting puts Brighton schools on 'secure', lockdown status

Scott Taylor
Posted 3/15/23

One person was wounded after a shooting March 15  at South 9th Ave. and Bush Street,near Brighton High School.


"We believe we have all the suspects in custody at this time," …

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Shooting puts Brighton schools on 'secure', lockdown status


One person was wounded after a shooting on March 15  at South Ninth Avenue and Bush Street, near Brighton High School.

"We believe we have all the suspects in custody at this time," Brighton Police Chief Matt Domenico said at a press conference at the scene. "We have three individuals in custody, two that were taken into custody at a traffic stop and another that was taken into custody a little later."

The resulting investigation put both Brighton and Prairie View high schools on lockdown, meaning all doors were closed and locked, confinement of students to the school and no entry to or exit from the school. Other schools were on "secure stats," meaning a threat in the area near a school. This was formerly called a “lockout."

"The school district is working with the Brighton Police Department now and conducting a controlled release," Domenico said at the 3 p.m. press conference.

"This came out at about 12:30 p.m., and this is lunch time, and there are multiple schools in the area. There were a number of students in the area," Domenico said. "I just want to share that our concern right now is that incidents like this are traumatic for everyone involved, but especially our school community and we do send our thoughts to everyone there."

Counselors were available March 16 for those who needed them, according district spokesman Kevin Denke.

The incident happened near South Ninth Avenue and Bush Street. One victim went to an area urgent care clinic with a gunshot wound and  Brighton police tweeted that potential suspects were near East 120th Avenue and Salem Street.

Police searched several classrooms inside PVHS -- not far from the reported sighting -- but did not find a suspect.

At his press conference, Domenico declined to say how old the people involved in the shooting were or if they were students at either school.

In a written statement issued later in the day, Brighton Police said that additional juveniles believed to be involved were contacted and detained.

Detectives believe this was an isolated incident and there is no ongoing threat to the community. 

Neighbor Betty Hoffman said she heard a noise around 12:30 p.m. but assumed it was fireworks.

"Nothing ever happens around here," she said. "I just thought it was fireworks."

BPD spokeswoman Kylynn Delohery said police recovered shell casings near the original shooting scene but no weapons. Police searched Orchard Church next to PVHS and the school's ballfields without success. 

Police used a drone around the original crime scene at Ninth Avenue and Bush Street to do grid mapping of the area.

The schools on secure status were Brighton High School, Vikan Middle School, Prairie View Middle School, South Elementary School, Southeast Elementary School, the Innovations & Options campus and Bright Beginnings campus. 27J added more schools to that list, including Northeast Elementary School, Overland Trail Elementary School, Thimmig Elementary School and Henderson Elementary School. Authorities issued an all-clear shortly before 3 p.m.

The parking lot at Prairie View HS remained closed while police search around the school for a suspect and a potentially related vehicle. Police said there was  a "controlled release" by section of the school once the search inside the school finished.

Commerce City police, Adams County sheriff's deputies, Thornton police and the Colorado State Patrol are assisting.

Brighton Police are asking neighbors surrounding 9th Avenue and Bush Street to review any camera footage they may have. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to please contact the Brighton Police Department at 303-655-8740. You may also remain anonymous and contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7876.

Prairie View High School, shooter, lockdown, secure, 27J Schools


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