Jun 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Colorado STEM school mass shooter convicted of student's murder

A memorial of STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on Thursday. May 7, 2020
A memorial for STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting victims in Highlands Ranch, Colorado in May 2020. Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

A second former student was convicted Tuesday over the 2019 mass shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, including for the murder of a teenager who tried to stop the attack.

Details: Devon Erickson, 20, was convicted in Douglas County of more than 40 charges after a jury deliberated for 4.5 hours following a three-week trial, per the Denver Post.

  • Among his convictions is first-degree felony murder for the killing of student Kendrick Castillo, 18, who died lunging at his attacker in order to save classmates.

Background: Erickson's convictions come after accomplice Alec McKinney pleaded guilty last year to murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and weapons charges and was given a life sentence plus 38 years for the attack — which left eight other students wounded.

  • McKinney was 16 at the time of the shooting, so he can seek parole after 40 years, Reuters notes. Erickson was 18, so he's set to receive a mandatory life sentence without parole, AP reports. He's due to have a sentencing hearing on Sept. 17.

Of note: Lawmakers in Colorado have moved to strengthen gun laws in response to the Denver attack and other mass shootings.

Flashback: Colorado tightens gun laws, one month after Boulder mass shooting

Go deeper