HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)– It was a stressful wait before an emotional reunion for parents as they waited to get their children after one was killed in a school shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch.
Parents were asked not to come to the STEM School Highlands Ranch to pick up their children after the shooting Tuesday afternoon. Instead, students were reunited with their parents and caregivers at Northridge Recreation Center.READ MORE: Colorado's Rural Health Departments Work With Churches And Social Media Influencers To Encourage Vaccinations
“It’s the worst phone call or text message you could ever get and you just hope and pray and I’m very happy to have my daughter and praying for all the other families,” one mom said as she walked away from the scene.
“Some parents were crying, but it seemed to be controlled chaos,” said one mother. “He’s my child, I don’t think I’m going to be okay until I have him.”
One was killed, eight student were hurt in the shooting, and two students at the school were taken into custody. The shooting happened just before 2 p.m. Tuesday.
CBS4’s Rick Sallinger talked to a woman who said her daughter is the teacher in the classroom where the shooting happened. Her daughter teaches juniors and seniors.
“I believe the student was targeting her, from what I understand,” said a woman who said she is the mother of Lauren Harper. “She’s with the police right now… she’s a witness.”
Some students from STEM School Highlands Ranch self-evacuated. Others were being transported by bus to the rec center. The elementary school was still being evacuated at 3:30 p.m. with those from the middle school and high school following behind.
“I just want to see him. I want him to see me, I want him to see me,” said another mother. “I’m just hoping it’s not as bad as it could be.”
It was a long wait for some parents.READ MORE: Mount Evans Visitors Seek An Escape From The Heavy Haze Over Denver
“When they finally got released they were up on the grass but they wouldn’t let us go to her,” Tammy Bash said about her 8th grade daughter.
School districts near the STEM School Highlands Ranch were placed on lockout or secure perimeter status, including Littleton Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools, for a couple of hours. Lockdown status was lifted from all schools in Highlands Ranch at 3:55 p.m.
Students from other schools in the area were reunited with their parents at their respective schools.
“We understand this is a worrisome situation for parents,” said Douglas County Undersheriff Holly Nicholson-Kluth.
Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement searched the STEM School after the shooting which left one dead and seven people injured on Tuesday afternoon. Two suspects were taken into custody. Spurlock said the suspects are students at the school.
Students were in the classroom during the active shooter situation and were released room by room during the search of the school. The FBI will take over the investigation inside the school.
PHOTO GALLERY: Shooting At STEM School Highlands RanchMORE NEWS: Camping Ban: Boulder Takes New Steps To Ban Tents & Propane On Public Lands
Neither suspect was injured in the shooting.