FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Nine months after allegedly holding a teenager at gunpoint in the parking lot of Poudre High School, suspect Kayla Dreiling has been bonded out of jail and now has a warrant for her arrest. Traumatized by the incident, and triggered by news reports about incidents at schools involving guns, the teenage victim of the crime is sharing her story for the first time.
In August of 2021, on the third day of classes for Poudre School District, Devyn was about to return to class from her car when she was approached by a woman. CBS4 has agreed to not share the victim’s last name due to her age and her status as a victim in a crime.
In an exclusive interview with CBS4’S Dillon Thomas, Devyn said she remembered being in the parking lot of the northwestern Fort Collins school when the suspect approached her.
Speaking for her daughter, Jennifer said her daughter was attacked by Dreiling. At first the interaction was said to be cordial. Jennifer claimed the suspect approached her daughter in the school parking lot and asked to borrow her phone. Jennifer said her daughter reluctantly agreed to share her phone, but when the suspect then allegedly attempted to steal her keys, that’s when Devyn fought back.
“She grabbed Devyn’s keys, and that’s when Ms. Dreiling pulled out a gun, pointed it at Devyn and said, ‘Give me your keys, I will shoot you,’” Jennifer said.
Devyn reportedly escaped the encounter by pulling an alarm on her keys and then returning to the school building. Devyn said she remembered not being able to process the extent of what has happened, instead first experiencing embarrassment that maybe her peers witnessed the exchange.
However, a friend and Devyn were able to report the incident to a Fort Collins Police Student Resource Officer who quickly jumped into action. The school was placed on lockdown as other SRO’s, Poudre Schools security and more searched for the suspect.
Jennifer recalled getting a phone call and learning what had happened.
“Someone had held her at gunpoint,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer and her husband, Jon, rushed to the school. Both recalled arriving to find a large police presence and the school locked down.
“(Devyn) ran into my arms, collapsed and started sobbing,” Jon said with tears in his eyes.
The suspect, later identified as Kayla Dreiling, 27, of Loveland was arrested and booked into the Larimer County Jail. The gun reportedly used was determined to be an airsoft-type gun, and it was recovered.
After months of therapy and processing, Devyn said she was finally prepared to face the suspect in court.
However, a couple weeks before a court appearance Dreiling was bonded out. Court documents obtained by CBS4 show Dreiling was bonded out by a member of a local organization just before Mother’s Day for $10,000.
When the scheduled court appearance arrived, Dreiling did not. Court records show Dreiling failed to appear and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Devyn, Jon and Jennifer said they were not surprised that Dreiling didn’t show. Jennifer said her frustrations were with the suspect, the court and the organization that posted bond.
“I don’t think I can adequately express (my) rage that they bonded a woman out of jail who was in jail for assaulting a minor on school property,” Jennifer said.
“She’s the victim and can’t get justice,” Jon said.
Devyn, who was speaking on the emotional traumas caused by the incident, told CBS4 the incident changed her life.
“I’m 17 years old. I don’t want to be going through this,” Devyn.
Devyn, who was 16 at the time of the incident, said she was hoping to get the trial over with before starting her senior year.
“It makes me more nervous to be at school and more anxious to be at school,” Devyn said. “I am always on watch now when I go into parking lots.”
Devyn said she was preparing for closure on this traumatic experience, and she felt closure was taken from her when Dreiling was bonded out and failed to show. Devyn has aspirations of finishing high school and potentially studying journalism in college.
Though her ability to face the suspect in court may be on delay, Devyn said she wouldn’t let that stop her from becoming a strong and independent woman.
“I fought a woman with a gun, (I am) a warrior,” Devyn said. “I want to be known as ‘Devyn.’ She’s on the dance team. She’s a senior. She’s in yearbook. She’s on student council. I want to be known for stuff like that, not the girl who was held at gunpoint when someone tried to rob her.”