Another week, another school shooting, although this latest one in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch has quickly turned into a religion story.
Well, it’s a religion story if reporters note crucial details and ask basic questions.
As I scanned various stories, I learned there was very little news about the shooters, especially some of their more controversial aspects. One was LGBTQ; the other had Satanic symbols on his car, yet that didn’t make it into many media accounts. (As for Kendrick Castillo, the 18-year-old who died at the scene, he was an only child. I cannot imagine his parents’ sorrow.)
The Denver Post tells us this much at the arraignment:
One of the shooting suspects, Devon Erickson, sat hunched in his chair throughout his hearing where he was advised of the charges he is being held on. As the proceeding continued, the skinny 18-year-old with shaggy black and pink hair curled farther into himself — his bangs nearly touching the defense table by the end.
Alec McKinney — who is charged under the legal name of Maya Elizabeth McKinney but uses male pronouns and the name Alec — sat up straight in his chair. …
Also, there is this: According to folks who checked out his Facebook account, there was an anti-Christian screed there.
Another student, Aiden Beatty, said that Erickson worked as a vocal instructor and acted in school musicals. Beatty and Erickson formed multiple rock bands together. Beatty said he couldn’t imagine his band mate committing such horror. Nothing on Erickson’s public social media pointed toward violence.
“In my mind he’s pretty much dead,” Beatty said. “He’s effectively killed himself, too, in a terrible and unimaginable way.”
McKinney was transgender and had struggled with personal problems, freshman Ben Lemos said. The two shared a study hall, a lunch group and mutual friends, Lemos said.
“He just had a negative experience with school,” he said.
But the Daily Mail had a lot more interesting details, including how Erickson had “666” and a pentagram spray-painted on the hood of his car.