Colorado school shooting suspect Devon Erickson had a past of bullying and violence, reveals former friend
One of the suspects in the Colorado school shooting is reportedly a bully who had joked about shootings and had even threatened fellow students over the years, a former friend of his, Kevin Cole, has revealed.
Cole was a student of STEM School Highlands Ranch, where a deadly shooting on Tuesday morning led to the death of one student and injury to eight others.There are two suspects who are now in custody are expected to appear in court next week to hear the charges against them, reports CNN. One of the alleged shooters happens to be 18-year-old Devon Erickson, who used to be a friend of Cole in the past.
"They couldn't believe that he would actually do it, but they weren't entirely surprised that he did," Cole told CNN about Erickson. He also shared that the suspect had shown a pattern of bullying and violence, including jokes about mass shootings.
Cole mentioned how at times Erickson would enter classrooms and say things like "when the pencil hits the floor I'm going to start shooting." To keep threatening others, he would sporadically keep dropping pencils from time to time, shared Cole, adding how these jokes were sometimes more like threats.
"He would just get really close and kind of hunch himself over your shoulder as you were sitting down, and he would just whisper in your ear 'don't come to school tomorrow' and just kind of crack a smile and walk back to his seat," Cole said. He also mentioned how people would often blow it off as "that was just a Devon thing" and laugh over it. Cole also notes that Erickson was violent, and the two drifted apart after the suspect had started bullying Cole's brother. He would also spread rumors and spend classes taunting him.
Even though Erickson's bullying never got physical with Cole's brother, it did with others. He would sometimes get violent with others if people he didn't like, made him mad. Cole also shared an incident from the eighth grade, where Erickson choked one of his classmates with a rubber tube. Cole added that perhaps the suspect considered it playful, the other classmate had to take off for the day. Unsure whether there were any consequences to the incident, Cole said that "that's how he got his kicks, that's what he thought was funny is if he could get a reaction out of you."
The other suspect of the shooting is 16-year-old Alec McKinney, both students at the school, who will be facing murder, attempted murder and perhaps other charges, George Brauchler, district attorney for Douglas and other counties, told CNN. He is also said to be considering charging McKinney as an adult. The district attorney's office also shared that the hearing, scheduled for Friday, has now been postponed to Wednesday.