Denver Police investigate shooting near DSST: Cole Middle School

Chief Paul Pazen identified a shooting victim as a juvenile male.

Denve Police officers on the scene of a shooting near the DSST Cole middle school at the Mitchell building, Aug. 28, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denve Police officers on the scene of a shooting near the DSST Cole middle school at the Mitchell building, Aug. 28, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver Police said a juvenile male was transported to a hospital with an apparent gunshot wound after a reported shooting near North Marion Street and East 33rd Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.

Police Chief Paul Pazen identified the victim as a juvenile male, but he wouldn’t specify if he was a student.

Police said the person is in critical condition. Officers were still on scene just before 3 p.m and the scene remains active. The department didn’t specify the extent of the victim’s injuries, and there is no information on a potential suspect.

The shooting took place outside DSST: Cole Middle School and a short distance from Cole Arts & Science Academy. Police said on Twitter that the shooting happened outside the school.

“We are actively looking for an individual,” Pazen said.

Denver Public Schools Safety Chief Mike Eaton said crisis teams were on hand and he expects the school to operate on a normal schedule on Wednesday. He added that the middle school was placed on lockdown after the shooting happened.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen speaks to press after a shooting near the DSST Cole middle school at the Mitchell building, Aug. 28, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen speaks to press. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

There were several parents at the scene waiting to pick up their children on Tuesday afternoon. The school was conducting a controlled release of students.

Tasha Martinez said she was picking up her 10- and 11-year-old children from the nearby schools when she saw police officers gathered outside.

“It is concerning,” Martinez said. “They told me we couldn’t go… we’re just waiting for the kids.”

One parent, who didn’t want to named, said, “I’m just dying to see my child. It’s crazy.”

Parents wait for their kids' release from lockdown after a shooting near the DSST Cole middle school at the Mitchell building, Aug. 28, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Parents wait for their kids' release from lockdown. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Jason McBride, program assistant with the Gang Rescue and Support Project, said whenever there’s a shooting, they’re alerted. He was driving by when he noticed something going on.

Pazen said it was too early to say if the shooting was gang-related.

McBride said the area has been home to an ongoing gang war for years that hasn’t been reported on.

“We’ve had brothers that died in our program a month a part,” he said. “There definitely needs to be resources down here.”

“People are frustrated and scared. The more heinous things are being committed by the middle school kids … they’re starting to be the ones who are more ultra-violent,” McBride said. “If we don’t stop it now we’re gonna be having kids in elementary school shooting each other.”

Jason McBride, program assistant with the Gang Rescue and Support Project, arrived at the scene of a shooting near the DSST Cole middle school at the Mitchell building to provide resources to families if need be, Aug. 28, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Jason McBride, program assistant with the Gang Rescue and Support Project, poses for a portrait. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)