Maya McKinney, the 16-year-old female who authorities charged as the second suspect in Tuesday’s Colorado school shooting, claimed to identify as a male named Alec.
Maya McKinney’s lawyers requested Wednesday that the court use “he” to refer to the teen, The New York Post reported. McKinney said only “Yes, your honor” and “No, your honor” in response to the judge’s questions.
McKinney and 18-year-old Devon Erickson stand accused of killing one student and wounding at others at STEM School Highlands Ranch near Denver.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock told reporters Wednesday that authorities believed McKinney to be a male when they first apprehended her at the school Tuesday, but learned later that she is, in fact, a biological female.
“We originally thought that we had a juvenile male in custody but through our interviews yesterday late afternoon determined that we had a juvenile female that is in custody right now who is the other suspect,” Spurlock said, according to CBS Denver.
District attorney George Brauchler has not yet decided whether to charge McKinney as an adult, as she is the youngest age possible to face adult charges in Colorado. Erickson, however, faces 30 criminal charges related to the shooting, including murder and several charges of attempted murder. Police apprehended Erickson and McKinney at the school after several students and an armed security guard fought back against the alleged shooters and subdued them. One of those students, Kendrick Ray Castillo, paid for his courage with his life.
Castillo tackled Erickson, as classmates Josh Jones and Marine recruit Brendan Bialy also lunged at the suspect, when he entered their classroom and drew a gun. The suspects reportedly shot and killed Castillo.
“As the trend is now to propagate the name of the shooter, shooters and their intents just kind of glorifies it, if anything inspires other people,” Bialy told NBC. “So in this happenstance, the absolute legend of the events of yesterday, Kendrick Castillo is the name I think should not go away to the sands of time.”
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