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Crime and Courts

Teen victim pleaded with STEM School Highlands Ranch shooter to stop his attack, testimony reveals

Prosecutors have called on nearly 20 people who were in the room the day of the 2019 attack to tell the jury what they remember

Erin Triplett, right, hugs her daughter, who is an eighth grader at STEM Highlands Ranch School after the girl was escorted from the school after two students allegedly shot at least eight other kids there on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. (John Leyba, Special to The Colorado Sun)
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This story first appeared in a Colorado Community Media newspaper. The Colorado Sun is an owner of CCM.

Lucas Albertoni was crawling through classroom 107 in STEM School Highlands Ranch when he was confronted by Alec McKinney’s gun.

Albertoni looked up as he was attempting to flee and saw the barrel of the firearm, only an arm’s length away, pointed straight at him. He locked eyes with the student holding it.

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“I pleaded twice, ‘you don’t have to do this,’” he told a courtroom on Friday. “I could tell he wasn’t really listening to anything I was saying.”

Albertoni ducked to the right as his shoulder was hit by a bullet. He also sustained shots in his leg and finger that day. Two of the bullets remained in his body as he testified.

Albertoni’s story closed off a week of testimony in the case against Devon Erickson, one of the two students charged in the deadly shooting on May 7, 2019. Erickson, now 20, faces 46 charges, including first-degree murder r, attempted murder and arson for his part in the attack. McKinney pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2020 and is in prison under a life sentence with the possibility of parole.

So far, prosecutors have called on nearly 20 people who were in the room that day to tell the jury what they remember.

For many who spoke, the event started with the assumption that Erickson, who some witnesses say they heard shout “nobody f—— move” before brandishing a handgun, was playing a twisted joke on them. 

“I thought this was like a senior prank,” said Grace Holland, a student in the room that day. “I thought ‘that’s messed up.’”

Read more at highlandsranchherald.net.

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