Nuggets coach Michael Malone on Colorado shooting: 'Thoughts and prayers are never enough'

DENVER — On Tuesday, a shooting at a Denver-area school left at least seven injured and one 18-year-old student dead.

Authorities have detained two students suspected of opening fire at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch around 2 p.m.

The shooting took place near the home of Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who opened his news conference ahead of Tuesday’s Game 5 against the Portland Trail Blazers addressing the shooting.

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‘Thoughts and prayers are never enough’

“I just want to start off with a quick word,” Malone said. “I think we’re all aware of what happened down in Highlands Ranch today at the STEM school. That’s the community I live in. I know thoughts and prayers are never enough.”

“I’m not a politician. I don’t have the answers. But something must change.”

Michael Malone called for change in the wake of Tuesday's deadly shooting at a Colorado school. (AP)
Michael Malone called for change in the wake of Tuesday's deadly shooting at a Colorado school. (AP)

Colorado, of course, is no stranger to shooting tragedies. The 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School near Denver left 12 students and one teacher dead while wounding many others.

The Columbine shooting shocked the nation. But in the years since that tragedy, mass shootings have made regular headlines in the United States, with many happening at schools and places of worship.

Now they’re commonplace.

Malone: ‘Something must change’

Malone talked about how the rash of shootings have impacted how Americans operate, noting that his daughters have twice been in lockouts at school in the past month, before calling for change.

“It’s not just Highlands Ranch. It’s not just Colorado,” Malone said. “This is an epidemic. And it continues to happen. That’s the frustrating thing. How do you stop it?

“Gun control, laws, whatever it might be. I’m not a politician. I don’t want to sit up here on a soap box. I just want everybody back at Highlands Ranch to know we’re with you.”

Tuesday’s game was preceded by a moment of silence in the Pepsi Center, another scene that’s become common in the wake of mass shootings as communities cope and react with the plague of violence.

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