AURORA, Colo. — A dean at an Aurora preparatory academy was arrested Wednesday for causing a lockdown and making threats while carrying a weapon on school grounds, according to an arrest affidavit.
Tushar Aftab Rae, 30, is being held on suspicion of unlawfully carrying a weapon at a school and unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, according to an affidavit of probable cause for arrest provided by Arapahoe County Courts.
Rae was Aurora West Preparatory College's dean of instruction, serving students in grades 9 - 12, according to the school's website.
"This is a good school, good teachers, a good education system and it was just kinda shocking to us," Luz Juarez, an eighth-grade student, said.
Just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aurora police officers were dispatched to Aurora West Preparatory College on reports of an armed person at the school, the affidavit says.
The school went on lockdown as well.
Principal Taisiya Tselolikhin called police and told officers on scene that she'd had an argument on Tuesday with Rae. The affidavit says she told police he'd become upset over testing the school was administering and "not receiving acknowledgment and recognition he felt he was owed."
He didn't show up for work on Wednesday, and he didn't call to explain why or give a warning that he wasn't going to make it in, the affidavit says. At 2 p.m., Tselolikhin got a text from Rae asking her to meet him in his office.
The pair arrived at the office at the same time and both went into the office together, the affidavit says. Once inside, Rae closed the door and pulled out a black handgun.
The affidavit says he placed the gun on the counter between the pair.
"Try and f--- with me," the affidavit quotes Rae as saying. "You shouldn't have said what you said. I don't want to hurt you. I'm going to hurt all the people around you."
He then threatened to shoot the kneecaps off two of the school's administrators, the affidavit says. Then he wondered what she was going to do about it and warned that he "came prepared and had two extra rounds," according to the affidavit.
After that, he warned Tselolikhin to walk away or he'd shoot the next person he found outside his office's door, the affidavit says.
While threatening the principal, there was a knock at the door. The affidavit says two students spoke briefly with Rae before he closed the door again.
Tselolikhin then left his office and began to put the school on lockdown, the affidavit says.
As one Aurora officer spoke to Tselolikhin about what happened, another was on the phone with Rae, the affidavit says. He at first said some members of the school had been harassing him, but wouldn't explain himself. He also told the officer he was worried about the school being on lockdown and told Aurora police he was at home and then gave his home address, the affidavit says.
He told the officer he "had sent some messages earlier that he should not have sent," the report says.
Denver officers then went to Rae's address, found him there and arrested him, the affidavit says. Law enforcement found a Remington handgun and three magazines in a bedroom cabinet. According to the report, Rae was arrested and held on bond not long after.
Rae posted bond and was issued a restraining order, the affidavit says. Even so, Aurora PD posted more officers at the school and at some administrators' homes.
Several officers are also monitoring Rae and keeping track of his whereabouts, the arrest affidavit says.
Alejandra Tovar attended Aurora West until last fall. She said this doesn't sound like the "Mr. Rae" she knows.
"He would always be like really kind and really caring and he was always putting our best interest before his," Alejandra said. "I didn't really think he was the type to bring a gun to school and, like, threaten."
Luz said the dean of instruction was well-liked.
"He was a good person. He was a good dean. That's what everybody thinks," Luz said. "Lots of students respected him a lot."
Friday morning, dozens of students walked out upset over the communications regarding the confrontation.
"They lied to the students that there was a gun threat around the school," Alejandra said.
The school sent three letters home to parents. The first one on Wednesday stated, "There were rumors of an armed individual in the area."
Only in the third letter sent Thursday, the principal specified that something happened inside the school.
The letter states, "One of our employees was arrested in Denver by the Denver Police Department after he allegedly threatened some of our staff members with a weapon."
"Not letting them know the truth, they put their lives in danger," Alejandra said.
Corey Christiansen is the public information officer for Aurora Public Schools. Christiansen said the district shared the information it had at the time from police on Wednesday shortly after the confrontation.
Christiansen said the district didn't know until Thursday the details, including the threats and the gun. He added that the district would not comment any further on an ongoing investigation.
"I think that they were trying their best to protect all families and students and they're still trying to figure out what happened," Luz said.
9NEWS investigative reporter Kevin Vaughan contributed to this article
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