ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Days after an Iowa junior high school was placed into lockdown when a seventh grader took out a loaded gun during class, Broncos long snapper Casey Kreiter did what he could to help the small-town Iowan community heal.
Kreiter, who grew up in nearby DeWitt and worked as a science teacher in Iowa City before signing with the Broncos, sent coffee and donuts on Tuesday to the teachers and staff at Eldridge's North Scott Junior High.
The Broncos' long snapper, who is entering his third season with Denver, is quite familiar with the school.
His uncle works there and his grandmother was previously employed at North Scott. When Kreiter was growing up, he competed against the Eldridge school and knows a number of the coaches and teachers.
"My hometown, DeWitt, and Eldridge are pretty close and kind of a tight-knit community," Kreiter said. "Really, just because being a teacher, I can't imagine that happening to me and kind of going back to work. Trying to have normalcy would be tough. I thought maybe it would be a good gesture."
Kreiter wasn't the only one who send a small act of kindness Eldridge's way.
"I called over to make sure they got it, and it sounds like I wasn't the only one who was thinking of them," Kreiter said. "It sounded like every [local] school almost held a potluck with all the free stuff and gifts they were getting sent."
The communal spirit replaced what could have been a much more somber tone, and Kreiter was more than aware of that when discussing the incident on Wednesday.
While one of the school's teachers ensured no shots were fired and no one was hurt, Kreiter reflected what could have happened — and how he would've handled the situation if he were still in the classroom.
"I couldn't imagine as a parent and being in the classroom and trying to think, 'How the heck am I going to go back to school and try to shape these kids into young adults when someone showed up and could have potentially killed some of the [students and teachers]?'" Kreiter said. "That would be tough."
That won't stop Kreiter, though, from returning to the classroom at some point.
"I'll always have a connection there," Kreiter said. "My dad was a teacher. Teaching's what I love to do and what I'll do when I'm done playing football, I think.
"… There's just something special about being in the classroom. Teachers don't do it for money, obviously. They do it for other reasons. I miss that part of it."