AFFIDAVIT: Aurora West staffer accused of bringing gun to school menaced, had affair with school principal

Pictured: Tushar Rae

AURORA | A dean at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy accused of threatening staffers and bringing a loaded gun to school earlier this month had previously fired a gun at the school’s principal, court documents obtained by The Sentinel reveal.

The principal, Taisiya Tselolikhin, was involved in an intimate relationship with a dean of instruction at the school, Tushar Rae, for about a year before he threatened to maim school staff on April 3, according to an arrest affidavit obtained from Denver County Court.
Tselolikhin is married to another person, according to the affidavit. The couple has children together.
Tselolikhin was allegedly the victim of two domestic violence incidents at Rae’s Denver home in March, weeks before the incident at West, according to the affidavit.
Rae is facing felony menacing and false imprisonment charges related to the domestic violence incidents, according to Denver County Court records.
He’s facing separate charges for carrying a concealed weapon at a school and making violent threats in a separate case filed in Arapahoe County District Court. The latter charges are related to the April 3 incident at Aurora West.

Tselolikhin detailed the alleged domestic violence incidents in an interview with Denver police on April 12. That was more than a week after Rae threatened her and other staffers at West.

In the first incident on March 1, Tselolikhin said she and Rae attended a work event at an escape room in Denver. Afterward, they went to a bar and Rae consumed a marijuana edible with a different coworker. Tselolikhin and Rae later arrived at Rae’s Denver home, where Rae “became depressed and was feeling sad for himself,” the affidavit says.

Tselolikhin told police Rae then produced a black handgun and she watched as he loaded gold bullets into the magazine, according to the affidavit. He pointed the gun — the same weapon he would later use to threaten administrators at Aurora West — at her chest, then moved the gun slightly away from her before firing one round. Tselolikhin was not injured in the incident.

Tselolikhin fled the home and said she did not report the incident because she didn’t want to get Rae into trouble and “possibly loved him,” according to the affidavit. She was also concerned Rae may kill himself.

On March 7, Tselolikhin told police she stopped at Rae’s home and found him depressed. He later prevented her from leaving and threw her onto a couch. The two argued and she called 911. A Denver police officer responded and Tselolikhin left.

Weeks later, Rae did not show up for work at Aurora West but later texted Tselolikhin a picture of a gun and told her to meet him in his office.

When they met that afternoon, Rae removed the same black handgun he’d previously threatened her with from his waistband and placed it between himself and Tselolikhin, police reported.

“Try and f**k with me. 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,” Rae said, according to another arrest affidavit filed against Rae. He then said he was going to shoot the knee caps off of two school administrators.

Authorities had originally reported the incident at West stemmed from a previous argument between Rae and school Tselolikhin over school testing practices.

Aurora West students and teachers have lambasted district leadership for vague communications with the community during and after the April 3 incident at West. Critics have repeatedly questioned why the community was not immediately notified that a staff member had made violent threats and was briefly at large after posting bond that evening.

At an APS Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, a West teacher alleged that staff knew Rae was mentally unstable and implied that school or leadership were not receptive to their concerns.