NEW DETAILS: Colorado High School Shooter Identified - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NEW DETAILS: Colorado High School Shooter Identified

Posted: Updated:
Photo from Arapahoe High School Photo from Arapahoe High School
Map of the area where the reported shooting happened. Map of the area where the reported shooting happened.
Arapahoe High School students outside after shots were reportedly fired. Arapahoe High School students outside after shots were reportedly fired.
CENTENNIAL, Colo.- Colorado's governor says the teen girl who was shot at her suburban Denver high school on Friday is in a coma. Claire Davis was sitting with a friend in the Arapahoe High School library when she was shot in the head.

Authorities believe she was shot at random by an 18-year-old gunman who had gone into the school looking to settle a grudge with a teacher. He killed himself as a school security officer closed in on him.



Previous Story


CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado high school student with an apparent grudge against a teacher wounded a classmate with a shotgun before killing himself, chilling a state that's still trying to make sense of mass shootings at Columbine High School and an Aurora movie theater.

Quick-thinking students at Arapahoe High School on Friday alerted the targeted teacher, who quickly left the building. Police immediately locked down the scene on the eve of the Newtown massacre anniversary — a somber reminder of how commonplace school violence has become.

Within minutes, the 18-year-old shooter was dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson identified the gunman as Karl Halverson Pierson, a senior who participated in debate activities. Robinson said Pierson had had an altercation with the teacher, but the sheriff did not provide details or elaborate on a motive.

The wounded classmate, a 15-year-old girl, was in critical condition with a gunshot wound, Robinson said. Two other students were treated for minor injuries and released.

Authorities evacuated hundreds of students in an orderly procession — a demonstration of aggressive security measures developed by police and schools following the chaotic 1999 shooting at Columbine, some 8 miles west of Arapahoe High.

After that tragedy, police across the country developed "active shooter" training in which responding officers rush toward gunfire — and step over bodies and bleeding victims if necessary — to stop the gunman.

"The first deputy sheriffs and police officers that were on scene immediately entered the school to engage the shooter if they could locate that individual and keep the other students safe," Robinson said.

"This kid, the officers went right to him literally within minutes," said Gov. John Hickenlooper. "That is a world of change from the way response used to happen."

Before Columbine, officials followed a contain-and-wait strategy in which arriving officers set up a perimeter to contain the situation, then wait for SWAT team members trained in military tactics to bring down the gunman.

Robinson said Pierson made no attempt to hide his weapon while entering the school from a parking lot and asking for the teacher by name.

When the teacher learned that he was being targeted, he left "in an effort to try to encourage the shooter to also leave the school," Robinson said. "That was a very wise tactical decision."

Students heard shots and cowered in classrooms while awaiting word on what had happened.

Senior Megan Jeffords, 18, was singing Christmas carols in the hall with her choir class when the shots rang out. A teacher rushed the 18 singers into a closet, where they huddled for more than half an hour.

Hours later, after Jeffords was reunited with her father, she was still visibly shaken and unable to talk much about what happened.

Jessica Girard was in math class when she said she heard three shots.

"Then there was a bunch of yelling, and then I think one of the people who had been shot was yelling in the hallway, 'Make it stop,'" she said.

Two suspected Molotov cocktails were also found inside the school, the sheriff said. One detonated, though no one was injured.

The shooting came a day before the anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., attack in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Since Columbine, Colorado has endured other mass shootings, including the killing of 12 people in a movie theater in nearby Aurora in 2012. But it was not until after the Newtown massacre that state lawmakers moved to enact stricter gun control laws.

Two Democratic lawmakers were recalled from office earlier this year for backing the laws, and a third recently resigned to avoid a recall election.

PREVIOUS STORY:


CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - Authorities say they have found a possible Molotov cocktail at the scene of a school shooting in suburban Denver.
    
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Friday that investigators are examining the device.
    
Robinson says the shooter shot two others at Arapahoe High School in Centennial before apparently killing himself on Friday
    
The sheriff says the shooter was armed with a shotgun and looking for a teacher he identified by name when he approached the school.
    
Robinson says the teacher immediately left the school when he learned the student was looking for him.
    
Robinson says the shooter then shot two students, one of whom is in serious condition at a hospital. The other is also hospitalized with a minor gunshot wound.

PREVIOUS STORY:


CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - A sheriff says the student who shot at least one other student at a high school near Denver today had been looking for a specific teacher. But that teacher got word of it, and had left the school.
    
Authorities say a student who confronted the gunman was shot, before the shooter apparently took his own life. The student who was shot was critically injured, and was taken into surgery at a nearby hospital.
    
A third student was injured at the school, but it's not clear if that student was shot.
    
It happened at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, about eight miles from Columbine High School in Littleton. That's where two teenage shooters killed 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves in 1999.
    
Police were outside the school after today's gunfire, and students were seen walking toward the running track with their hands in the air.
    
One woman rushed to the school after getting a text from her daughter saying shots had been fired. She was relieved when the daughter texted that a police officer had entered her classroom and that she was safe.

UPDATE: Authorities say a suburban Denver student shot at least one other student at a high school Friday before he apparently turned the gun on himself.
    
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the student was wounded when he confronted the gunman at Arapahoe High School in Centennial.
    
He said officers found another injured student while securing the school.
    
Littleton Adventist Hospital spokesman Jason Dunkel said a student was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
    
Students were seen walking toward the school's running track with their hands in the air. Television footage showed students being patted down.
    
The school is about 8 miles east of Columbine High School in Littleton, where two teenage shooters killed 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves in 1999.

PREVIOUS STORY:


CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - A Colorado sheriff says a suspect in a Denver-area high school shooting has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
    
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Friday that the shooter was a student at Arapahoe High School in Centennial. He says another student was wounded when he confronted the armed student and was shot.
    
Officers found another injured student while securing the school.

BREAKING UPDATE: Deceased suspect was a student at Arapahoe High School, sheriff confirms.

BREAKING UPDATE: Suspect in shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO is dead, likely from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, sheriff says.

BREAKING UPDATE: Danger appears to be over at Arapahoe HS in Centennial, CO, law enforcement officials tell NBC's PeteWilliams, suspect wounded.

CONFIRMED FROM 9NEWS: One 15/16-year-old victim with a gunshot wound. Unknown gender, unknown condition.

FROM 9NEWS: CENTENNIAL - There were two people injured during an incident at Arapahoe High School in the 2200 block of East Dry Creek Road in Centennial.

Police are calling it an "active shooter situation."

No one is in custody at this time.

The identity of the victims is not being released at this time.

Arapahoe High School is a part of Littleton Public Schools. There are 70 different classrooms in the high school which covers a 254,000-square-foot area. There are 2,229 students that attend the high school. The school was built in 1964..

MORE DETAILS:
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - State division of emergency management spokeswoman Micki Trost says police are responding to a report of a shooting at a high school in suburban Denver.
    
There weren't any immediate details about what was happening at Arapahoe High School in Centennial on Friday. The school is about 8 miles east of Columbine High School in Littleton, where two teenage shooters killed 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves in 1999.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • NEW INFORMATION: High Drive brush fire believed to be human caused

    NEW INFORMATION: High Drive brush fire believed to be human caused

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:58:17 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Tuesday evening the Spokane Fire department announced they had a likely cause for the High Drive brush fire: humans. The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 3pm on the west side of Spokane's South Hill between Qualchan Golf Course and High Drive. By 6pm it had grown to 30 acres and moved to within 75 yards of several homes on High Drive.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Tuesday evening the Spokane Fire department announced they had a likely cause for the High Drive brush fire: humans. The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 3pm on the west side of Spokane's South Hill between Qualchan Golf Course and High Drive. By 6pm it had grown to 30 acres and moved to within 75 yards of several homes on High Drive.>>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: DNR tackling new wildfire near Tonasket

    WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: DNR tackling new wildfire near Tonasket

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:03 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:03:06 GMT
    TONASKET, Wash.- The Department of Natural Resources says they are battling a new wildfire northeast of Wauconda and Tonasket. The fire broke out on Tuesday, July 29th and is called the "Torado Mountain" wildfire. DNR crews are attacking this fire from the ground and air.
    >>
    TONASKET, Wash.- The Department of Natural Resources says they are battling a new wildfire northeast of Wauconda and Tonasket. The fire broke out on Tuesday, July 29th and is called the "Torado Mountain" wildfire. DNR crews are attacking this fire from the ground and air.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Manhunt in Peone Prairie for man believed to be armed

    Manhunt in Peone Prairie for man believed to be armed

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:01 AM EDT2014-07-31 07:01:36 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.- At 6pm Wednesday evening two people arrived at their home, in Peone Prairie, and found two men in the process of ransacking it. This happened at a home near East Moffat and North Forker Road, northeast of Spokane.. >>Details on manhunt inside>>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.- At 6pm Wednesday evening two people arrived at their home, in Peone Prairie, and found two men in the process of ransacking it. This happened at a home near East Moffat and North Forker Road, northeast of Spokane. >>Details on manhunt inside
    >>
  • Green Bluff grass fire: 3 buildings destroyed at Walker's Farm

    Green Bluff grass fire: 3 buildings destroyed at Walker's Farm

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:55:05 GMT
    GREEN BLUFF, Wash.- A fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at a farm on Green Bluff was 100% contained by 6pm. The fire started on property owned by Walker's Farm. Fire crews were called out to the farm about 2:30pm.
    >>
    GREEN BLUFF, Wash.- A fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at a farm on Green Bluff was 100% contained by 6pm. The fire started on property owned by Walker's Farm. Fire crews were called out to the farm about 2:30pm.

    >>
  • Q6 CARES: Air Conditioners and what you can do to help prevent them from breaking

    Q6 CARES: Air Conditioners and what you can do to help prevent them from breaking

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:01:06 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Before you crank up your air conditioner to its coolest setting, it's a good idea to make sure it's working properly. On Wednesday KHQ spoke with a maintenance tech, Justin Holyron, who works at RR Heating and Air Conditioning about some things you can check before calling in the experts. >>VIDEO INSIDE>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Before you crank up your air conditioner to its coolest setting, it's a good idea to make sure it's working properly. On Wednesday KHQ spoke with a maintenance tech, Justin Holyron, who works at RR Heating and Air Conditioning about some things you can check before calling in the experts. >>VIDEO INSIDE
    >>