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Shooting at Arapahoe HS leaves two injured, shooter dead

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A lone shooter — apparently targeting a teacher — killed himself, but not before he shot and injured one classmate at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo.

One student, 17-year-old Claire Davis, is in critical condition after undergoing surgery on Friday afternoon at Littleton Adventist Hospital. Initial reports stated that there was another shooting victim, but the second student was uninjured and released from Swedish Medical Center on Friday.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the shooter, 18-year-old Arapahoe student Karl Pierson, entered the school at 12:33 p.m., openly brandishing a shotgun, intending to confront a teacher. Pierson asked other students for the teacher by name, and the teacher was able to leave the school unharmed.

The teacher made “a very wise tactical decision,” Robinson said. “He took himself away from the school with an effort to encourage the shooter to go with him” and away from the student body.

Instead of leaving with the teacher, Pierson then shot and injured the other student before killing himself. Law enforcement found Pierson’s body in a classroom. Robinson said the two students didn’t confront the shooter, but they just happened to “be in the area” of the shooter. Robinson also said Saturday that Pierson intended to shoot several more people, but a school resource officer intervened.

“His intent was evil,” Grayson Robinson said of Pierson. “And his evil intent was to harm multiple individuals.”

Robinson said Pierson acted alone.

Students were cleared from the building and reunited with their parents at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church and Euclid Middle School. Police frisked all students once the students leave the high school building.

Sheriff’s deputies continue to interview friends and family of the shooter to determine motive and other details about the shooter.

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Explanatory multimedia reporting from CU Boulder journalism students
Shooting at Arapahoe HS leaves two injured, shooter dead