In Colorado, one teen was severely wounded and two others received minor injuries Friday at a residential Denver high school after a fellow student who was pursuing revenge against one of his teachers opened fire with a shotgun before he took his own life, Colorado local police stated.
The shootings, which happened on the eve of the tragic anniversary of the Newtown elementary school massacre, where 20 students and six teachers and staff members were killed, caused dozens of horrified students and staff at Centennial’s Arapahoe High School running at around 12:30 p.m. Local and state police along with other first responders were quick to gather and surround the school, which has over 2,000 students.
A teenage girl, age 15, was the person hurt most seriously from one of the gunshots. She was later reported as being in critical condition at a Littleton, Colorado hospital. A second female student suffered slight gunshot injuries and was released from the hospital late Friday evening, investigators stated. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson explained that on Friday night a third teenage girl was taken to a hospital and was covered in blood. However, it turned out the bodily fluid was from another student, so she was not injured.
It has been released by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s department that the allegedly identity of the student who shot up the Colorado school was Karl Pierson, age 18. Supposedly he also brought a couple of Molotov cocktails and placed them inside the school. He allegedly set one off, causing it to explode. The other was discovered and then removed by a Colorado bomb squad.
The incident began when the armed student came into the school on the west side from a parking lot. He allegedly stated to other students he wanted to see a certain teacher. He let it be known he was interested in confronting him. The word spread quickly, Sheriff Robinson explained.
The teacher, when told of the situation, left the school unharmed. It was believed that by the educator deciding to leave helped to halt the possible bloodshed.
The sheriff refused to discuss any potential motive except to say Pierson possibly had some sort of disagreement with the specific teacher.
Numerous students sheltered themselves inside locked classrooms until first responders came on the scene. Some explained that they had heard numerous gunshots down a hallway that was close to a school library.
Ninth grader Whitney Riley stated that everyone around her were crying, shaking and totally freaking out.
Sheriff Robinson stated that it so far appears Pierson acted as the alleged lone gunman. Colorado police investigators will be looking into if the timing of the shooting was related to Newtown in any way. They were also attempting to try and find out if the suspect had planted any other explosives at the school besides the Molotov cocktails.
In the time after the shooting, students left their school building in single file, holding their hands in the air above their heads. They all assembled on the school track around 1:30 p.m. Worried parents were informed to wait at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church where they would be able to reunite with their children.
The Denver area is no stranger to such terrible crimes. It has been home to two of the United States’ worst mass shootings. In July of 2012, 12 people were shot and killed, with more than 60 injured at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. James Holmes, who was a graduate school dropout from the University of Colorado, has been allegedly charged with committing these shootings and is now under intense psychiatric evaluation.
Nearby Columbine High School was also the site of a massacre back in 1999 when 12 students and one teacher were murdered and 24 others were wounded before the two shooters, who were both students at Columbine themselves, each committed suicide.
Even though it was only one Colorado teen that was severely wounded in a school shootout this time, that is still one too many.
By Kimberly Ruble