Arapahoe High deputy ‘went to the thunder’ during shooting, boss says

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DENVER — “He went to the thunder” – that is how his boss described the heroic reactions of Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Deputy James Englert during Friday’s high school shooting.

FOX31 Denver has confirmed Englert was on duty as an armed Arapahoe High School resource officer when Karl Pierson, carrying a shotgun, walked into the building.

The deputy was recently featured on the front of The Journal of School Safety – along with an article on the sheriff’s office six-person school safety team.  That team oversees security for 41 public and private schools.

Sheriff Grayson Robinson praised Englert’s actions saying his response was a “critical element to the shooter’s decision” to kill himself.

The shooter has been identified as 18-year-old high-school student Karl Pierson.

A medical examiner reported Monday that Pierson died from a “severe head injury due to a (self-inflicted) shotgun wound to the head.”

Witnesses say Pierson entered the school looking for his debate teacher, but before he found the teacher, shot another student, and threw a Molotov cocktail into the high school library.

The Arapahoe Sheriff’s Office says Englert is not available for interviews based on his critical involvement in an ongoing investigation.



  • Tom

    Every time an armed adult enters a situation like this, the tragedy is blunted, usually because the offender commits suicide as soon as there is another firearm in the situation, nullifying the gun-free zone in which the shooter has found his “safety” to behave insanely, Good people with guns save lives and control tragic situations and check the weak, cowardly selfish minds take them. Had Officer Grayson been an unarmed school officer as many armophobes would demand, we would be mourning his loss and many others.

    Imagine if there were no guns and he just went wild with that machete or any decent blade for that matter? The weak pray on the defenseless and the weapon matters not. When someone has decided they are already dead and are going to do something so insane, it must be dealt with swift, deadly force. You can’t legislate sanity and someone with hate and desire to produce injury and harm will always find a way to try their evil ways.

  • Fred Hill

    I still have not seen the report of the shooter being a devout socialist on here yet.Or how he was anti-gun and worried about financial inequality and other Marxist qualities.

  • schotts (@schotts)

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP of the National Rifle Association.

    Wayne took a lot of heat for this. Wayne was right.

    Time to end gun free zones, expand the defensive counter measures and let teachers carry in schools. An RSO won’t always be there.

  • Liberal Sanity

    Why aren’t authorities cavity searching all students at every entrance and exit? Who knows what they are carrying in and out that’s making them so crazed?? And BTW, what were the political beliefs of the ‘judges’ that gave this gunchild a poor score, and defeated his self-confidence? Furthermore; why do these shootings happen in white suburbia Colorado? Seems like a pattern, as if the cell phone towers are frying their brains with evil thoughts? Random is one thing, but excessive pattern is proof! End the frequencies! Save the children from these radioactive microwaves! If it saves just one life; wouldn’t it be worth it?

  • Dustin

    Have you ever noticed the trend with all of these “Cowards”. As soon as a cop or lawfully armed citizen introduces a firearm and disrupts their plan to go on a shooting spree…they off themselves. You want real gun control??? obtain your CCW, become familar with the weapon you carry and protect the innocent people around you when nesessary. That’s gun control.

  • fast45

    What a surprise … a cop actually doing their job, instead of beating up innocent citizens, shooting family pets, and falsifying reports! Who knew? I guess the Columbine video footage of the army of cowards-in-blue hiding behind their vehicles while we could hear live gunfire in the background, prompted some small bit of change.

  • Travis

    Who gets to decide who the good guys with guns are? This guy legally bought a fire arm two days before the crime. With what I’ve read that makes him a law abiding citizens and by your standards he was a good guy until he shot at and shot people. So again I ask who decides who the good guys are? There was an armed police officer there and he was still able to shoot someone. You want more guards? I thought you guys hated police states but you want more armed guards. How about we arm teachers? Guess what teachers dont want to carry fire arms they started this profession to teach kids not defend them from armed gunmen. Truly shows how out of touch you people are when we have a serious issue with gun violence and the only response is more guns. Guess what gun sales are at record highs and have been increasing for the last few years and nothing has changed. Infact its getting worse.
    I love the guy who quoted the NRA seriously? Should i quote the oil companies on pollution? The nra has a intrest in increasing gun sales and ownership its their main job. If you theory is cops stop bad guys then sure how can you argue that. Will farmer john with his stock pile of guns save me from being robbed in Denver over the new years? No. Gunmen and criminals have the element of surprise anyone who knows anything about combat knows that’s all you need to win. If I walked up on any of you with a gun none of you could do anything but give me what I want. When you have an issue with something you don’t increase its property that’s pretty basic.
    PS stop comparing guns to sticks and stones cause if they had a real value our military would carry around a pocket full of rocks instead we use guns. Plus the last repor doctored by the NRA saying sticks and pipes kill more than guns they only used shotguns and rifles in the study they left out handguns hmmm wonder why? Maybe because for every one person killed by any type of stick,bat,pipe,crow bar so on kills one person for every 14.5 people killed with a handgun alone. Include shotguns and rifles that stat increases. God won’t save our children humans have that power. Are we willing to try? Someone who has more training with guns than any of you is willing to wait a few days for a purchase why can’t you? Nothing will change ego and stupidity trump safety in this venue. I’d love to stick you guys in Afghanistan see what guns do to people see if you have the same mind set after seeing people die and killing people cause I can promise you this its not a heroic action killing is not something to look forward to. Half of you would freeze in a combat situation anyway so saying you can protect us is a joke. Plus you’re more likely to shoot me than the bad guy cause you dont have the training. Shooting at a frozen target 10 yards away wont prepare you for a stressful situation like a fire fight. I’ve seen some of the hardest men I’ve known break down after fire fights. After all this ill be labeled whatever you want. I served this country for 10 years. I’ve given a 3rd of my life to this country and for freedom. Watching you guys step all over it crying we’re losing it pisses me off. What have you done for our country? In the words of a former president. I welcome your hate!

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