Arapahoe High shooter’s family says they are ‘devastated,’ grieving for victim

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Karl Pierson's family says they are "devastated" by the news their son shot one person at Arapahoe High School and they "cannot begin to understand why Karl did what he did."

In a statement Barbara and Mark Pierson said, "We are shattered by the tragic events that took place on Friday at Arapahoe High School.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Claire Davis and her family.  They, and she, have suffered unimaginably, and we pray for her full recovery.  We also pray for the entire Arapahoe High School community, as we know your lives are forever changed by this horrific event."

"As parents, we loved our son Karl dearly and we are devastated by what happened Friday.  We cannot begin to understand why Karl did what he did.  We ask for privacy during this unthinkably difficult time and hope that you will respect our need for time to grieve," the statement said.

Davis, 17, was shot at close range during Friday’s shooting.  She remained in a coma Monday, her family said.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper visited the Davis family at Littleton Adventist Hospital for a second time on Sunday morning, a spokesman said. He spent a short time with the victim’s parents, but was not able to see Claire.

In a statement Sunday evening, the Davis family said Claire was stable but in critical condition.

“The first responders got Claire to the right place, at the right time, and the doctors and hospital staff are doing a wonderful job taking care of her,” the statement read. “We appreciate your continued good thoughts and prayers, and will provide updates as her condition improves.”

Police believe Karl Pierson launched the suicide attack because he was angry at a school staff member.

Witnesses have said Pierson was passionate about speech and debate, and he had a disagreement with the librarian who is also the speech and debate coach, Tracy Murphy.

Pierson's parents have called on the school district to be more forthcoming about information about their son's disciplinary process over recent months. The sheriff's department has said that is one of the many things it is looking into.

Arapahoe High to remain closed until 2014

Law enforcement released the crime scene at Arapahoe High School back to school officials at 6 a.m. Monday morning, but no classes will be held there until 2014.

In a letter to parents, Principal Natalie Pramenko announced the school would remain closed through winter break and into next year.

The decision came three days after an angry student came to school with a shotgun and critically wounded one classmate.

Staff will be allowed back inside the school on Wednesday, while students will be able to return on a staggered schedule to retrieve anything they may have left behind, the Denver Post reported.

Students will be able to recover their items on the following schedule, the school announced:

Thursday, Dec. 19: 

Seniors Class of 2014 – 8-10 a.m.
Juniors Class of 2015 – 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 20: 

Sophomores Class of 2016 – 8-10:00 a.m.
Freshmen Class of 2017 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.


  • Fed Up

    I can’t help but wonder how well the shooter’s parents knew their own son, if he had been reading up on how to make bombs for years, and even showing the manual to his friends. I also wonder where he got the shotgun. Did it belong to a parent, and if so, why wasn’t it and the ammunition locked up? This is a prime reason why we need more strict gun regulations in this country.

  • common sense

    Do you know how to read? Almost all of the articles about this say he legally purchased the gun and ammunition. So tell me what law would have stopped this? Maybe a law banning glass bottles and gasoline and rags right?

  • John

    FED UP: Anyone over the age of 18 can legally buy a shotgun in Colorado. The shooter purchased it the week prior. A monkey can find information on bomb making via the internet in a matter of seconds. But with anything internet related, everything can be tracked.

  • Jerry Andersen

    Maybe we should ban the Internet. ….and tv’s…..oh toys that may have a violent intent. Books yep you can get many ideas in books……can you see the sarcastic tone here. How about learn to parent teach your children that there are consequences in life. Quit sheltering them. That’s the real problem. Children don’t need parents that are friend they need parents..They is no such thing as privacy get involved talk to then discipline then love them . Don’t place bans on life it wont fix the problem

  • COLONative/RN

    Prayers are with the child and her family. This is not going to be a pretty outcome… not withstanding a miracle.
    MORE guns laws? We have already seen what more gun laws produce! DID NOT help Tom Clemens;background check was by circumvented by a convicted felon. Did not help this young woman. Look at the parasitic microbes that shoved gun control bills down our throats! ALL these measures are is a “knee jerk” feel good, do nothing laws… with NO RESULTS

  • DR Commish

    Edited from the Denver Post AND all National coverage….
    The Shooter was a “Proud and Devout Socialist”….
    So, Lets start there…. Ban Liberals/Democrats/Socialists from purchasing guns.

  • Mary Crohan

    The problem with gun control is that the only people who end up disarming are the law abiding citizens. The criminals don’t worry about breaking the law because they break it all the time. Chicago has one of the strongest gun control laws in the country and it is also the murder capital of the country. The criminals are the only ones with the guns and they know that.

  • Jenny

    This is what happens when children are raised to believe they are “special” and that they are entitled. It’s the new generation. Blame the parents not the guns.

  • ChapStudent

    I am a student at a high school not very far from Arapahoe and I know many students who go there.

    First of all, why do the majority of these comments have to be about gun laws? The guns are just a tool, the people are the killers. Obviously this individual was troubled if he had bought a gun months ago. I truly think that when someone does something of this level, it wouldn’t matter if they had a gun or not, they’d find a way to hurt people.

    I don’t think that ‘bad parenting’ was a factor in this either. All children are special to their parents, but most understand the social responsibilities of dealing with their emotions in a calm and rational way. I think it is obvious that this individual did not.

    Why can’t everyone be sympathetic for the victim, her parents, and the shooter’s parents?
    The victim’s parents are obviously going to be in horrible pain, having to go through something like this.
    The shooters parents not only have to mourn for the child they birthed, raised and loved, but they also have to suffer being ridiculed for ‘bad parenting’. They obviously will be grieving for their son’s actions and for the pain he has caused many other families and students.

    As a student, I’ve seen that other students realize the tragedy here more than the adults seem to be. At my high school I’ve seen more love and prayers in the past few days than ever before, and the majority of the comments made here by adults are about gun laws and bad parenting.

    We are all a part of the same country, so let’s act like it. Let’s mourn for the tragedies when they happen and rejoice when we can.

  • Jana

    My thoughts and prayers go out to not only the Davis family but to the Pierson family as well! Our own community failed Karl, he is a child, a child of God and everyone is special! Growing up in a World today with so many judgemental people has got to be hard and add BULLYING to it….please be kind to one another. It is not a lack of parenting it is a society of people that feel it is ok to judge! May Karl’s soul rest in peace!!! Words hurt so people and sheeple….calm your tongues!

  • Trent

    Holy s**t John Cook you obviously don’t have kids in the public school system. I am a Chaparral graduate class of 2013 (same high school as the student above). Prayer is not outlawed in schools, students can still pray and do whatever religious things they want to just as long as no student is forced to participate by a teacher or administer. Get your facts right before you go and make snotty ignorant comments. Who even cares about that right now?! Religious or not, prayer or condolence, the entire nation should be more worried about the safety of our kids in school rather than just arguing. All the adults commenting here are just arguing, well guess what that does??? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, go do something that will actually help like working across the aisle to fix the problems that were created by a two party government with a growing aisle.

    Forgive me for ranting, I’m just sick and tired of all these adults acting like children who just pout and cry and won’t cooperate because they don’t get exactly what they want. Focus on the important things like working together!

  • 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?

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