Colorado School Shooting Leaves Arapahoe High School Student Wounded, Gunman Kills Self

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Colorado School Shooting Leaves Arapahoe High School Student Wounded, Gunman Kills Self
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Colorado School Shooting Leaves Arapahoe High School Student Wounded, Gunman Kills Self
A makeshift tribute site bears the name of severely wounded student Claire Davis, who was shot by a classmate during school three days earlier in an attack, in front of Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. Davis, age 17, was shot in the head at close range with a shotgun, and remains in a coma. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 19: Senior Grace Marlowe pets a dog outside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 19, 2013. Seniors and Juniors returned to the school for two hour periods Thursday, Sophomores and Freshmen will return on Friday. Grace said, I thought the school would look like it changed, but I realized that just the people inside it had changed, Marlowe said. I wasn't sure if the place that was my home for four years would be different. But its even more of a home now, especially after today. The victim from Fridays shooting at Arapahoe High School, Claire Davis, 17, remains in critical condition. She was shot on Friday when classmate Karl Pierson opened fire in the school. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
Arapahoe High School senior Lily Boettcher, right, and 2013 Arapahoe grad Joy Dafoe hug at a tribute site for severely wounded student Claire Davis, who was shot by a classmate during a school attack six days earlier at Arapahoe High School, in Centennial, Colo., Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. On Thursday, students were allowed back into school to retrieve their belongings. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 14: Hundreds of Arapahoe High School students gathered for a candlelight vigil Saturday night to share their prayers for Claire Davis who was shot inside the school Friday, December 13, 2013. The vigil was held at Arapaho Park in Centennial, not far from the school. Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Arapahoe High School senior Lily Boettcher, right, and 2013 Arapahoe grad Joy Dafoe hug at a tribute site for severely wounded student Claire Davis, who was shot by a classmate during a school attack six days earlier at Arapahoe High School, in Centennial, Colo., Thursday Dec. 19, 2013. On Thursday, students were allowed back into school to retrieve their belongings. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
A woman screams as she arrives at a church where students from nearby Arapahoe High School were evacuated to after a shooting on the Centennial, Colo., campus Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the shooter shot two others at the school, before apparently killing himself.(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 13: Students and parents wait to be reunited at a Burger King near Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 13, 2013. A student who carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and asked where to find a specific teacher opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
A student stares out a bus window as it arrives at a church to be reunited with family after students from nearby Arapahoe High School were evacuated their after a shooting at the school in Centennial, Colo., Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the shooter shot two others at the school, before apparently killing himself.
Freshman Allie Zadrow, center right, hugs classmate Liz Reinhardt at a church after a shooting at nearby Arapahoe High School. Students from the school were evacuated to the church.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson holds a picture of Claire Davis the 17-year-old student that was shot during a briefing Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. Davis was shot by 18-year-old shooting suspect Karl Halverson Pierson at the school on Friday before he took his own life. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Arapahoe High School students leave their school on a day in which students were allowed back in to school to retrieve their belongings, six days after a shooting attack at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Thursday Dec. 19, 2013. During the attack, the shooter shot a classmate in the head at close range with a shotgun, before killing himself. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Students gather just outside of Arapahoe High School as police respond to reports of a shooting at Arapahoe High School.
Arapahoe High School students hug at a tribute site for severely wounded student Claire Davis, who was shot by a classmate during a school attack six days earlier at Arapahoe High School, in Centennial, Colo., Thursday Dec. 19, 2013. On Thursday, students were allowed back into school to retrieve their belongings. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Arapahoe students leave flowers and other items at a makeshift tribute site three days after a shooting attack at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. They are from left, Hannah Eddy, at bottom, Gavyn Bills, and Vania Arevalo. During the attack, the shooter shot a classmate in the head at close range with a shotgun, before killing himself. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Arapahoe High School student body vice president Grace Marlowe looks at a tribute site for severely wounded student Claire Davis, who was shot by a classmate during a school attack six days earlier at Arapahoe High School, in Centennial, Colo., Thursday Dec. 19, 2013. On Thursday, students were allowed back into school to retrieve their belongings. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Police respond to reports of a shooting at Arapahoe High School.
Sheriffs stand guard over students after they were evacuated to the track and football field at Arapahoe High School. The shooter entered Arapahoe High School in a Denver suburb armed with a shotgun and looking for a teacher he identified by name, said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
Parents pick up their daughter at a church where students from nearby Arapahoe High School were evacuated to after the shooting.
Police walk up to search the Highlands Ranch, Colo., home of the 18-year-old shooting suspect Karl Halverson Pierson who shot a student, then turned the gun on himself.
The front door at the Highlands Ranch, Colo., home of the 18-year-old shooting suspect Karl Halverson Pierson is covered with plywood on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, after the police searched the home. Pierson critically wounded one student, before apparently killing himself Friday at Arapahoe High School as police moved in. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Police gather at the Highlands Ranch, Colo., home of the 18-year-old shooting suspect who shot two students at Arapahoe High School on Friday.
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 14: Arapahoe County Sheriff's deputy Evan Driscoll removes tape at an entrance at to Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 14, 2013. Student Karl Pierson carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and asked where to find a specific teacher then opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
An Arapahoe High School graduate writes a note at a makeshift tribute site three days after a shooting attack at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. During the attack, the shooter shot a classmate in the head at close range with a shotgun, before killing himself. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Roses and a sign of support are woven into a cyclone fence around a tennis court at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. The school was the scene of a shooting on Friday that left a student gunman dead and two other students injured. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Surrounded by reporters, Chris Davis, a senior who plays basketball at Arapahoe High School, talks about raising donations for one of the students injured during a shooting at the school in Centennial, Colo., on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A trooper from the Colorado State Patrol pulls down the safety tape at an entrance to the student parking lot at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Investigators were working to find out what motivated a teenage gunman to enter his suburban Denver high school armed with a shotgun looking for a specific teacher a day earlier. The 18-year-old shooter critically wounded a 15-year-old student and was later found dead in the school, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Parents pick up their daughter at a church where students from nearby Arapahoe High School were evacuated to after a shooting on the Centennial, Colo., campus Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the shooter shot two others at the school, before apparently killing himself.(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
In this still image taken from video provided by Fox 31 Denver, students gather just outside of Arapahoe High School as police respond to reports of a shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Colorado division of emergency management spokeswoman Micki Trost said her director went to the school and their weren't any more immediate details. (AP Photo/KDVR) MANDATORY CREDIT
In this still image taken from video provided by Fox 31 Denver, police respond to reports of a shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Colorado division of emergency management spokeswoman Micki Trost said her director went to the school and their weren't any more immediate details. (AP Photo/KDVR) MANDATORY CREDIT
A sheriff deputy talks on his radio at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, where a student shot at least one other student at a Colorado high school Friday before he apparently killed himself, authorities said. The shooter entered Arapahoe High School in a Denver suburb armed with a shotgun and looking for a teacher he identified by name, said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Courtney Leypoldt, left, is hugged by a family member as she is picked up at a church after a shooting at nearby Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Students from the school were evacuated to the church. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the shooter shot two others at the school, before apparently killing himself.(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Freshman Allie Zadrow, right, is hugged by a friend Liz Reinhardt at a church after a shooting at nearby Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Students from the school were evacuated to the church. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the shooter shot two others at the school, before apparently killing himself.(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Freshman Allie Zadrow, right, is hugged by a friend Liz Reinhardt at a church after a shooting at nearby Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Students from the school were evacuated to the church. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the shooter shot two others at the school, before apparently killing himself.(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
A deputy of the Arapahoe County, Colo., Sheriff's Department walks next to crime scene tape in front of a doorway to Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. The school was the scene of a shooting on Friday that left the student gunman dead and two other students injured. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
In this still image taken from video provided by Fox 31 Denver, students gather just outside of Arapahoe High School as police respond to reports of a shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Colorado division of emergency management spokeswoman Micki Trost said her director went to the school and their weren't any more immediate details. (AP Photo/KDVR) MANDATORY CREDIT
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 19: Senior Jake Mazer says a prayer outside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 19, 2013. Seniors and Juniors returned to the school for two hour periods Thursday, Sophomores and Freshmen will return on Friday. The victim from Fridays shooting at Arapahoe High School, Claire Davis, 17, remains in critical condition. She was shot on Friday when classmate Karl Pierson opened fire in the school. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 19: A woman has a message written on her car outside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 19, 2013. Seniors and Juniors will return to the school for two hour periods Thursday, Sophomores and Freshmen will return on Friday. The victim from Fridays shooting at Arapahoe High School, Claire Davis, 17, remains in critical condition. She was shot on Friday when classmate Karl Pierson opened fire in the school. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 19: A group of students pray outside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 19, 2013. Seniors and Juniors returned to the school for two hour periods Thursday, Sophomores and Freshmen will return on Friday. The victim from Fridays shooting at Arapahoe High School, Claire Davis, 17, remains in critical condition. She was shot on Friday when classmate Karl Pierson opened fire in the school. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 13: Authorities rush to Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 13, 2013. A student who carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and asked where to find a specific teacher opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 19: A group of students embrace at the tribute area outside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 19, 2013. Seniors and Juniors returned to the school for two hour periods Thursday, Sophomores and Freshmen will return on Friday. The victim from Fridays shooting at Arapahoe High School, Claire Davis, 17, remains in critical condition. She was shot on Friday when classmate Karl Pierson opened fire in the school. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 19: Senior Lily Boettcher, right, is comforted by graduate Joy Dafoe outside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 19, 2013. Seniors and Juniors returned to the school for two hour periods Thursday, Sophomores and Freshmen will return on Friday. Lily said, 'it was good to be back in the school with everybody. I love my school so much. I couldn't ask for a better community. The victim from Fridays shooting at Arapahoe High School, Claire Davis, 17, remains in critical condition. She was shot on Friday when classmate Karl Pierson opened fire in the school. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 19: Candles burn in the tribute area outside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 19, 2013. Seniors and Juniors returned to the school for two hour periods Thursday, Sophomores and Freshmen will return on Friday. The victim from Fridays shooting at Arapahoe High School, Claire Davis, 17, remains in critical condition. She was shot on Friday when classmate Karl Pierson opened fire in the school. The gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO - DECEMBER 15, 2013: Students, friends and family arrive at Arapahoe High School for a prayer circle on the track of the school to pray for shooting victim Claire Davis in Centennial, CO on December 15, 2013. Students prayed for the recovery of Davis who was shot during the recent shooting at the high school and remains in critical condition and in a coma. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO - DECEMBER 15, 2013: Students, friends and family arrive at Arapahoe High School for a prayer circle on the track of the school to pray for shooting victim Claire Davis in Centennial, CO on December 15, 2013. Students prayed for the recovery of Davis who was shot during the recent shooting at the high school and remains in critical condition and in a coma. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 14: Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson displayed a photo of shooting victim Claire Davis who was shot at Arapahoe High School Friday, December 13, 2013. She is in critical condition. Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 14: Hundreds of Arapahoe High School students gathered for a candlelight vigil Saturday night to share their prayers for Claire Davis who was shot inside the school Friday, December 13, 2013. The vigil was held at Arapaho Park in Centennial, not far from the school. Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 14: People were allowed to pick up cars from the parking lot at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 14, 2013. A student who carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and asked where to find a specific teacher opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 13: A mother comforts her daughter while waiting to be reunited with another outside Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 13, 2013. A student who carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and asked where to find a specific teacher opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 14: Arapahoe High School sophomore Avery Griggs, 16, talks about the shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 14, 2013. Griggs was on the debate team with the gunman as Karl Pierson and and friends with shooting victim Claire Davis. Pierson carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and asked where to find a specific teacher then opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - DECEMBER 14: A sign asking for donations hangs at an entrance to Arapahoe High School in Centennial, CO December 14, 2013. Student Karl Pierson carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and asked where to find a specific teacher then opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post)
CENTENNIAL, CO. - December 13: (center) Jenni Meyers 17 year old senior is comforted by her older sister Mary Myers (left) and mom Julie as they leave Shepherd of the Hills church during a lockdown when a student carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and opened fire on Friday, wounding two fellow students before apparently killing himself December 13, 2013 Centennial, CO. (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LITTLETON, CO. DECEMBER 13: Arapahoe High School. A student carried a shotgun into Arapahoe High School and shot two fellow students in Centennial, Colorado December 13, 2013. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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By DAN ELLIOTT and IVAN MORENO AP

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - A teenager who may have had a grudge against a teacher opened fire Friday with a shotgun at a suburban Denver high school, wounding a fellow student before killing himself.

Quick-thinking students at Arapahoe High School alerted the targeted teacher, who quickly left the building. The scene unfolded on the eve of the Newtown massacre anniversary, a somber reminder of the ever-present potential for violence in the nation's schools.

The wounded student, a 15-year-old girl, underwent surgery and was in critical condition. Authorities originally said a second student was wounded, but Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Friday night that the other girl taken to a hospital was covered in blood from the first student and wasn't injured.

Robinson identified the shooter as Karl Halverson Pierson, 18. The sheriff did not elaborate on any possible motive except to say Pierson had a "confrontation or disagreement" with the teacher. He didn't know if the injured girl was intentionally shot.

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

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," the sheriff said. "That was a very wise tactical decision."

Jessica Girard said she was in math class when 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. Robinson said one was lit and thrown, but no one was injured.

The school was swiftly locked down. Within 20 minutes of the first report of a gunman, officers found Pierson's body inside the school, Robinson said.

Several other Denver-area school districts went into lockdown as reports of the shooting spread. Police as far away as Fort Collins, about a two-hour drive north, stepped up school security.

Arapahoe High students were seen walking toward the school's running track with their hands in the air, and television footage showed students being patted down. Robinson said deputies wanted to make sure there were no other conspirators. Authorities later concluded that Pierson had acted alone.

Nearby neighborhoods were jammed with cars as parents sought out their children. Some parents stood in long lines at a church. One young girl who was barefoot embraced her parents, and the family began to cry.

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.

Arapahoe High stands just 8 miles east of Columbine High School in Littleton, where two teenage shooters killed 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves in 1999. The practice of sending law enforcement directly into an active shooting, as was done Friday, was a tactic that developed in response to the Columbine shooting.

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.

The district attorney prosecuting the theater shooting, George Brauchler, lives near Arapahoe High. At a news conference, he urged anyone who needed help to call a counseling service and gave out a phone number.

Tracy Monroe, who had step-siblings who attended Columbine, was standing outside Arapahoe High on Friday looking at her phone, reading text messages from her 15-year-old daughter inside.

Monroe said she got the first text from her daughter, sophomore Jade Stanton, at 12:41 p.m. The text read, "There's sirens. It's real. I love you."

A few minutes later, Jade texted "shots were fired in our school." Monroe rushed to the school and was relieved when Jade texted that a police officer entered her classroom and she was safe.

Monroe's brother knew a teacher killed in the Columbine shooting, Dave Sanders.

"We didn't think it could happen in Colorado then, either," Monroe said.

After hearing three shots, freshman Colton Powers said everyone "ran to the corner of the room and turned off the lights and locked the door and just waited, hoped for the best. A lot of people I couldn't see, but they were crying. I was scared. I didn't know what to do."

His mother, Shelly Powers, said she first got word of the shooting in the middle of a conference call at work.

"I dropped all my devices, got my keys and got in my car," she said. "I was crying all the way here."

More than 2,100 students attend Arapahoe High, where nine out of 10 graduates go on to college, according to the Littleton Public Schools website.

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Associated Press writer P. Solomon Banda contributed to this report.

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