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Sheriff: Colo. gunman planned to hurt more people

Dec. 14, 2013 5:59 PM EST

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - An 18-year-old who wounded a fellow student before killing himself at a suburban Denver school had entered the building with a shotgun, a machete and three incendiary devices in his backpack and had ammunition strapped to body, authorities said Saturday.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Karl Pierson likely was motived by retaliation against a faculty member - probably a librarian at the school - when he opened fire Friday at Arapahoe High School. Robinson said it appears the librarian was the initial target but that Pierson planned to hurt multiple people.

Robinson said at a news conference that the teen bought the pump-action shotgun legally Dec. 6 at a local store.

Anyone over 18 is allowed to buy a shotgun in Colorado; only those over 21 can legally buy a handgun.

Also Saturday, Robinson identified the wounded student as 17-year-old Claire Esther Davis. Robinson said Davis was seated with a friend near the door Pierson used to enter the school when Pierson shot her at point-blank range.

Davis wasn't a specific, intended target, the sheriff said.

"She is an innocent young lady, and she was an innocent victim of an evil act of violence," Robinson said. Davis remained hospitalized Saturday in critical condition.

Robinson said Pierson bought ammunition Friday and went to the school armed with multiple rounds. The sheriff believes the teen intended to harm many more people but ended up killing himself less than two minutes after entering the school because he knew a sheriff's deputy was closing in.

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ae12wrangell December 15 2013 at 11:16 AM

The United States has come to the impossible. We reached something we NEVER wanted to reach. School shootings at least once a year. Even when there was legislation and a bill had been passed, we got Columbine. Legislation is not going to work. School shootings will just continue. Even before Columbine there were school shooting, but minor (1 or 2 injured or dead) and every single year. Why? Nobody knows. Of all the school shootings all but 1 of the perpetrairors has died of suicide. SUICIDE. So if suicides are the objective, avoid the school and go into your backyard and take yourself out. Yes I know that sounds cruel, but it's a lot better that having a school shooting which could result in several dead - Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech(first shooting). This can be avoided IF the following were done;
Any person who want's to purchase a wepon goes through a full background check -
Homeland Security, which oversees FBI runs a profile
Dep't of Defense runs military
Scotland Yard and InterPol run background checks in Great Britain and Europe (respectivey)
IF, after all the information is sent back to me, and if Scotland Yard says there is a criminal bacground, which would not show on HS, Defense and InterPol, the application would be denied. That is how I would do it. ( I'd get a lot of hate mail, but if what I were to be doing saves a life,, I don't care about the mail.)

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Peace4Lady2 December 15 2013 at 4:00 AM

The stigma that still exists regarding mental health issues, plays a big part in folks in general why they don't seek help early...before it gets to this point. If anyone has cancer, fractured arm, breaks a leg etc etc. They immediately seek help, recognizing they need help for healing to occur. Well, the brain is also part of the body. I know several folks that had very serious mental health issues...BUT THEY SOUGHT HELP! They are on medication (as you would if you were diabetic, high blood pressure, glaucoma etc.) once it reached the intended dose in their bodies, they were able to win their families back...but most of all their DIGNITY and SELF-RESPECT.

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christian_roby December 15 2013 at 3:48 AM

Yes parents should pay more attention to their children. We blame the parents when the schools advisors, teachers, and councilors should also be held responsible. all of thos is bad but has anyone stopped to think about what this a other children have gone through DURING school hours that have yet to be addressed. I'm not saying in anyway a child or anyone for that matter use violence to solve anything... but what has been done to stop these children from becoming loners and withdrawing from everyone being picked on called out their names getting beat up among other things. the schools are just as responsible as the parents. they notice the change in these kids sometimes before the parents and nobody bothers to take that child aside and find out what's going on. and sometimes the parents are the reason their kids don't talk to them because they feel they aren't being listened to... but at the end of the day nobody deserves to die by anothers hands or be harmed. my heart goes out to the family

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Rob December 15 2013 at 3:34 AM

What ever happened to the good ole' days? Someone bullies you or picks on you, you walk up and punch them in the face. Guns in school? Really? Parents give your children more attention!

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3 replies
Wild Bill December 15 2013 at 11:00 AM

here is one more thing. if a person has evil in their soul and heart, all the laws in the world are ineffective against someone who is determined hurt or kill others. killing and maiming innocent people for what someone considers an injustice to them is just plain mentally insane.

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1 reply
suhon12 Wild Bill December 15 2013 at 12:01 PM

In short, if someone wants to hurt you, they are going to find a way to hurt you, whether it be with guns or knives, bombs, what have you. If they want to, they will find a way.

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rudimario December 14 2013 at 8:45 PM

Something has to change in this country.....and putting the nation back to work, would be a good start. Instead of pointing fingers, it is time to really do some soul searching and realize, that money isn't everything and that we are in this mess together. If not, then Rome fell the same way and went out with murders, upon murders.

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mzfoofoo December 14 2013 at 8:46 PM

I really think parent's are ignoring the behavior of their children today. So many teens are becoming a recluse in their homes and spending time in their rooms playing videos and not socializing with people. Surely parents know this is not good. They need to pay attention to a child's behavior and try to break the cycle. Seek help if you have a child who is avoiding you before it's too late.

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mephisto is here December 14 2013 at 8:46 PM

why the drama with heavily armed police for one supposed dead shooter
they want to make people accustomed to a police state!!!

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2 replies
californiasun955 mephisto is here December 14 2013 at 8:49 PM

Or maybe the police want to respond with sufficient force to end the situation. He wasn't dead until police responded.

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darkiss566 mephisto is here December 14 2013 at 8:55 PM

Why the drama?!? because this keeps happening here in Colorado over and over again and those of us that are sane are also scared. It has become a copy-cat way to deal with problems in this state. And every time this happens someone blames video games. My sons played video games and went to college where they never killed anyone...they even listened to Marlyn Manson and it didn't cause them to become violent. Countries with tougher gun laws do NOT have this many problems.

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roisale December 14 2013 at 8:47 PM

Parents need to pay more attention to their children. Find out what is bothering them & etc.

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1 reply
jijjhnsn roisale December 14 2013 at 8:59 PM

Too busy chasing money.

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roxannamun December 15 2013 at 4:06 AM

I wonder what affect playing the violent video games our youth are playing. I don't think some of these kids really connect guns and death in real life. There are so many things to blame all of these violent acts on. I was bullied daily in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at a small grade school in a small town.. I just withdrew into myself and stayed to myself. Then in high school my family moved to the next town over and I attended a large high school. I made many friends and felt I was well liked by many fellow students. I am still shy, have a hard time making friends, but I am happy. I never dreamed of hurting anyone. Sometimes I wanted to die. But I grew up got married had children, have grandchildren and great grandchildren. Life goes on and does get better.

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2 replies
Newquest roxannamun December 15 2013 at 4:17 AM

Almost ALL school shootings are kids of HUNTERS! Games? These kids take the LIVES of innocent animals for Years and years before they turn the gun on PEOPLE! Too much easy access to GUNS . Children should Never be taught that it's ALRIGHT to take a life, even an innocent animal. We're NOT frountier people, we're not starving to death and we don't depend on having to KILL our own food! It's SO Savage! So UNEVOLVED! Backwoods and mindless, these people LOVE to KILL! They LOVE taking a LIFE! How do you deal with that backwards mindset! They go into a total Panic if you try to take their guns away! Any and ALL unstable people have complete access to guns. We are ALL at risk of being shot by one of there Crackpots and/or, their KIDS! Until we have gun CONTROL, we will have MANY more school and other shootings. Hunters LIVE to KILL!

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7 replies
rnsreports roxannamun December 15 2013 at 4:36 AM

I don't think the violent video games cause very many actual acts of violence among young people, although I would agree that they are far too prevalent in today's society. I grew up watching cowboys killing Indians on TV and in movies but I haven't killed any Indians or anyone else.

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