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Colorado School Shooting Victim in a Coma

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - Colorado's governor asked the nation Sunday for prayers for the 17-year-old girl who was critically wounded by a classmate at her suburban Denver high school.

Gov. John Hickenlooper also credited security procedures adopted after the 1999 massacre at nearby Columbine High School for helping put a quick end to the Arapahoe High School shooting by Karl Pierson, an 18-year-old student who shot Claire Davis at point-blank range before killing himself.

"We all have to keep Claire in our thoughts and prayers," he told CBS' "Face the Nation." Davis is hospitalized at Littleton Adventist Hospital.

Davis is in critical condition and stable, but she is in a coma, her family said in a statement issued on the hospital's Facebook page Sunday.

"The first responders got Claire to the right place, at the right time," the family said. They also praised the care she was receiving and expressed thanks for the outpouring of prayers and support.

About 500 classmates held a candlelight vigil Saturday for Davis, who was sitting with a friend near the school library when she was shot in the head. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson has said investigators think she was shot at random by Pierson, who had gone into the school looking for a teacher with whom he had a dispute.

Pierson may have been nursing a grudge against the teacher - a librarian and head of the school debate team - since September. Pierson was on the team and had been disciplined by the librarian for reasons yet to be disclosed, the sheriff said. He said Pierson threatened that teacher in September and came to the school Friday intending to harm him and inflict numerous other casualties.

Pierson excelled at speech and debate and was passionate about the team, friends said. They described him as a smart student who apparently didn't shirk from confrontations in class.

"He's a funny kid. He's smart. He's in the Eagle Scouts, a very intelligent kid. Did not like being wrong," said August Clary, who was a friend of Pierson. "If you're arguing with him, it's going to be, that's a feat if you win an argument against him."

"He would not be afraid to tell someone how he feels," said Zach Runberg, 18, a senior in Pierson's English class.

Pierson legally bought a shotgun on Dec. 6 at a local store, and he purchased ammunition the morning of the shootings. He managed to ignite a Molotov cocktail inside the school library before he killed himself as a fast-acting school security officer, a deputy sheriff, closed in, Robinson said.

That officer's aggressive response prevented more casualties, Robinson said. It's a tactic adopted nationwide after Columbine, in which first responders cordoned off the school before pursuing two student gunmen inside. The two killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves.

"It's nice to see how well the system worked. It's a remarkable improvement from before. This could have been much, much worse," Hickenlooper said.

After the Aurora, Colo., theater shootings and the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, Colorado's Democrat-led legislature this year implemented gun control measures that limited the size of ammunition magazines and instituted universal background checks. Colorado also appropriated more than $20 million for mental health hotlines and local crisis centers.

The measures were intended to address violence associated with so-called assault rifles, not shotguns that are widely owned for hunting and sport.

Hickenlooper acknowledged the latest shooting raised again questions about guns and violence. But he noted that Pierson "didn't seem to exhibit any signs of mental illness," and he cautioned that the investigation was in its early stages.

"Everyone in Colorado is asking the same questions," the governor said. "On the one hand there is a deeply held conviction for the freedoms laid out in the Second Amendment, but also a very, very strong conviction about the safety of children and the safety of the community."

Friday's shooting, he said, "defies any explanation, and you know we are searching for some pattern."

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Ivorath December 18 2013 at 7:09 AM

Yeah... Let's pray... I'm sure that'll help. If your god saw fit for this girl to be shot in the head, why would he have her recover because you asked nicely?

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missy.freeman1 December 18 2013 at 6:02 AM

Gov. Hick is a *****, and conservatives are insane. This kid was an Eagle Scout and the bs that some nut posted on here about him being a liberal a lie, just like a conservative to lie, because you cannot win with facts. Here is the direct quote from the kid: Stutz, an offensive tackle on the football team, had known Pierson since the two shared a human behavior class when Stutz was a freshman and Pierson a sophomore. They worked on a class experiment together in which they went into the community and tried breaking unwritten rules, Stutz said.
"I did think he was a little weird, but I didn't think he was, like, bad weird," Stutz added. "He always kind of talked about how America was a communist country, how the government was, like, trying to take us over and stuff. I don't know, just some weird stuff that I didn't really pay close attention to, but nothing that alarmed me.
Does that sound like he was on the political left? He thinks that America is a communist country that is trying to take us over, sounds like Teatard crap to me.

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Ivorath December 18 2013 at 7:11 AM

**** you for trying to make this political. You partisans are ruining the world, left and right.

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javamusicjs December 17 2013 at 7:16 PM

My deepest prayeres are with you and your loved ones. Please hang on and come back and dazzle the world with your life.

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sebourne December 17 2013 at 6:48 PM

the value of life. They almost seem to believe life is a TV show and they can beat up, stab or kill without conscequence, that those they shoot today will appear on some other show tomorrow.
God help you and America. Please pray for all those whose life will never be the same.

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sebourne December 17 2013 at 6:45 PM

Why are we so fast to judge? I'm a conservative and I have no idea what any of us did except want our kids to have a better life. Somehow we thought they would carry on our values, our traditions and what we believed was right but somehow we didn't do that and each generation has less respect for themselves, their friends, their families, their countries or the rules we believe maintain civilizaton. Each one now seems to believe only in themselves, what they want! we have raised a generation of entitlement, entitlement fo do whatever they want. They do not understand

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paaspa December 17 2013 at 3:27 PM

Every child, even one who is of legal age (18), is a composite of the "emotional and spiritual health" of the home from which he comes. At some point, this young man's parents have to ask themselves objectively what they have done to contribute to his way of looking at life. The article above states that he was confrontational, always HAD to be right, argumentative. While I will allow that a certain amount of potential personality is possibly controlled by his inherited DNA, the extent to which that personality becomes entrenched in a child is tempered (or enhanced) by the home environment. I truly hurt for the parents; however, I hold them accountable for this outcome.

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Tina December 17 2013 at 4:24 PM

Not always. Although I do not know the family and cannot speak only of this situation, I feel society plays a bigger part in the outcome of our children. What are they seeing, hearing, reading, being told is o.k. ? Parents cannot have control over these things 24/7. We as a society must own up to what we have become.

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simplysells December 17 2013 at 1:11 PM

To many children today are raised to think they are always right, always perfect, and they are little gods. It is time for parents to teach their children that they are not perfect, and the world does not rotate around them. What I see in this boy, was an anger management problem which should have been addressed at an earlier age. Yes, he had a gun, but it was purchased legally. Instead of some of the bills passed on guns, there should be more background into the mental stability of those purchasing them.

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sebourne December 17 2013 at 7:04 PM

Thank you! If more parents could accept that there children are not always perfect, right or have to win then the children would actually be easier. We cannot all be the best at everything, we each have our own talents and short comings, we cannot all be the quarterback, the soloist in the choir or the class valedictorian but if we are taught that it is okay to believe in ourselves, always remember to respect others and their rights the future will be so much brighter than it appears today. We cannot just talk we must help reccover common sense.

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tbplayer44 December 17 2013 at 10:55 AM

Here lies the information the mainstream media will not offer. This assailant, again like a few others recently, was a hard-core Liberal, with well known Socialistic views, and who cried out against Conservatives for more gun control. When a sad attack such as this occurs, Liberal America immediately attacks Conservative America over the 2nd Amendment, yet the assailants are all Liberals causing the pain and suffering to innocents. Is Liberalism an indicator of Mental Illness...???

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epterr December 17 2013 at 5:32 PM

Yes, liberalism is an indicator of mental illness.

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endmillll December 17 2013 at 8:49 AM

I'm still upset on all this gun contol crap,, they cant infoce the laws we already have and two i am a retired police officer and i carry a fire arm on me most of the time and i remember once if it wasnt for this one person who had a gun that helped me once in a bad situation i might be dead, and it kinda brought to mind in my situation only if someone one there had a gun that could have helped save a life..

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TED December 17 2013 at 8:09 AM

Denver Post inexplicably removes word ‘socialist’ from story about CO shooter
Monday, Dec 16, 2013 at 2:49 PM EST

In the wake of the shooting at Arapahoe High School in suburban Denver on Friday, information about the shooter has emerged. According to classmates, 18-year-old Karl Halverson Pierson held socialist views.

On Saturday,

Senior Chris Davis, 18, told CNN that Pierson was “a self-proclaimed communist, just wears Soviet shirts all the time.” The Wall Street Journal noted that Davis said Pierson once wore a shirt emblazoned with the letters U.S.S.R. and described himself as a communist.

An ABC News report noted that students said Pierson held communist views and liked to discuss current events and issues and pose his own solutions. None told ABC News that Pierson was bullied for his beliefs.

But now it looks like the Denver Post may be looking to conceal those viewpoints. In a profile of Pierson that appeared on the paper’s website, a classmate calls the shooter “a very opinionated Socialist.” But the story was apparently updated, and the classmate’s description of Pierson was changes to: “very opinionated.”

So what happened to the adjective? It remains to be seen.

“I just want to share this before we move on. This hardcore leftist socialist that the Denver Post is trying to cover and kick the dirt over the fact that he’s a socialist, the student that shot another student, then himself at a suburban Denver high school. [On] Facebook, he ridiculed Republicans,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “He wrote, ‘You Republicans are so cute. The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ‘em Die, Climate Change: Let ‘em Die, Gun Violence: Let ‘em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ‘em Die, More War: Let ‘em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on? Is this really the side you want to be on.’”

“Really? Really,” Glenn asked. “And yet he’s the guy who goes out and kills them.”

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