Shooting Victim ID'd, New Details Released

Claire Davis

Claire Esther Davis didn't have time to run when a shooter opened fire in Arapahoe High School Friday.

Davis,17, was sitting with a friend near the north entrance of the school by the library when the gunman entered.

In a statement released by Claire's family, they said:

"Our beautiful daughter Claire has severe head trauma as a result of a gun shot. She needs your continue prayers. We'd like to thank the community for your outpouring of support. We'd like to express our gratitude for the first responders and doctors for saving our daughters life. Claire is still in critical condition."

Governor John Hickenlooper, who visited Claire Sunday, said the teen is in a coma.

"She was an innocent victim of an evil act of violence," Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said.

Hundreds of supporters filled Arapahoe Park on Saturday to hold a prayer vigil for Claire.

Friends describe her as a nice girl who was always willing to help others.

"She was always one of the sweetest girls I've ever met, she had a heart of gold," said Leanna Kent, a friend of Claire's.

They tell us that Claire had a passion for horses and was well known in the local equestrian community.

Robinson said they first reported that the victim was 15, but now know that Claire is 17 years old and a senior.

The second person originally thought to be shot was sitting near Davis when she was shot, and had a lot of Davis' blood on her. The sheriff said that is why they thought she had also been shot and was taken to the hospital.

The sheriff said only one minute and 20 seconds passed from the time 18-year-old Karl Pierson entered the school to the time he took his own life. Most of that time was captured on surveillance video.

The suspect was armed with a pump action shotgun, a bandolier full of ammunition, a machete and a backpack with three Molotov cocktails inside.

One of the Molotov cocktails was ignited; the others were still fully intact when found near the suspect's body.

The sheriff's office said the gun was purchased legally by the suspect December 6, and the ammunition was purchased legally by the suspect the morning of the incident.

Robinson said he believes the suspect intended to hurt multiple people.

"His intent was evil, and his evil intent was to hurt multiple individuals."

The school resource officer was reportedly down the hall with two other faculty members when the incident started. The sheriff said the SRO immediately called in for help, and ran down the hall. The sheriff said the SRO was calling for people to get down and identifying himself.

Robinson said he believes it was that action that stopped the suspect from hurting more people. He said research shows an active shooter will continue to fire until confronted by law enforcement. He said the suspect knew the SRO was in the area, looking for him.

Robinson said the school has practiced lockdown drills many times, and a janitor who was in the library when the shooter entered initiated those procedures.

The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, but the sheriff said it appears the suspect was upset with a faculty member about disciplinary action taken against him in early September with regards to the debate team.

The suspect reportedly was not kicked off the team or suspended from school. The sheriff said he believes the discipline was appropriate and not overly harsh, but would not elaborate further.

Robinson said so far it appears that the suspect acted alone, but detectives are investigating to see if anyone else might have known about the pending attack beforehand.