- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Colorado governor visits school shooting victim
Question of the Day
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.
“She’s obviously in a coma, in critical condition,” Mr. Hickenlooper said of Miss Davis, who is hospitalized at Littleton Adventist Hospital. “We all have to keep Claire in our thoughts and prayers. Her parents … I can’t imagine what they’re going through. It’s unspeakable.”
Mr. Hickenlooper made his remarks on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
About 500 classmates held a candlelight vigil Saturday for Miss 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 Mr. Pierson, who had gone into the school looking for a teacher with whom he had a dispute.
Fellow students described Miss Davis as a vibrant senior and equestrian with a lot of friends.
Mr. Pierson may have been nursing a grudge against the teacher — a librarian and head of the school debate team — since September. Mr. Pierson was on the team and had been disciplined by the librarian for reasons yet to be disclosed, the sheriff said. He said Mr. Pierson threatened that teacher in September and came to the school Friday intending to harm him and inflict numerous other casualties.
Mr. 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 Mr. Pierson‘s. “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 Mr. Pierson’s English class.
Mr. 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, Sheriff Robinson said.
That officer’s aggressive response prevented more casualties, Sheriff 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.
Mr. Hickenlooper said that there are “strategies and protocols in place, where we had a deputy sheriff in the building who immediately ran towards the trouble.”
“That’s a remarkable response, and I think everybody from the sheriff out here, Grayson Robinson, his entire team, they deserve a lot of credit for what could have been much, much worse.”
Arapahoe High officials also immediately instituted a lockdown — something well-rehearsed at the school — with teachers and students hiding in closets and locking classroom doors.
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, which are widely owned for hunting and sport.
“He didn’t seem to have a mental illness,” the governor said. “He had a lot of friends; he was outspoken. But again, there’s no rhyme or reason. We can’t — there’s nothing that says, ah, now I understand.”
• Associated Press writer P. Solomon Banda contributed to this report.
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq