Colorado high school gunman intended to harm multiple victims

By Samantha Ravenscroft,

Authorities reported that the gunman who opened fire inside a Colorado high school had intended to take out more victims. Karl Pierson entered the building with a shotgun, a machete and three Molotov cocktails in his backpack, giving authorities the idea that he planned to hurt multiple people and not just his original intended target.

17-year-old Claire Davis remains in critical condition after she was shot at point-blank range by 18-year-old Pierson at Arapahoe High School Friday afternoon. According to authorities, Davis was not an intended target but a victim of circumstance having been in Pierson’s vicinity when he opened fire. “She is an innocent young lady and she was an innocent victim of an evil act of violence,” Sheriff Grayson Robinson said, according to FOX News.

“It is our strong belief that he came to the school with that weapon and with multiple rounds … to cause harm to a large number of individuals,” Robinson said. ”His intent was evil.”

According to KDVR, Robinson said Pierson was likely motivated by retaliation against a faculty member suspected to be librarian and debate coach Tracy Murphy, who had kicked Pierson off the school’s Speech and Debate team.

Pierson reportedly asked for the teacher by name before heading to the library. In a tactical move, Murphy left the school hoping to have the gunman follow him away from the building. Instead Pierson set off one of the Molotov cocktails, setting at least three bookshelves on fire. Then an armed school resource officer entered the room, causing Pierson to believe he was cornered and then turned the gun on himself.

Pierson’s pump-action shotgun was purchased legally on Dec. 6 at a local store. Six shots were fired from his weapon.


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