The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

December 16, 2013

Colo. governor visits victim

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.

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