Carrying a gun, a teenager entered his Colorado high school and opened fire on Friday, shooting three students, one of them seriously, before killing himself.
The gunman was later identified by the local police as Karl Pierson, a “geeky” teenager, 18, who reportedly initially intended to shoot the school debating coach after he was expelled from the team recently.
The teen was openly carrying the gun when he came to Arapahoe High School where he studied at lunchtime and demanded to tell him the location of the teacher he was hunting for.
According to Grayson Robinson, the Arapahoe sheriff, the teached was immediately warned about the threat and he left the school in attempt to distract the gunman.
Other students heard three gun blasts as hundreds fled outside in terror or huddled in locked-down classrooms with their teachers.
The seriously injured student, a 15-year-old girl listed as ‘critical, appeared to be randomly targeted, Mr Robinson said. She underwent surgery on Friday night while two others students sustained minor injuries.
Pierson, who has acted alone, died of a self-inflicted wound, the local police report. His body was found when they arrived at the school minutes later. A pair of incendiary devices, believed to he Molotov cocktails, were recovered from his locker, writes The Telegraph.
“We were all just sitting there staying quiet and praying,” Jessica Girard, 15, who was in class when she heard three loud shots, told the media.
The girl revealed that she heard someone walk by saying: “It hurts. It hurts. Make it stop.”
A fellow student who knew him described Pierson as a “humble and down to earth type” who was “the last person I would expect could ever shoot up a high school”. Another student said he was “sweet” with “a great future ahead of him”.
Arapahoe High School is part of Littleton Public Schools where more than 2,000 students attend classes. The school was immediately evacuated following the incident.
“It’s a very difficult day for Littleton schools and Arapahoe High School,” Scott Murphy, district superintendent, told the press.