DENVER, Colo. (WHNT/KDVR) — A student with a shotgun walked into Arapahoe High School just before noon Friday, apparently targeting a staff member, and shot a fellow student before turning the gun on himself, sheriff’s deputies said.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the gunman, identified as 18-year-old Karl Halverson Pierson, entered the school from the western entrance and immediately asked for a teacher, our sister station KDVR in Denver reports.
When the teacher heard the student was looking for him, he left the school — an act Robinson said was “tactically the most important decision he could have made.”
“He took himself away from the school in an effort to get the shooter away as well,” Robinson.
While the exact motive for the shooting is not yet known, Robinson said it appears the gunman wanted revenge against the teacher “because of a confrontation or a disagreement between the shooter and the teacher.”
For reasons that are still not clear, the gunman then opened fire, hitting one fellow students.
Robinson said the gunshot victim, a 15-year-old girl, was taken to Littleton Adventist hospital in serious condition. After surgery her condition was downgraded to critical condition.
Two teens were take to Swedish Medical Center where they were listed in good condition.Those victims suffered panic attacks and other non-physical problems, and one was released from the hospital about 5 p.m.
There was some confusion, as one victim had another person’s blood on her body, the sheriff said.
The suspected shooter, a senior, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a classroom about 20 minutes later, Robinson said.
Outside Arapahoe High School, police blocked roads leading to the campus.
The school is about 10 miles from Littleton, where Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher in a rampage at Columbine High School in April 1999.