The country was horrified once again at another school shooting yesterday, the day before the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. This time, the shooting was at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, not too far away from Columbine High School, scene of the horrific shooting in 1999. The suspect in this shooting is being identified as Karl Pierson, 18, a high-achieving, blue-ribbon winning debate team star senior whose classmates describe him as "geeky" and "sweet." He apparently was looking to target a librarian who may have demoted him from the debate team.
Around 12:30 p.m. yesterday, Pierson reportedly began walking around the school asking for the librarian, Tracy Murphy, by name. Witnesses say he did not bother to conceal his shotgun, which he apparently had access to for hunting, and word began traveling around about what was happening.
Pierson apparently ran after the librarian and shot, but missed. Pierson fired at a 15-year-old girl before turning the gun on himself. The girl, who may have tried to intervene, is in critical condition. Pierson is dead. No one else was injured.
A witness said that the librarian was seen outside of the building, totally shocked, saying, "I docked him from the speech and debate team." He seemed to be in total "awe" that someone would try to kill him over that. Police are praising Murphy for leaving the school, and trying to get the gunman to follow him.
A local station reported that Pierson had been suspended earlier this week for yelling at a teacher, but other reports say there were no known discipline problems.
Two Molotov cocktails were found in the school, but one never detonated, and the other didn't injure anyone.
A fellow high schooler, Frank Woronoff, told CNN:
He was the last person I would expect to shoot up a high school. He was honestly incredibly humble and down to earth. He was a little geeky but in a charming way.
Teachers seem to have one of the most dangerous jobs in America these days. This shooting could have been much, much worse, but any time students are confronted with guns in their own schools, it's unacceptable.
Image via 7News