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Arapahoe High School shooting in Colorado

A soldier greets a female student who attends Arapahoe High School whom he has some relationship with a couple of hours after the shooting. Evacuated students waited at Shepard of the Hills Lutheran Church for parents or relations to come pick them up.
A soldier greets a female student who attends Arapahoe High School a couple of hours after the shooting. Evacuated students waited at Shepard of the Hills Lutheran Church for parents or relations to come pick them up.

SUMMARY

-A male gunman entered Arapahoe High School armed with a shotgun at approximately 12:30 p.m. looking for librarian Tracy Murphy. Murphy left the building after word spread that the gunman was after him. Officials have not released the identity ofthe gunman. He apparently committed suicide at 12:44 p.m.

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-A CNN mobile update including student sources named Karl H. Pierson as the gunman who was also a student at the high school.

-Two students were injured. One was transported to Littleton Adventist Hospital in critical condition and is currently in surgery. The other is receiving treatment at Swedish Medical Center and is in good condition.

-A Molotov Cocktail explosive was found inside the building, according to officials. All 2,000 students at the high school were evacuated to two locations. The first is Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, located at 7691 S University Blvd, Centennial, Colo. 80122 (303-798-0711) and Euclid Middle School, located at 777 West Euclid Ave, Littleton, Colo. 80120 (303-347-7800).

-A senior at Arapahoe High School described the gunman as outgoing and always involved in classroom discussions.

-Two emails have been sent to CSU students by university officials. A letter from President Tony Frank read “Please know that our campus community is here for you, and there are counseling services available through the CSU Health Network to provide support, comfort and counsel –during business hours, stop by the Health Network or call (970) 491-6053; after hours call (970) 491-7111 for 24/7 assistance. Our housing staff is also here and prepared to connect with any students in the residence halls who want to talk through the incident, and Student Case Management (http://studentcasemanagement.colostate.edu/) is available to assist students with class absences or concerns related to finals.”

Update 5:48 p.m.

With her mother’s arms around her and brother at her side, Chloe Dechiro walked down University Boulevard after leaving Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Parents met their children at the church after the students were evacuated from Arapahoe High School after the shooting Friday.

A CNN mobile update including student sources named Karl H. Pierson as the gunman who was also a student at the high school.

“I’m still really shaken up from it,” Dechiro said, with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.

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“It’s been a long day,” her brother Riley Dechiro added.

Students who were in the school shared with their parents what happened as they walked away from the school.

“I was going to get a snack from the vending machine right there. I was walking back and got pulled into a classroom,” Arapahoe student Devan Foster said. “Someone came in through the west entrance of our school and was after a teacher and went to the library to get that teacher but that teacher was notified…two people were shot.”

Some students were sobbing and couldn’t catch their breath.

“I just want to go home,” Talia McCall said through her tears.

“When they came over the loudspeaker telling everyone it was a lockdown we thought they were kidding but then we started hearing the police roll up,” student Abbie Naumann said. “We heard gun shots but I don’t know if they were from inside the school or from the police.”

Update 5:24 p.m.

CSU students are reacting to the Arapahoe school shooting earlier Friday.

Sarah Rossi, a sophomore studying English education, found out about it after she saw a girl crying.

“I went up to her saying, ‘Are you okay?’ and then I heard about it and almost started crying. It’s so shocking,” Rossi said. “Colorado’s gone through a lot. Now that I’m thinking about being a teacher, it’s going to become part of that reality.”

Garrett Autry, a sophomore biochemical major, was reminded of previous shootings,but said he thought the environment at CSU is safe.

“At CSU I definitely feel safe,” Autry said. “But, it has been happening more lately (in Colorado). There was a big gap between Columbine and then the movie theatre shooting. And now it’s happening more often, which is worrisome. I definitely feel safe at CSU. Fort Collins is a nice town.”

Alex Pinion,a junior English major, found out the news on social media.

“I saw it on Twitter probably minutes after it happened. I was just appalled. Again, another shooting in Colorado? I didn’t find out more about it, just that students got evacuated, then I noticed that I got an email from Tony Frank,” Pinion said.

Will Pelland,a junior health and exercise sciences major, was also surprised.

“I thought, ‘Another one? In Colorado?” Pelland said.

Update 4 p.m.

Media outlets are reporting that librarian Tracy Murphy was the intended target of the gunman.

The website, arapahoe.littletonpublicschools.net has been converted to an emergency response page.

“My first reaction was, how awful is this going to be?” said Andrew Olson, vice president of the Associated Students of CSU, who graduated from Arapahoe High School in 2010. ” …The students who go to Arapahoe have always been very strong people. They’ll be able to move on from this… but it’s gong to be long and it’s going to be tough. I mean, when I went to Arapahoe, nobody thought that anything was going to happen like this.”

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Update 3:55 p.m.

Two emails were sent to CSU students to provide resources for those affected by the shooting, sympathetic to the fact that many will be taking finals in three days.

One was from CSU President Tony Frank to campus:

Colleagues,

Our thoughts are with the students, faculty, staff, and families of
Arapahoe High School as they come together to comfort and heal
following the shootings on their campus this afternoon. Let’s join
with all Coloradans in sending our heartfelt wishes for a full
recovery to the two students who were injured – as well as to all
those members of the Arapahoe community who today have been forced
to experience a level of trauma and heartbreak that no one should
have to know.

Students, I know that many of you are Arapahoe alumni and have
friends and family members at the school. Arapahoe is part of our
CSU family, just as it’s part of yours. Please know that our campus
community is here for you, and there are counseling services
available through the CSU Health Network to provide support, comfort
and counsel –during business hours, stop by the Health Network or
call (970) 491-6053; after hours call (970) 491-7111 for 24/7
assistance. Our housing staff is also here and prepared to connect
with any students in the residence halls who want to talk through
the incident, and Student Case Management
(http://studentcasemanagement.colostate.edu/) is available to assist
students with class absences or concerns related to
finals. If you are concerned about a friend or fellow resident
please visit the Tell Someone website at
http://safety.colostate.edu/tell-someone.aspx or call (970) 491-1350.

I am deeply saddened to be writing this message, even as we look to
tomorrow and the first anniversary of the Newtown tragedy. But I
also know that there is tremendous strength in community and in the
bonds among us – and that even at the darkest of times, the strength
of our humanity and caring for one another can guide us through.

Please take care of yourselves and one another this weekend and as
we head into finals next week.

-tony

Dr. Tony Frank

Another email was from Laura Giles, director of residence life to residence halls

Hall Residents,
As we watch the news unfolding from Arapahoe High School today our hearts go out to that community. We know many of you graduated from Arapahoe High School and this is difficult news for you to hear. We wanted to send a note to remind you that there are many resources available both in the residence halls and across campus to provide support.

With finals coming up next week, we know this is a stressful time of the semester. Should you like to talk to someone, for any reason, please don’t hesitate to touch base with your RA, your hall’s RD, or counselors from the Health Network. During business hours, stop by the Health Network or call (970) 491-6053. After hours call (970) 491-7111 for 24/7 assistance. Student Case Management is also available to assist students with class absences and/or impacts/concerns related to finals. Student Case Management can be reached at (970) 491-8051 or http://studentcasemanagement.colostate.edu/.

If you are concerned about a friend or fellow resident please visit the Tell Someone website at http://safety.colostate.edu/tell-someone.aspx or call (970) 491-1350.

We wish you good luck with finals next week and safe travels, wherever you may be going, for winter break.  As President Frank reminded us a couple months ago, during difficult times like this it is important to support one another, be kind to one another, and let your friends and family members know that you care about them.

Sincerely,
Laura Giles, Director of Residence Life

Update 3:52 p.m.

The gunman responsible for injuring two Arapahoe High School students shot himself 20 minutes after he entered the premises shortly after noon, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said in a press conference.

Robinson said that the gunman was after a one teacher in particular, calling out his name as he went through the school. That teacher left the building once he became aware of the situation.

Update 3:37 p.m.

At least 100 police cars have been spotted at Arapahoe High School, lining the intersection of Dry Creek and University.

“I’m still really shaken up from it,” said Chloe Dechiro, a student who was in the school at the time.

Update 3:29 p.m.

A student opened fire in Arapahoe High School, injuring two students before killing himself, according to Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said. Officials saying they found an explosive inside of the building, described as a Molotov Cocktail.

All 2,000 students at Arapahoe High School have reportedly been evacuated to two locations. The first is Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, located at 7691 S University Blvd, Centennial, Colo. 80122 (303-798-0711) and Euclid Middle School, located at 777 West Euclid Ave, Littleton, Colo. 80120 (303-347-7800).

One of the injured students has been transported to Littleton Adventist Hospital in critical condition and is currently in surgery, according to a spokesperson for the hospital.

The others two students was transported to Swedish Medical Center. Both are in good condition, according to their Twitter account.

Emergency officials were dispatched at 12:30 p.m.

Update 3:10 p.m. 

CSU’s Counseling Services has contacted students affected by the shooting, according to Mike Hooker, the executive director of public relations at CSU. The services will continue to be available for students who need assistance.

Update 3:03 p.m.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has released a statement on the Arapahoe High School shooting:

“This is an unspeakable horror and something no child, no family should have to endure. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Arapahoe High School community and those affected by this senseless act of violence. We thank law enforcement and first responders for their swift work. All of Colorado is with you.”

Update 2:45 p.m.

CSU is working to support students who may be affected by the Arapahoe High School shooting, according to Mike Hooker, the executive director of public relations at CSU.

“The news we’re hearing is terrible and we’re hearing more details as they unfold,” Hooker said.”Our hearts go out to Arapaho High School and students who are a part of the Arapaho community.”

The CSU Health Network has resources available to help students affected by the situation. Students can call (970) 491-6053 or visit the Health Network at 600 South Dr.

Original Story at 1:05 pm: Two Injured by Active Shooter at Arapahoe High School in Colo.
News outlets in Denver are reporting a shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. Two people have been reported injured.

Stay with Collegian Central for more information as details develop.

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