Arapahoe High shooting victim Claire Davis dies

Update: Claire Davis, the teen injured in the Arapahoe High shooting, has died. According to a post on Littleton Adventist Hospital's Facebook page, Davis passed away from her wounds at 4:29 p.m. on Saturday, November 21.

"Despite the best efforts of our physicians and nursing staff, and Claire's fighting spirit, her injuries were too severe and the most advanced medical treatments could not prevent this tragic loss of life," the hospital wrote. "Claire's death is immensely heartbreaking for our entire community, our staff and our families."

A statement from the Davis family is below:

It is with unspeakable sadness that we write and say that Claire has passed away from the gunshot wound she received at Arapahoe High School on December 13, 2013. Although we have lost our precious daughter, we will always be grateful for the indelible journey she took us on over the last 17 years--we were truly blessed to be Claire's parents. The grace, laughter and light she brought to this world will not be extinguished by her death; to the contrary, it will only get stronger.

Last week was truly a paradox in that we lost our daughter, yet we witnessed the wonderful love that exists in the world through the tremendous outpouring of support we received. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank the first responders, the school resource officer, security guard and vice principal at Arapahoe High School, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's office, and the physicians, nurses and staff at Littleton Adventist Hospital. Each played a significant role in giving Claire a chance to live, and demonstrated extreme amounts of professionalism, courage and love. Please know that we will never forget the extraordinary work you did on Claire's behalf.

We ask that you give us time to grieve the death of our daughter by respecting our wishes for privacy.

Original post: We've been keeping you up to date on the condition of Claire Davis, the seventeen-year-old student shot by Karl Pierson at Arapahoe High School on Friday.

Littleton Adventist Hospital's latest update describes her as in "very critical condition" -- the first time "very" has been used in this context.

Meanwhile, Davis's favorite band, One Direction, has sent its get-well wishes via video. See the clip and get more details below.

At about 12:33 p.m. last Friday, as we've reported, Pierson is said to have gained access to Arapahoe High through the school's north entrance.

He wore a backpack and was armed with a .12 gauge pump action shotgun, three Molotov cocktails, a machete in a canvas scabbard and more than 125 rounds of shotgun ammunition -- steel-shot, buckshot and slug -- worn in two bandoliers slung across his chest.

Pierson is thought to have immediately started firing the shotgun as he stepped inside the building, with the second blast striking Davis in the head. He subsequently took his own life.

For several days, Davis has been listed as being comatose in critical but stable condition. But at 5:30 p.m. yesterday, Littleton Adventist posted this update from her family: "Claire remains in a coma, in very critical condition. We are appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from those near and far and ask for your continued prayers for Claire."

The "far" part of this statement is exemplified by One Direction's outreach. Claire's friends started the Twitter account Pray for Claire D. as a way to lobby the group to make a gesture on Davis's behalf, and it worked, as the video below demonstrates:

Yesterday, we published information about a fundraiser for Claire put together by Arapahoe High alums; it's scheduled for tonight. In addition, current students will reportedly hold a candlelight vigil tonight at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, to which students fleeing the shooting on Friday were evacuated.

Our best wishes to Claire's friends, family and loved ones.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive: "Claire Davis knew Arapahoe High shooter Karl Pierson, but sheriff doesn't see her as target."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts