Karl Pierson's online image and more fallout from Arapahoe High shooting

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Update, 8:37 p.m. December 14: The day after the attack at Arapahoe High School (see our previous coverage below), we're learning much more about the dead gunman, Karl Pierson, as well as the struggle for survival of what we now know was the only person he shot, identified as student Claire Davis.

Look below for additional information about this terrible crime, some of which debunks earlier reports, as well as a statement from Claire's family thanking the public for their prayers.

At a press conference today, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson, who'd announced his plans to retire the day before the shooting took place, noted that Pierson was more heavily armed than had initially been revealed. In addition to a shotgun, he had with him a machete, three Molotov cocktail-like incendiaries and a bandolier of additional ammunition.

Given all of this armament, investigators are working under the theory that he planned to harm more than just the librarian, Tracy Murphy, about whom he asked upon entering the Arapahoe High building at midday on Friday.

Additionally, previous reports had stated that Murphy had kicked Pierson off the debate team, which the librarian coached. But at today's news conference, Robinson revealed that while there had been some "controversy" between them, Pierson was not suspended from school, and neither did it appear he had been booted from the squad.

Likewise, earlier suggestions that the injured student, Davis, had confronted Pierson have now been thoroughly discredited. It appears he simply opened fire on her before she had time to get away. Moreover, a second student was not shot by Pierson, as Robinson had stated yesterday. What originally was thought to have been a minor injury was simply Davis's blood on the other student.

Davis was shot in the head, and she remains in critical condition well over a day after being transported to the hospital.

A vigil was held for Davis earlier this evening, organized in part over Twitter with the use of the hashtag #PrayForClaire. Here's a tweet from 9News featuring a photo of the event:

Below, read the Davis family statement about Claire.

Our beautiful daughter, Claire Davis, has severe head trauma as the result of a gun shot. She needs your continued prayers.

We would like to thank our family, friends, the community and our equestrian community, for their outpouring of love and support, as well as the school for their continued support of the students and teachers. We would also like to express our gratitude to the first responders and the trauma team at Littleton Adventist Hospital for saving our daughter's life and quickly getting her into surgery. Claire is still in critical condition and your prayers are appreciated.

At this time, we ask that you respect our wishes for privacy--for us and the hospital. Thank you for your continued support, love and prayers.

The Davis Family

Here's a larger version of the Claire Davis photo shared by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, followed by a 7News video of Robinson's press conference and our previous coverage.

Continue for our previous coverage of the shooting at Arapahoe High School, including photos and videos.
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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