What a difference a couple of days make.
About this time on Tuesday, we were rocked by news of a shooting at Deer Creek Middle School that left two students wounded, one critically -- and the situation could have been far worse if staffers led by Dr. David Benke hadn't managed to subdue and disarm alleged gunman Bruco Eastwood before more damage was done.
Today, fortunately, Matt Thieu, the more seriously wounded student, is doing better; his condition has been upgraded from critical to fair. And Reagan Weber, who was struck in the arm by shrapnel, is healing at home, as she demonstrates in a new photo on her Facebook page, seen here.
In addition, the Webers thank all concerned in a letter released through the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Read it below -- and also get the details on an open house at Deer Creek tomorrow that's intended to help students get emotionally ready for a return to school on Monday. The Jefferson County School District requests that no helicopters hover above the campus either Friday or Monday. Hope there's no reason for such flyovers ever again.
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Finally, we've also included a just-released mug shot of Eastwood -- the man who tried but failed to remove the smile from Reagan's face.
Statement from Reagan Weber and family
Shooting victim from Deer Creek Middle School
We would like everyone to know that Reagan is holding up very well both physically and emotionally. She constantly surprises us with her strength and composure under great stress. The rest of our family is also coping well - with the support of some wonderful neighbors, relatives, friends, and folks from around the city and state who have sent gifts and notes of encouragement. At this time we would ask for relief from further media requests so that some of the commotion settles down. Reagan wants to specifically thank her closest friends (you know who you are) and also Mrs. Adkins and Dr. Benke for their special courage. We send our warmest sympathies and sincere hopes for the full recovery of Matt. Hopefully he can go home soon. Finally, we trust everyone understands that the magnitude of this event was contained due to the excellence, training, and cool-headedness of the various professionals that responded so quickly. Our sincerest appreciation and respect goes out to all of the Deer Creek Middle School staff, the bus drivers, the Fire Department, Littleton Police officers, the doctors and nurses at Littleton Hospital (they are the best!!) and the men and women of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. All of you deserve far more recognition than you get for the support you provide to our community. Reagan wants you to know that she thinks you are totally AWESOME.
Peace, Joy, and Love --
The Weber's -- Craig, Deborah, Taylor, Morgan, and Reagan
Jefferson County School District release:
Open house at Deer Creek Middle School
On Friday, Feb. 26, Deer Creek Middle School will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for students, parents and staff to attend an open house. The intent is to transition students back into the school before the first day of class on Monday, March 1. Students will be able to reconnect with teachers and collect belongings that may have been left behind earlier this week.
KCNC Ch. 4 will act as the pool video camera; the Denver Post will provide still photography. There will be pictures only -- no interviews please. The pool will have 30 minutes inside of the school.
We are asking for the courtesy of no helicopters in the area during the Friday open house, or during school hours on Monday, March 1.
Monday will be a regular school day for students and we ask that media stay off of school property, allowing students and staff to return to some sense of normalcy.