Student Wounds Two in Colorado High School Shooting, Then Turns Gun on Self

Armed student sought out a specific teacher, police say

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Barry Gutierrez for TIME

Students are led away from Arapahoe High School.

Updated: 8:30 p.m. E.T.

Two students were injured Friday when a student opened fire in a Colorado high school and then shot himself, police said.

“The shooter is dead as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said in a press conference. The sheriff identified the shooter as a current student at the school but did not release his name.

Among the victims, one student — a 15-year-old girl — was transported to a local hospital in serious condition with a gunshot wound and has had surgery. The other student was taken to a hospital with minor wounds, not necessarily gunshot wounds, the sheriff said.

Police received a call about the incident at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. near Denver at 12:33 p.m. local time, the Sheriff said, and located the shooter inside the school within 14 minutes. Police evacuated the school. The shooter’s body was found in a classroom. He was a “lone actor,” according to authorities.

The shooter arrived at the school’s parking lot with a shotgun and asked for a specific teacher at Arapahoe High School that he was interested in confronting by name, Sheriff Robinson said. The teacher was made aware of the threat and exited the school. The sheriff would not identify the teacher.

Witnesses reported seeing police in riot gear near the scene. Authorities have yet to search the student’s locker at the school. They have also found what they are calling two “Molotov cocktails” at the scene.

The sheriff said in a Friday afternoon press conference that the authorities have no evidence to show that this shooting is in any way related to the anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that took place in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012. A recent analysis by the Daily Beast found that there has been on average about one school shooting every two weeks since 20 first-graders were killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. School shootings have resulted in 24 injuries and 17 deaths over the past year, not including the most recent tragedy in Centennial.

At least 540 separate bills related to school security were proposed in 50 states this year. Only 106 became laws. On a national level, President Obama called for a gun control plan after Newtown. Congress proposed legislation that would have banned assault and high-capacity magazines and expanded background checks. The bill died in the senate. In the most recent Gallup poll from Oct., 49 percent of Americans said they supported stricter gun control laws.

Arapahoe is near the area where the deadly 1999 Columbine school shooting took place and just 16 miles from the Aurora movie theater where a gunman killed 12 people on July 20, 2012.

This story has been updated with information provided by Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson in a series of news conferences on Friday afternoon and evening.

15 comments
sallyedelstein
sallyedelstein

Guns, grief and children should never be linked. Its time to stop the meaningless madness of school shootings and take meaningful action about gun culture in America. A picture says it all  http://wp.me/p2qifI-1U0

TaylaCarranza
TaylaCarranza

The  illuminati and your government again trying to make the American people hate guns. Guns don't kill , physco people do :)

LoriKopperman
LoriKopperman

It's a parents job to teach their child right from wrong and how to manage their emotions personally and socially. If we hold parents accountable for their children bullying/teasing other children why should we not hold the parents responsible in situations such as these? I am terrified to send my children to school because there is NO way to stop this. Truth is, when parents are involved and parenting their children this doesn't happen. When one raises their child with morals and ethics this evil or sickness doesn't occur, healthy well-adjusted people are created. When a child or teenager finds it acceptable to take a gun into a school to settle a score the bigger question IS - where did that child LEARN that behavior? Why did no one correct it? If your kid makes it to highschool and has anger issues - you have a responsibility not only to your child, but to society as well to DO something! If your kid freaks you out, why subject the rest of us to that risk? If your child has no friends, can't hold a job and is unsocial, or failing classes - turning your back accomplishes nothing. Doing nothing teaches nothing. Your kids are not your friends, they will not always like you - but it's our job to TEACH; not friend our kids. Friends don't teach us beginning life lessons, our parents do from day one. Friends come and go throughout life, your parents are your parents forever - your root in this world.


If you need a DL/permit to drive at age 16, than maybe parents and any teenager possessing a DL in the home of a registered gun may be subject to a polygraph/psych testing. Lets offer a tax credit to gun owners who do educate their kids and teach gun safety; maybe a larger credit for gun owners willing to store firearms until the children are out of high school?  


You can't take away our right to own a gun and you can't change stupid; but you CAN make stupid/questionable people pass a test to get that gun and/or keep it; their children too. Seems ages 12-18 have severe issues handling guns so perhaps we need to focus on a better filtering/owning process for gun owners with teenagers present in the home ... Pretty sure all the CO Shooters had drivers lisc ... just saying it might be a good place to start and enforce something within the demographic that has the problems. Parents have to sign for a minor's permit or DL; lets make that parent acknowledge if there is indeed a firearm present in the home on the same form and go from there. Sacrafice is part of being a parent and if you have to give up ya' guns for a few years to ensure your kids survive adn don't hurt anyone than why not do it? I can assure you not one of those parents whose children were responsible for these mass murders ever thought their babies could or would do such a thing ... so, we all think these things will never happen to us until we're walking in those exact shoes in a public spotlight.

grinolsson
grinolsson

As an American parent of 3 children, I'm appalled that our schools do not have both school uniforms for our student and teachers to readily identify non-students and teachers, as well as an emergency alarm wired directly to the police department located in the halls and front entrance of every American school. If you wish to reply to my opinion, please visit http://bit.ly/1hReJrr for a moment to ponder my words before replying here.

TammyBradley
TammyBradley

14 minutes to find the shooter? That is too long! My heart goes out to the faculty, students and parents.


zeno8721
zeno8721

What a bloodthirsty country. 

SaharMotakef
SaharMotakef

More and more, we're starting to see the importance of funding for mental healthcare.

nlsagara
nlsagara

Note to the author-- Arapahoe High School is in the Littleton Public School District, which is NOT the same as Columbine High School. Columbine is a Jefferson County school.

awyeahh1
awyeahh1

@LoriKopperman you are deluded if you think it all comes to down to parenting and how the kid was raised.

LongIslanders1
LongIslanders1

@LoriKopperman Why can't we restrict the 2nd amendment? It makes sense to do so. Our 1st amendment rights are legally and constitutionally restricted every day. Students lose most of their 1st amendment rights when they enter a highschool. This can be seen in Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeier and the Fraser case. It is time that stricter gun laws are passed. Guns are too easily bought in certain states. 

RoyF
RoyF

@SallySnyderWhat does this have to do with a shotgun that was used? Disappointed that a AR 15 wasnt used?

zeno8721
zeno8721

@CurtMcHenry @zeno8721  thank you for the link to a good article. It is a positive development to say the least. It really comes down to how you slice it. I look at it like this: A man who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day cuts his consumption in half and now he smokes only one pack. It is certainly an improvement however there is still a major health risk.

I regret generalizing. I am aware that not all Americans are killers. 


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