Family of Arapahoe High shooting victim: 'We were truly blessed'

Family of Arapahoe High shooting victim: 'We were truly blessed'
Arapahoe High School student Vice President Grace Marlowe visits a tribute site for Claire Davis in Centennial, Colo. Davis died Saturday afternoon, hospital officials said. (Brennan Linsley / Associated Press)

Claire Davis, the 17-year-old who died Saturday after she was shot in the head at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., nine days ago, brought grace, laughter and light to the world, family members said.

"Although we 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 family wrote in a statement.


The qualities she brought to the world "will not be extinguished by her death; to the contrary, it will only get stronger," they wrote.

She died at 4:29 p.m., according to the Littleton Adventist Hospital's Facebook page. Her family was at her side.

Davis was shot at point-blank range by Karl Halverson Pierson, 18, who then turned the gun on himself. Pierson reportedly was looking for his debate coach when he entered the school Dec. 13 armed with a shotgun, a machete and incendiary devices.

In the statement, the Davis family credited those who helped them deal with the tragedy, including the Arapahoe County Sheriff's office, school officials and the physicians, nurses and staff at the hospital.

Davis' death came just days after students were allowed back on the campus for the first time since the shooting to retrieve belongings.

Hospital officials said on Facebook that a public celebration of her life will be announced later. The hospital will continue to accept cards for the Davis family in the "Cards for Claire" box at its main entrance.

Since the shooting, there has been an outpouring of support for Davis and her family from community members and people around the world, including a video message from the pop group One Direction, said to be her favorite band.

Here are some of the many reactions on Twitter:

[For the Record, 8:15 a.m. PST Dec. 22: A previous version of this post, in its first reference to Claire Davis, incorrectly gave her first name as Grace.]


Twitter: @saba_h