Some Colorado students return to campus for belongings, counseling

Students leave flowers and other items at a makeshift tribute site the week after a shooting attack at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo.
(Brennan Linsley / Associated Press)

Nearly a week after a gunman opened fire on campus, some Arapahoe High School students returned to school Thursday to retrieve belongings left behind in the emergency and to seek counseling.

On Dec. 13, student Karl Halverson Pierson, 18, arrived on campus in Centennial, Colo., with a 12-gauge pump action shotgun, three Molotov cocktails and a machete. He shot student Claire Esther Davis in the head and then turned the gun on himself. Davis remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Classes were canceled and finals were postponed after winter break, according to a statement from school officials.


“There is a plan in place for Arapahoe students to return to Arapahoe High School to retrieve personal belongings Thursday and Friday. Teachers and counselors will be at the school during this time,” the release stated.

However, “plans for classes at Arapahoe High School in January have not yet been finalized.”

Seniors were allowed to enter from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and juniors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Denver Post reported.

According to the Post, principal Natalie Pramenko emailed students and parents Wednesday notifying them of the schedule, after teachers had returned to the school for their own belongings.

“Today was a big step in healing for the Arapahoe High School faculty and staff,” she wrote. “We spent several hours in the building today getting ready for the rest of our Warriors to return.”

In the email, Pramenko also told parents they could accompany students on campus. She encouraged students to “wear Arapahoe clothing.”


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