Shooter's parents "heartbroken" at girl's death

9:48 PM, Dec 22, 2013   |    comments
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Arapahoe County, Colo., Sheriff Grayson Robinson holds a picture of Claire Davis during a briefing Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013.(Photo: Ed Andrieski, AP)

 


 


LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS NEWS) -- The parents of a Colorado teen who opened fire in his high school said Sunday they are "heartbroken" by the death of the 17-year-old girl he shot point-blank in the head.

Claire Davis died Saturday at Littleton Adventist Hospital, where she had been in a coma and on life support for eight days. She was the victim of a shooting Dec. 13 at Arapahoe High School.

Authorities said 18-year-old student Karl Pierson, apparently angry at being demoted on the school debating team, shot Davis and then killed himself. Police believe he was hunting the school librarian, who coached the debate team, and that Davis was targeted at random. The librarian escaped unharmed.

"We are heartbroken to hear of Claire's passing. Our hearts ache for her family as they deal with unimaginable grief. Our prayers are with Claire's family & the entire Arapahoe community," the shooter's parents, Barbara and Mark Pierson, said in a statement obtained by the Denver Post.

The Piersons had said in an earlier statement that they could not understand their son's actions.

Condolences were pouring in to the Davis family Sunday.

"Claire Davis personified the love and kindness she learned from her family," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper wrote on Facebook and Twitter. "All of Colorado feels that. They are in our hearts."

A fence outside Arapahoe High School where people had posted cards expressing hope and prayers for Davis has become a makeshift memorial.

"I just want her to know that we love her and her family and we are sending her up with love," said classmate Jamie Gruber.

The Denver Foundation has created a fun in Davis' memory. The Arapahoe High School Community Fund will support mental health care, anti-bullying programs and other community needs chosen by her parents.

Details on a public service to celebrate Davis' life will be released later, CBS Denver said.

The Davis family issued a statement saying they were grateful for the "tremendous outpouring of support we received" and for the 17 years they had with their daughter.

"The grace, laughter and light she brought to this world will not be extinguished by her death; to the contrary, it will only get stronger," the statement said.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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