DENVER (AP) - The father of a 17-year-old girl who was fatally shot
at her suburban Denver high school said Wednesday that he and his wife
have forgiven the killer, and he asked others to do the same.
Davis said at a memorial service for his daughter Claire that the
killer was blinded by anger and didn't know what he was doing.
wife and I forgive Karl Pierson for what he did," Davis said. "We would
ask all of you here and all of you watching to forgive Karl Pierson. He
didn't know what he was doing."
Sheriff's investigators say Pierson shot Claire Davis at Arapahoe County High School on Dec. 13. She died eight days later.
Pierson, 18, who was also a student at Arapahoe High, killed himself after shooting Davis.
Investigators say his target was a speech coach who had disciplined him, and Davis was a random victim.
law enforcement officers have vowed not to use Pierson's name and have
referred to him publicly as "the murderer," but Michael Davis was
"The young man that shot Claire had a name. His name
was Karl Pierson," Davis said, fighting back tears with his wife,
Desiree, at his side.
Davis said Pierson "allowed himself to
become filled with anger, rage and hatred. ... The fact is that Karl was
so blinded by his emotions he didn't know what he was doing."
Davis said his daughter's last words were to ask Pierson, "Oh my gosh, Karl, what are you doing?"
That was her way of trying to illuminate the emotional darkness that had enveloped Pierson, Davis said.
was carrying a shotgun, more than 125 shotgun shells, a machete and
three homemade firebombs when he entered the school, investigators say.
The school was quickly placed in lockdown and a sheriff's deputy
assigned to the school, James Englert, ran to confront him, authorities
Pierson shot himself as Englert closed in.
Sheriff Grayson Robinson has said Englert's action to quickly confront Pierson prevented worse bloodshed.