Church helps families reunite after Centennial shooting

Parents rush to Shepherd of the Hills to find Arapahoe High School students

Church Helps Families Reunite After Centennial Shooting

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The hours after Friday's shooting at a Denver-area school were anxious for parents who wanted to make sure their kids were safe and take them home.

"I just can't believe this is happening again in our area," said Peggy Igoe, the mother of a student.  "Something has got to be done."

The Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church was a major check-in point for students at Arapahoe High School after a student shot two classmates before taking his own life.

Frantic parents parked on sidewalks, in front yards and wherever they could and ran to the church a block south of the school.  Many parents held cellphones texting or talking with their kids, who waited inside the church gymnasium.

A line of parents formed around the church for several hours in the chilly weather.  The wait was made longer by law enforcement officials, who wanted to interview students who witnessed the shooting.  Buses brought most students to the church but many walked.

Many students left the school so quickly after the shooting that they didn't have time to take coats and jackets with them.  Parents and other volunteers brought extra clothing and even blankets so that people standing in line could stay warm.

Traffic was heavy around the church and a helicopter steadily hovered above. 

By 6 p.m., most of the crowd had left the church.

Karl Helvig, a youth pastor, was at the church to help and comfort families.

"Coming into the Christmas season, Christ came to be with us," he said.  "I think one of the best things we could do was to simply be with one another."

Rob Lattin was on a plane that had just landed at the airport when he learned of the shooting.  He has two kids who attend the school.

"We had quite a reunion, I can tell you that," he said.  "I thought we were safe here.  You never know.  It can happen anywhere."

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