Candlelight vigil held for Arapahoe HS shooting victim

Claire Davis remains in critical condition; 500 gather at local park

Candlelight vigil supports hospitalized classmate

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Members of the Arapahoe High School community put aside their own emotional pain Saturday night to show support for a classmate who was the victim in Friday's shooting at Arapahoe High School.

Claire Davis, 17, remains hospitalized in critical condition after being shot by fellow Arapahoe student Karl Pierson, 18. Pierson died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Students and parents began gathering around 5 p.m. at Arapahoe Park near the school. Maggie Hurlbut, an Arapahoe senior who organized a candlelight vigil, estimated the size of the crowd at about 500.

"I sent out the invites on social media at 11 a.m.," she said. "It came together quickly. The main thing we tried to encourage is being positive, sending good thoughts and prayers to Claire."

The crowd held lit candles donated by local businesses. There was a moment of silence before attendees sang the Arapahoe school fight song.

Michelle Moss, who graduated from Arapahoe last spring, said she knows Davis and considers her a friend.

"She had a smile on her face every day," Moss said. "She's one of my main persons to go to if I need someone to talk with. She's always caring and loving to people."

Eric Franks, a father with a daughter attending the school, said many families in the school community spent Friday night reflecting on the tragedy.

"Students still have the questions of what if they'd have been standing somewhere different," he said. "But (the vigil) is very cathartic. It's great. We needed this as a community."

Students from other area schools also attended the vigil. Hurlbut said the vigil was one of several events Saturday to show support for Davis.

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