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Colorado high school shooting victim Claire Davis dies

NBC News

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson holds a picture of Claire Davis, the 17-year-old student who was shot at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo.

The 17-year-old senior who was in a coma after being shot point-blank at a Colorado high school last week died Saturday with her family at her side, hospital officials said. 

Claire Esther Davis, a senior at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., was critically injured when student Karl Halverson Pierson, 18, entered the school building on Dec. 13 armed with a shotgun and Molotov cocktail bombs.

Eight days after an Arapahoe High School classmate shot her, Claire Davis died. The 17-year-old died of her severe head injuries. NBC's Ron Allen reports.

In a statement posted on the Littleton Adventist Hospital's Facebook page, officials said Claire's injuries "were too severe and the most advanced medical treatments could not prevent this tragic loss of life."

The teen passed away at 4:29 p.m. local time (6:29 p.m. ET).

"Claire’s death is immensely heartbreaking for our entire community, our staff and our families," the statement added.

Her family thanked the community for its support and asked for privacy as they grieve the death of their daughter.

"Last week was truly a paradox in that we lost our daughter, yet we witnessed the wonderful love that exists in the world through the tremendous outpouring of support we received," read a statement posted by the Davis family on the hospital's Facebook page. 

The family said they felt "truly blessed" to have been Claire's parents.

"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 read. 

Authorities said Pierson's attack lasted just 80 seconds. Officials believe the teen was angry after losing his coveted spot on the debate team.

"His intent was evil and his evil intent was to harm multiple individuals," Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said last week.

Upon entering the school, Robinson said, Pierson fired one round down the hallway. He then shot Claire, who just happened to be sitting nearby with a friend as he headed toward the library. Claire suffered severe head trauma, which put her in a coma. 

Robinson said Claire was an innocent victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Claire was known for being outgoing, a good athlete who loved horses and a great student, The Denver Post reported, adding that the teen had recently placed second in an equestrian competition and was a member of the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association.

A neighbor told the newspaper Claire was also the best babysitter in the community. 

"She took care of our 5-year-old," the man, who did not want to be identified, told the Post. "She was well-loved. I believe she wanted to go into nursing — I know she had already been accepted to a number of colleges already."

Fellow student Avery Griggs, a sophomore, told the newspaper last week that Claire was "one of the nicest people I've met at Arapahoe."

"She is amazing and so sweet," Avery told the Post. 


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