Claire Davis is still fighting for her life after Karl Halverson Pierson opened fire inside Araphoe High School in Colorado last week and shot her in the head, but the community has rallied behind the 17-year-old student and avid equestrian.
Davis was the lone victim of Pierson, who reportedly entered the high school seeking out a librarian. On his way to the library, Pierson is believed to have shot Davis in the head at point blank range.
“There was no time for the victim to run from the shooter,” Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told reporters on Saturday.
Robinson added that Claire Davis did not appear to be a target for Karl Pierson, but was instead in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Claire Davis is a young woman of principle, she’s a young woman of purpose, she’s an innocent young lady and she was an innocent victim of an evil act of violence,” Robinson said.
Robinson said that after shooting Claire, Pierson moved on to the library where he lit one of three Molotov cocktails he had brought, and fired another gunshot. It was there that he turned the gun on himself.
After the shooting, Claire Davis was taken to an area hospital and was listed in critical condition.
Though her condition remains tenuous, Davis has found support of people not only in the community but across the globe. Twitter users shared their thoughts and encouragement using the hashtag #PrayForClaire.
At Araphoe High School, flowers were placed into a chain-link fence to spell out “4 CLAIRE.” On Saturday evening her friends and family held a vigil to pray for her survival.
Claire’s family released a statement noting the outpouring of support: “Our beautiful daughter Claire Davis has severe head trauma as the result of a gunshot wound. She needs your continued prayers.”
Claire Davis, who was a member of a horse riding school and had many pictures on her Facebook page riding horses, has also found much love from the equestrian community. Her family specifically thanked this group for their “outpouring of love and support.”