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Colorado students allowed back after shooting

  • Associated Press
  • December 19, 2013 - 2:10 PM

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Students are being allowed back into Colorado's Arapahoe High School for brief visits that are providing some comfort following last week's shooting.

Juniors and seniors were allowed inside for two hours Thursday to get things they had to leave behind after a gunman opened fire, wounding one student before killing himself. Underclassmen are scheduled to report Friday.

They were able to meet their teachers, walk the suburban Denver school's halls and gather in the cafeteria to talk and eat homemade cookies. It's the first time the students had been in the school since they had to evacuate, their hands in the air, as deputies worked to ensure gunman Karl Pierson didn't have any accomplices.

"It's rough," senior Lexi Berrent told The Denver Post. "I'm scared (about going back in). I'm a little nervous, but you have to get used to it again."

Student body vice president Grace Marlowe was off campus at the time of the shooting and didn't have to retrieve any books or bags. Still, she returned to be able to see her school in person again, rather in than aerial news footage. She also said she had to see and hug people to be really assured that they're fine. It's something she plans to keep doing.

"You need to cherish everyone in your life, every minute," she said.

Like many others, she also stopped by a tribute to the wounded student, Claire Davis, outside the school. The 17-year-old remains in critical condition at a hospital near the school.

People have been offering prayers and good wishes for her on Twitter since the shooting and have been urging the boy band One Direction to visit her. On Thursday, band members posted a video online, saying they wanted to "share some love" with her and that their prayers were with her and her family.

Classes at the school will resume in January.

© 2014 Star Tribune