Dec 14, 2013 2:17 AM by Maddie Garrett

Arapahoe HS Students: Teachers and Training Kept Us Safe

During the school shooting at Arapahoe High School Friday afternoon, many students said it was training and their teachers' quick actions that potentially saved lives.

"My teacher got up, ran, shut off the lights, locked the door and yelled hide! And we all hid and stayed there for a while and all we did was pray. We just prayed God deliver us, and he did, said Arapahoe High School junior Abbey Skoda.

Abbey Skoda said her thoughts quickly turned to her older sister, Emily, who was also sheltered in place in a classroom on the west side of the school where the shooting took place.

"I was very worried for my sister too because I didn't know where she was and she was closer to the incident as well, said Abbey Skoda.

Emily said she too was worried about her sister.

"I just looked at the ceiling and I was just like, God keep her safe," said Emily Skoda.

Both girls said it was their teachers and previous training that helped keep them safe.

"She (teacher) locked the door probably within three seconds, from the front of the room to the back of the room, and then she hid with us and comforted us and held our hands and made sure everyone was okay and talked us through it," explained Emily Skoda.

"We actually had a drill earlier in the year and my teacher was talking to us about how she went through training through the summer," said Abbey Skoda. "So yeah we were prepared."

While they were locked in classrooms, the Arapahoe County Sheriff said outside in the halls, alleged gunman Karl Pierson detonated a Molotov cocktail and shot one student, a 15-year-old girl. She was seriously injured and taken to the hospital. As of Friday night she was listed in critical condition.

But the Sheriff's Office said students weren't the target, it was a teacher.

"As he (Pierson) entered the west side of Arapahoe High School, (he) immediately asked for the location of this specific teacher and asked for that teacher by name," said Sheriff Grayson Robinson.

The Sheriff said it appears the motive for the shooting could have been some kind of revenge against the teacher. That teacher is reportedly the librarian and Pierson's speech and debate coach.

"Mr Murphy, I don't know if he was hurt or not but he's a good guy and I like him a lot," said Emily Skoda of the teacher.

The Sheriff said word spread immediately to the teacher that he was the target, and that teacher in turn quickly left the building. The Sheriff said that was the best decision the teacher could have made.

"That was a very wise tactical decision, he took himself away from the school in an effort to encourage the shooter to go with him," said Sheriff Robinson.

But Pierson didn't follow, and within minutes of the shooting, deputies found Pierson's body in a classroom. It's believed he took his own life.


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