CENTENNIAL - Over the past 10 days, students at staff at Arapahoe High School have had chances to meet with counselors to deal with the tragic shooting. But, recent graduates felt compelled to come together to support one another and proclaim Warrior Strong.
"We're all a team. We're all here together and we're all going through the same thing," Joe Espejo, class of 2008, told the crowd of a few dozen people.
Espejo organized an informal gathering at Arapahoe High School's flag pole at noon Monday to bring alumni, students, staff, and community members together.
"What I want to do is to bring people together here and to kind of lift them up," Espejo said.
Arapahoe graduate Rachel Kuhl says something like this is needed. She and the rest of the crowd took part in a minute of silence in honor of shooting victim, Claire Davis.
"Through anything that we go through, we're always gonna be there for each other," Kuhl said. "I think the most healing thing in this situation is the hugs and reaching out to other people."
While Espejo says the primary focus should be on the loss of Claire, he says there is something else to talk about - the shooter, Karl Pierson and the troubles that led up to the shooting.
"It was a horrible thing, but you know what .... Karl was not just, he was not just a bully here. He was just as much a victim," Espejo said.
Alumni here say Warrior Strong can always be a little stronger.
"We're all trying to heal from this and we're all there for each other," Courtney Williams, Class of 2010. "I think we all should have been there for Karl more."
Kuhl says people should never feel desperate at Arapahoe High School.
"If you see someone alone, don't make them be alone," Kuhl said. "Even if its someone that's really hard to love, love them anyways."
Espejo believes if that happens, then maybe that would tragedies like the death of Claire Davis at the hands of a student shooter.
"His parents are just a much a victim of this entire situation. It's not fair to them. You can't be mad at them," Espejo said. "They didn't know what was going on and no parent is perfect."
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