CENTENNIAL, CO (CNN) – Friday’s shooting began at 12:33 p.m., when, according to police accounts, 18-year-old student Karl Pierson walked into the Centennial, Colorado, school armed with a pump-action shotgun, a machete and a backpack containing three Molotov cocktails, a bandolier of ammunition across his chest.
According to police, Pierson shot 17-year-old Claire Esther Davis once in the head amid shots fired randomly into school hallways. He also ignited one of the firebombs in the school library before killing himself in the back corner of the school library.
An Arapahoe student, Matt Bowers, had his own message. It was written on his hand, in case he didn’t get out alive.”Family, I love you all so much,” Bowers scrawled, the last two words underlined. Then he added, “I’m up here now,” above a picture of a cross.
Bowers told CNN’s The Lead that he was in a literature class when he and his classmates heard a loud bang from down the hall. He didn’t think anything of it until they heard two more. His teacher’s face “just became completely pale,” he said, and everyone rushed to a corner of classroom away from doors and windows.
He’s kept the ball-point pen he used to write that farewell ever since.
“I’ve never had such a frightening experience in my life before that,” Bowers said. “It really changed how I looked at my life, and just my whole perspective on what life is.”