(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Students who knew the Arapahoe High gunman, 18-year-old Karl Pierson, say it all began with a speech he wrote.

Kati Snively says she remembers Pierson wrote a speech in September that the speech and debate coach did not like.

“From what I know Karl gave a speech that the teacher just didn’t approve of. It had some kind of inappropriate remark and I think it was more in a humorous kind of way but the teacher just took it the wrong way,” said Snively.

One student described Pierson’s speech as sexually perverse but in a humorous way.

Joe Redmond was a co-captain of the debate team with Pierson.

“I told him, ‘You’re future is not what happens to you in high school and it’s so much more than that,’ ” said Redmond.

He said that Pierson was removed from the speech and debate team after he threatened the coach, Tracy Murphy, with his life.

“So he started to feel like his future was over. And I feel a lot of kids in high school; a lot of teenagers think their life is so immediate. So in the now,” said Redmond.

Despite the terrible tragedy Redmond believes it also brought out the best of the students, noting how it brought them all closer together.

The parents of Karl Pierson released a statement today saying, “as parents we loved our son and cannot begin to understand why Karl did what he did.”

They also said their thoughts and prayers are with 17-year-old victim Claire Davis and her family.


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