Arapahoe High deputy ‘went to the thunder’ during shooting, boss says

Deputy James Englert

Deputy James Englert

DENVER — “He went to the thunder” – that is how his boss described the heroic reactions of Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Deputy James Englert during Friday’s high school shooting.

FOX31 Denver has confirmed Englert was on duty as an armed Arapahoe High School resource officer when Karl Pierson, carrying a shotgun, walked into the building.

The deputy was recently featured on the front of The Journal of School Safety – along with an article on the sheriff’s office six-person school safety team.  That team oversees security for 41 public and private schools.

Sheriff Grayson Robinson praised Englert’s actions saying his response was a “critical element to the shooter’s decision” to kill himself.

The shooter has been identified as 18-year-old high-school student Karl Pierson.

A medical examiner reported Monday that Pierson died from a “severe head injury due to a (self-inflicted) shotgun wound to the head.”

Witnesses say Pierson entered the school looking for his debate teacher, but before he found the teacher, shot another student, and threw a Molotov cocktail into the high school library.

The Arapahoe Sheriff’s Office says Englert is not available for interviews based on his critical involvement in an ongoing investigation.