The student who opened fire last week at a Colorado high school, leaving one girl in a coma before taking his own life, was angry after losing his coveted spot on the debate team and an avid reader of a notorious bomb-making bible, according to a classmate.
Joe Redmond, who at one time was a co-captain on the team with the suspected gunman, Karl Pierson, said that Pierson had been reading “The Anarchist Cookbook,” a 1971 book that includes bomb-making instructions.
Pierson, a senior, had been reading the book since his sophomore year and sharing it with others, Redmond said.
Redmond said that the target of Pierson’s anger was Tracy Murphy, a school librarian and the debate coach. He said that Pierson and Murphy “did not get along, and whatever it was escalated to a death threat.”
“Speech and debate was his life, and the fact that he wasn’t there crushed him a little bit and made him really tense and angry,” Redmond told NBC News.
Pierson showed up at the school, Arapahoe High in Centennial, Colo., at midday Friday with a pump-action shotgun, ammunition strapped to his chest, a machete and Molotov cocktails — and headed for the library.