Healing from the Arapahoe Shooting

Here is a message from some good friends, Mark and Lisa Sabey, who have a son at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, location of last week’s tragic shooting.

Friday, Dec. 13–Our son Daniel and his Arapahoe Singers group were dressed in their knickers, sweaters and winter scarves as they caroled through the high school halls. His teacher, Parm, who was well ahead of the merry group, heard gunshots from the top of the stairs, and yelled, “Double time to the classroom.  NOW!”  Daniel ran with his friends, went through the choir room and into a small dressing room, locking the door behind them and turning out the lights.

After a tense hour or more, a heavily armed, well-padded SWAT officer  knocked on their door and eventually guided them outside with their arms up to be frisked before going to The Good Shepherd church gymnasium close by the high school. Once they reunited with other friends from their school, the reality hit. It wasn’t just a random shooter; it was a classmate they all knew. Karl, the shooter, was in two of Daniel’s classes—A.P. Econ and A.P. U.S. history. The day before, this young man and Daniel had been laughing in history. Now Karl, dubbed “The Arapahoe Shooter,” had critically wounded another student and taken his own life.

How do you process this at Christmas time? Perhaps like Longfellow: “And in despair I bowed my head:  ‘There is no peace on earth,’  I said.  ‘For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.’”

As parents, we were outside the school waiting anxiously for news about Daniel. Our other children and siblings were praying for Daniel and the other students. We were in a big line outside a designated meeting place with hundreds of worried parents. It was cold. Many parents had rushed to the high school without any coats. As news and rumors filtered slowly out, people were hugging, crying, and supporting each other. Some brought water bottles from their cars. Others brought coats, food, and news. Everyone asked those around them, “Have you heard from your child?”  Shivering and waiting for hours, we were experiencing an incredible unity—we were mourning with each other and loving those around us with open arms and hearts. Since that day, Daniel’s friends, the entire school, and numerous church communities have bonded together in mutual support. There has been an outpouring of love and goodwill.

“Then peeled the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, nor doth he sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth good will to men.”

We experienced, on this frightening December day, this truth. God is not dead nor doth He sleep. Although horrendous, the events that had occurred earlier that day, we witnessed an outpouring of goodness and love from hundreds, no, thousands of people from the Arapahoe community. Christ descended below all things and then rose victoriously from the dead. Good ultimately wins over evil, always!

With Love, Gratitude, Peace and deep feelings of Good Will to All,

-Mark and Lisa Sabey


1 Comment

  1. Joe and Julie Merino

    Dear Mark, Lisa, and Daniel,
    Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Having counseled many families after the Columbine shooting, I am aware how life changing an event like this can be. I am also aware of the amazing resiliency of the human spirit. One Columbine student told me that is was the tremendous outpouring of love and support he felt after the shooting that helped him the most during that difficult time.
    Please know that we are sending our love and prayers to the Arapahoe High School community all the way from the Dominican Republic.
    May you feel peace this Christmas Season.
    Julie and Joe Merino
    Area Missionary Mental Health Advisers
    Caribbean Area
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Write Your Story

    Once you submit your story, I'll review it and get back to you. This may take a few days. I'll let you know when it will be published and invite you to then share your post with your friends and family.