Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper: Pray For School Shooting Victim

Security measures implemented after Columbine shooting kept casualties to a minimum.

Students gather just outside of Arapahoe High School as police respond to reports of a shooting in Centennial, Colo., Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.
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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper invited the nation to pray for 17-year-old victim Claire Davis of Arapahoe High School who suffered a gunshot to the head in Friday's school shooting.

Hickenlooper commended the security measures implemented after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, saying the procedures helped minimize the casualties incurred by Karl Pierson, the 18-year-old police say is responsible for Davis's injuries.

"It's nice to see how well the system worked. It's a remarkable improvement from before. This could have been much, much worse," Hickenlooper said.

[READ: Arapahoe Sheriff: School Shooting Suspect Dead]

Officials reported Davis was an unintended casualty of the gunmen, who was looking for revenge against the head of the school's debate team who had kicked Pierson off the team. When Pierson was unable to find the target, he shot Davis and then killed himself when a school resource officer approached him.

"We all have to keep Claire in our thoughts and prayers," Hickenlooper said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

The Davis family thanked the community for their prayers and support in a release.

"The first responders got Claire to the right place, at the right time and the doctors and hospital staff are doing a wonderful job taking care of her," the statement said.

Davis is in critical condition but stable, as she remains in a coma. A family friend of Davis told local news station KMGH that doctors were worried about the swelling of Davis' brain.

[ALSO: Sandy Hook Anniversary Leads White House to Invest $100 Million in Mental Health System]

A crowd of about 500 people held a vigil for the high school senior Saturday evening.

"She was just a very sweet girl. She's really smart," August Clary told KUSA. He added that Davis "wouldn't hurt a fly."

People began tweeting the hashtag #prayforclaire, CNN reports.

"Claire is a hero. Our hero. She deserves to be rewarded not only with thanks, but with another chance at life," Aidan Loughran tweeted.

Many are troubled by the uptick in gun violence that has occurred in the last couple of years, according to Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

"Everyone in Colorado is asking the same questions," he said, The Associated Press reported. "On the one hand there is a deeply held conviction for the freedoms laid out in the Second Amendment, but also a very, very strong conviction about the safety of children and the safety of the community."

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