Deaths at Columbine High School
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold embarked on a murderous rampage at their high school. In the time that Eric and Dylan had spent planning and preparing for the massacre, they had acquired a large arsenal of weapons, many which were hidden in Eric’s bedroom. The massacre at Columbine High School left 15 dead, including the two perpetrators.
• Rachel Scott - Rachel was eating lunch with her friend Richard Castaldo when Eric and Dylan opened fire at the West entrance where she and Richard were sat on the grass. Rachel was hit from a distance and then shot at point blank range when she attempted to get up. She died from gunshot wounds to the head, chest, arm and leg. Rachel had earlier quit smoking at the request of a friend, if she had not quit she would have possibly been in “The Smokers Pit” at lunch instead of at the high school. Rachel was the first of many victims killed and injured in the massacre.
• Daniel Rohrbough - Daniel was walking out of the cafeteria with his friends, Lance Kirklin and Sean Graves, when Eric and Dylan began shooting at them. He was shot in the abdomen and left leg. Dylan Klebold shot him in the chest at point blank range moments later. Daniel bled to death on the sidewalk outside the school. Daniel’s father knew something was wrong when his son did not turn up at their shop after school as he normally did. The Rohrboughs did not learn of their son’s death from officials, but from the morning news.
• Dave Sanders - When Eric and Dylan began shooting outside the school, Dave Sanders ran to the cafeteria and warned everyone. He helped to save hundreds of students that day. The cafeteria was almost empty by the time Eric and Dylan arrived because of Dave Sanders. He was trying to get students safely hidden inside classrooms when he was shot from behind by Eric Harris. He was hit in the head, torso and neck and bled to death in a science lab while waiting for help.
• Kyle Velasquez - Kyle was sitting at one of the computers when Eric and Dylan entered the library. He was shot in the back of the head by Dylan Klebold as he passed him. Kyle was the first victim to die in the library. Kyle had been attending Columbine for only three months when the massacre took place. He was shy and was only just coming out of his shell when he died. Kyle was mentally disabled and knew what it was like to be an outcast, his last words to his mother were, “Goodbye I love you mom.”
• Steve Curnow - Steve was hiding under a table, near to survivor Kacey Ruegseggwe, when Eric and Dylan began shooting in the library. Steve was shot in the neck by Eric Harris with a sawed-off shot gun. Steve died in the library and was the youngest victim of the Columbine massacre at only 14 years old. Steve was very close with his parents, loved soccer and had dreamed of being a Navy top gun pilot.
• Cassie Bernall - Cassie was hiding under a table, like many students, when Eric and Dylan entered the library. Eric Harris came to the table where Cassie and another girl were hiding. He tapped on the table twice and said, “Peek a boo” to the two girls. Cassie was shot in the side of the head with Eric Harris’ sawed-off shot gun. She was killed immediately. Cassie was a born again Christian as of 1997, previous to this she had fallen in with the wrong crowd. For a long time it had been believed that it was Cassie who had been asked whether she believed in God and then was shot when she answered, “Yes.” However, it has been verified that it was actually survivor Valeen Schnurr who was asked this.
• Isaiah Shoels - Isaiah was studying in the library with his friends, Craig Scott (brother of Rachel Scott) and Matt Kechter, when Eric and Dylan entered the room. The three boys hid under a table together. When Dylan Klebold saw Isaiah hiding under the table, he called Eric Harris over. Dylan made a racist comment towards Isaiah and tried to pull him out from under the table. When he failed to do so, Eric shot Isaiah in the chest at close range, killing him. Isaiah had been a popular student at Columbine, he was also an athlete. Eric and Dylan had had problems with Isaiah previous to the shooting.
• Matt Kechter - Matt was studying with victim Isaiah Shoels and Craig Scott in the library when Eric and Dylan entered the room. He was hiding under the table with his two friends and witnessed Isaiah being shot. Dylan fired at Matt, he was hit in the chest and died later that day in the library. Matt was in the football team and was a weight lifter. He always got good grades at Columbine and was looked up to by his friends. Greg Barnes, a close friend of Matt, took his own life not long after the first anniversary of the massacre.
• Lauren Townsend - Lauren was in the library with some friends when the shooting began. She hid under a table when Patti Nielson, a teacher at Columbine, told everyone to get down. Lauren was behind Valeen Schnurr and put her arm around her, telling her that everything would be okay. Dylan Klebold came to the table she was hiding under and opened fire. She was shot several times by Dylan and then was also shot by Eric minutes later but, at this point she was already dead. Lauren died from wounds to her head, chest and lower body. Lauren had plans to major in biology at Colorado State University when she graduated from Columbine. She has been described by her teachers at Columbine as having a gentle nature and a loving spirit.
• John Tomlin - John often spent his lunch in the library studying and that was where he was when the shooting began. He hid under a table and comforted a girl he didn’t know (Nicole Nowlen) when she became scared by holding her hand. Both Eric and Dylan came to their table and, without even looking to see who was underneath it, Eric opened fire. John and Nicole were both injured from Eric’s shot but, it was a shot to the head at point blank range from Dylan Klebold which killed John almost instantly. John loved Chevrolet trucks and had recently got his driving licence and got an old Chevy pick up, he had been working for it since he was 14. His truck, along with Rachel Scott’s car, became a memorial in the parking lot of the high school, his bible still on the dashboard.
• Kelly Fleming - Kelly was hiding behind a table with some other girls when Eric and Dylan entered the library. It was Dylan Klebold who shot and killed Kelly. Eric and Dylan both reloaded and moved away from the girls’ table and then later came back. Kelly was shot again, this time by Eric with his sawed-off shotgun, in the back from behind. Kelly was a shy girl who aspired to be a songwriter and author, she wrote many poems and stories. She would often go to the library at Columbine to write some of these stories. Kelly’s mother recalls her coming home from school around two months before the shooting and saying, “I’m not shy anymore.”
• Daniel Mauser - Daniel was in the library when the massacre began. He was hiding under a table when Eric Harris shot him in the face. Daniel died under the table in the library. Daniel’s family described him as a shy and gentle soul. He had attended Ken Caryl Middle School, the same as Eric and Dylan, there is no evidence of them having known eachother though. Daniel’s father was planning on taking him on his first 14,000 mountain hike that summer.
• Corey DePooter - Corey was in the library when the massacre took place. He had been hiding under a table near the window with two others. Dylan Klebold shot Corey, he was killed almost instantly. He died there in the library of gunshot wounds to his neck, chest and left arm. Corey was a former wrestler and loved to fish. He had started a job at a golf club to save up for a fishing boat with one of his friends. Described as an all-American kid, school was very important to Corey. Corey had always wanted to be a marine and at his funeral he was made an honorary marine.
• Eric Harris - At 12:08pm, Pattie Nielson and library staff heard Eric and Dylan shout out, “One, two, three!” and then heard gun shots. Eric had fired his shotgun through the roof of his mouth, the shot had caused a large amount of damage to his face, also causing his eyeball to fall out. The back of his head was also blasted off. His death was instant. Eric had been a student Columbine High School and had worked at Blackjack Pizza.
• Dylan Klebold - Along with Eric Harris, Dylan committed suicide after counting to three at 12:08pm. He shot himself in the left temple and the bullet sliced through his head. He died in the library next to Eric, although his death was not instant like Eric’s had been. Dylan had been a student at Columbine High School and had also been an employee at Blackjack Pizza, like Eric Harris.