Columbine High School shooting: Remembering the deaths that brought mass shootings to the fore

FILE - In this April 28, 1999, file photo, a woman stands among crosses posted on a hill above Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in remembrance of the people who died during a school shooting on April 20. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
FILE - In this April 28, 1999, file photo, a woman stands among crosses posted on a hill above Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in remembrance of the people who died during a school shooting on April 20. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – The Columbine High School shooting happened on April 20, 1999, in Littleton, Colorado.

Two teenagers went on a shooting spree, killing 13 people and wounding more than 20 others, before turning their guns on themselves and committing suicide.

At the time, the Columbine shooting was the worst high school shooting in U.S. history. It has since been eclipsed by other mass shootings. According to media reports, the deadliest mass shooting is the Las Vegas mass shooting in October 2017 in which 58 people were killed.

FILE - In this April 19, 2004, file photo, a sign at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Students who were planning to attack schools showed the same types of troubled histories as those who carried them out - they were badly bullied, often suffered from depression with stress at home, and their behavior worried others, according to a U.S. Secret Service study released March 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File) (AP2004)
FILE - In this April 20, 1999, file photo unidentified young women head to a library near Columbine High School where students and faculty members were evacuated after two gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the school in the southwest Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo. (AP Photo/Kevin Higley, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

The shooting began at approximately 11:19 a.m., History.com reported. Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17 dressed in trench coats, began shooting students outside Columbine High School and then moved inside the school, where they gunned down others in the library.

Approximately 15 minutes later, the pair had killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded more than 20 other people. About a half-hour later, they killed themselves. Bombs made of propane that they had placed in duffel bags in the school cafeteria to explode around lunchtime failed to detonate.

Victims of the Columbine shooting include:

  • Cassie Bernall, 17
  • Steven Curnow, 14
  • Corey DePooter, 17
  • Kelly Fleming, 16
  • Matthew Kechter, 16
  • Daniel Mauser, 15
  • Daniel Rohrbough, 15
  • William “Dave” Sanders, 47
  • Rachel Scott, 17
  • Isaiah Shoels, 18
  • John Tomlin, 16
  • Lauren Townsend, 18
  • Kyle Velasquez, 16

The shooting raised the issue of gun control in the United States.

History.com notes while numerous theories about the teens’ motives for the shooting were raised -- from bullying to involvement in the Trenchcoat Mafia to violent video games -- investigators later pointed to journals which showed the pair wanted to create an Oklahoma City bombing-style disaster. That tragedy took place on April 19, four years and one day before Columbine.


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