Interview With Eric’s Friend
In the 18 years since Columbine, there has been a fair amount of new information about Dylan Klebold released mostly by his family. This gives us more insight into his mindset and what type of person he was. However, hardly anything new has been released by Eric’s family or friends. He remains largely a mystery, as his family and friends have kept silent about him. Now, I realize that the transition from child to teenager changes people drastically, but any insight into the mind of Eric Harris at any point in his life can provide a more complete view of who he was as a person.
Can you tell me a little about your childhood up to the point you met Eric?
-How old were you when you met Eric Harris?
-Can you recall the first time you met him?
met Eric when I was about 9 or 10 years old. The first time I met him
was during my first baseball practice. I’ve already told you the story
of that day, so I won’t re-tell it unless you’d like me to.
How close would you say your friendship was with him? Were there any defining moments in your friendship?
won’t lie and pretend that we were best friends or anything. He was a
grade above me in school, so he had more friends that were in his own
grade, so we only would hang out or talk during recess or outside of
school hours. We did stay over at each other’s house once or twice
maybe. In hindsight, the biggest thing that stands out is how he
reacted when he accidentally hit me with a baseball at my first
practice. It’s quite a thing to think that he was so upset and sorry
that he had hurt me at practice, then fast forward to seeing him on the
news during high school.
In a few sentences, how would you describe Eric’s personality during the time you knew him? Was he a nice person, or mean?
-Do you recall any of his interests? What sort of things did you two bond over?
He was a really normal kid from what I knew of him growing up. He wasn’t some obnoxious kid, nor was he overly shy. He was very vanilla, in a good way. Around that age, most kids liked playing outside since there were always so many kids living on the air base, and video games.
did Eric rank on the social totem of the elementary school you two
attended? Was he considered popular? Unpopular? Somewhere in between?
My recollection of Eric was as a very middle of the road kid. I never recalled him getting picked on during recess or by other kids in the neighborhood. He wasn’t mean to other people, at least as far as I can remember.
you ever meet Wayne and Kathy Harris or any other members of Eric’s
family? If so, what did you think of the family dynamic/atmosphere of
-What was his relationship with his father like? His mother?
-Have you ever met Kevin Harris? If so, what did you think of him?
-Do you have any memories that stand out of the Harris family?
I couldn’t say what his relationship was like with his parents behind closed doors, but I remember his dad or mom being at little league practices and games, which wasn’t the case for all of the kids growing up. I don’t recall his dad being “that guy” who would yell at his kid from the stands or anything like that (my dad was “that guy”).
I was never really around Kevin, so nothing stands out about him to me.
Our dads worked together in the military, so they already knew each other before Eric and I ever met.
Did he ever give you any indication that he was violent or unstable? If so, could you elaborate?
-Did he bully anyone in school, or was he bullied?
No, there was nothing I saw that would have ever indicated that he was violent or unstable, which is why it was so shocking to me when I saw him on the news. I don’t recall him ever bullying someone or being on the receiving end of it.
you have any specific memories that stand out of Eric? We’ve heard
about the little league story, I’m wondering, are there any other
memories that come to mind?
I just remember him being a nice kid, overall. The little league story only stands out now in light of what happened with Columbine. If not for that, I wouldn’t really have any story that stands out about him.
Did Eric ever speak about wanting to do anything violent, or said anything weird along those lines?
No, he was not an angry kid when I knew him. I definitely would have remembered him saying something outlandish, even if Columbine hadn’t happened.
Did you keep in contact with Eric after he moved away?
We ran into each other on occasion at Plattsburgh, since both of our families moved there, but again, he was at a different school and we didn’t see each other much. No internet back then, so I completely lost track of him after Plattsburgh.
Are there any inaccuracies you have noticed in the media/culture surrounding the persona of Eric Harris?
I’ve only seen the part of Bowling for Columbine that pertains to the kids from Oscoda that were interviewed. I was off at college during that time, so I wasn’t aware of the interviews after the fact. I wouldn’t have agreed to be on camera talking about it, because that’s just not who I am. I will say that at least one of the kids interviewed seems a little “iffy” to me. I know it’s bad to say, but Eric’s father was a high-ranking officer, so I have a difficult time believing that he would have been in the same social circle as some of the kids interviewed. Not to say that Eric would have thought himself better than them, it’s just that he wouldn’t have been in the same circles by virtue of his circumstance as the child of a military officer. I can’t say with 100% certainty that the people interviewed in the documentary were lying, but i’m skeptical.
What are your
personal thoughts/opinions of Eric Harris and the Columbine massacre?
What do you personally believe led to Eric and Dylan killing their
schoolmates and then themselves?
Growing up in the air force, you move frequently. After the base in Wurtsmith, we moved 2 more times. At Wurtsmith and then Plattsburgh, I was a relatively popular kid and did not have any real social issues with people. At the very last base we moved to, I was instantly a social pariah and picked on incessantly. It’s a weird thing to go from one end of the social spectrum to the other, just based on the air base you’re at, but it can definitely happen. The last move completely scarred me socially and I still have issues based on the experience. I think it’s completely possible that Eric experienced this when he moved to Colorado, possibly even before that, when he moved to Plattsburgh. I rarely saw him there since we were in different schools. It would not surprise me if he didn’t start getting bullied until after he moved to a new base. It can be that simple that someone is a regular kid who gets along with people at one air base and then moves to another where you get bullied constantly and completely change your mentality.
Thank you all so much for your interest in this interview! Hope you enjoyed the read!