Joshua Lapp was a sophomore at Columbine High School and on the day of the massacre, he hid under a table in the library. He was located only about five feet from the table Daniel Mauser cowered under and Josh shielded his friend Brittany in case the gunmen walked by. He recalls: “I was looking over my shoulder the whole time. I wasn’t going to let them shoot me without looking me in the eyes. I used to watch, like, Lethal Weapon - all those action movies. I remember that they say it’s hard to kill somebody if they’re looking you in the eyes. I don’t know if it’s true, but, as far as I was concerned, it was real at the time. So I was making sure that if they were going to come over and shoot us, I was going to look them in the eyes.“
After Eric Harris fatally shot Daniel Mauser in the face, Joshua could see them looming closer to where he resided. He said, “Then, they walked on the outside of Daniel’s desk, so they were about two desk lengths away. They both looked at me. I made eye contact with them both. They were straight-faced, like I would look at somebody walking down the street. They didn’t act like they had hurt anybody a second ago. They acted like it was normal. And for some reason, they kept walking.”
Daniel was in the library at the time the shootings occurred just a
floor below where he was. He did not think it suspicious. When
substitute teacher Patti Nielson entered the library, she told everyone to hide under the tables and Mauser was one of the 56 students who listened. When Eric Harris
was approaching his table, Mauser pushed a chair in front of him as a
possible attempt to knock him over. Outraged, he was shot in the face by
Harris while hiding under one of the tables. Mauser died under the
table where he had hidden.
We went to visit the Columbine Memorial, and it was an emotional experience. I’ve been reading about Columbine for about ten years, and since we were so close, I wanted to go visit and pay my respects. Some of the stories that came out of this horrible point in history has touched me deeply. We should never forget this tragedy, nor the fact that this keeps happening.
Although each and every one of the victims hold a special place in my heart, I will end with a very popular quote by one of them that I try to live by everyday:
“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.” - Rachel Joy Scott