Remembering the Victims of the Columbine High School Massacre
On April 20, 1999, two gunmen took the lives of 13 people at Columbine High School. These gunmen subsequently took their own lives as well, making the death toll 15. Today is the 18th anniversary of the attack. These are the victims, may they never be forgotten.
Rachel Scott, 17, born on August 5, 1981.
Daniel Rohrbough, 15, born on March 2, 1984.
Kyle Velasquez, 16, born on May 5, 1982.
Steven Curnow, 14, born on August 18, 1984.
Cassie Bernall, 17, born on November 6, 1981.
Isaiah Shoels, 18, born on August 4, 1980.
Matthew Kechter, 16, born on February 19, 1983.
Lauren Townsend, 18, January 17, 1981.
John Tomlin, 16, born on September 1, 1982.
Kelly Fleming, 16, born on January 6, 1983.
Daniel Mauser, 15, born on June 25, 1983.
Corey DePooter, 17, born on March 3, 1982.
William “Dave” Sanders, 48, born on October 22, 1951.
Do you know what all of the victims did on their last day alive?
I know some of their last moments. It seems a lot of parents spoke about their final moments with their children in interviews. (Some of the ones I listed are just last remembered activities, not what they did the day before sorry.)
Rachel’s last morning by now is very well known. Rachel and her brother had gotten into an argument because they were running late to school. He had rudely slammed the door in her face and unknowingly that was his last interaction with her.
I don’t know Daniel’s last day, but one thing that comes to mind was he held the door open for the people behind him as he fled the school.
Dave Sanders moments are also very well known. His last moments are what made him known as a hero. Instead of protecting himself and hiding, he alerted the students in the cafeteria confirming active shooters in the school. It’s safe to say he saved many peoples lives that day.
Kyle was driven to school everyday by his mother. Kyle’s last words to her were simply “Goodbye. I love you, mom.”
“When I heard he was one of the ones from the library, it only made sense. He was always in the library studying. He always put academics first. He had straight A’s but he would never brag about it. I kinda looked up to him because of it. He was never in a bad mood, he was consistenly happy.” - Greg Barnes
Matt was sitting with Isaiah and Craig Scott that day in the library.
It was a typical morning for Isaiah too. He had run out of the house and left his bed unmade.
The night before, her mother and her father had attended a Rockies game and got home around 9:30. When they got back, Lauren was slightly upset at them for coming back so late even though she knew they would be gone. She was disappointed because she wanted to snuggle and the game interrupted their ‘snuggle time.’ Her mother sat down with her for a few minutes, but Lauren had some work left to do and went off to bed. She said goodnight and told her mom they’d snuggle tomorrow. Her mom promised to put in extra time to snuggle. She never came home.
In John’s final moments, it was an everyday routine. He left his bible open on the dash of his beloved truck and was studying at the library on the day of the massacre like everyday.
Daniel too was in the library, a daily occurrence. But as he was approached by Eric, he pushed a chair out as a way to stand up to him. He was shot right after.
Corey and his mother had always danced together in the kitchen growing up. His mom remembers him and his brother always being good dancers. The night before his death, him and his mom just so happened to share a last dance out of the blue. It definitely wasn’t an every night occurrence, so looking back it was really special for her.
I’ll let her mom do the talking ;)
“April 20, 1999, started like any other school day in our house. At five
forty-five Brad, my husband, left for work, and a little later I got up to
wake the kids. Getting teenagers out of bed is always a small battle, but
that Tuesday was especially difficult. Cassie had stayed up late the night
before catching up on homework, and her books were all over the kitchen
table. Her cat’s litter box needed attention, too, and we were running late
with breakfast. I remember trying not to lecture her about all the things
that needed doing before she left for school….
About seven-twenty Chris kissed me goodbye, or at least gave me his
cheek, which is what it’s gone to lately (he’s fifteen) and clattered down
the stairs and out of the house. Cassie stopped at the door to put on her shoes – her beloved black velvet Doc Martens, which she wore rain or shine, even with dresses – grabbed her backpack, and headed after her
brother. As she left I leaned over the banister to say goodbye, like I always do: “Bye, Cass. I love you.” “Love you too, Mom,” she mumbled back.
Then she was gone, through the back yard, over the fence, and across the
soccer field to the high school, which is only a hundred yards away.
I dressed, made myself a cup of coffee, locked up, and drove off to work.”
▪Craig Scott, Rachel Scott’s brother, was in the library next to Matthew Kecther and Isaiah Shoels, both of whom died. However, little do people know that when Craig heard Dylan and Eric approach, he took off the white baseball cap he’d been wearing, a symbol for jocks.
•After being shot in the hallway, Dave Sanders, a teacher and coach, had crawled into a nearby science classroom and collapsed on the desk. In doing this, he knocked out teeth.
•Rachel Scott had been a smoker and just before prom, her date, Nick B., had asked her to quit. She did, but had she not, she would have been in the “smoker’s pit”, and not in Dylan and Eric’s path.
•Eric Harris had always been fond of his dog, Sparky. When Sparky fell ill, Eric and his family knew the survival chance was low. To enable Eric to spend more time with his dog, Dylan Klebold worked both his and Eric’s shift so Eric could take the time off.
•Eric would teeter between taking his Luvox, for anger and mood management, and not taking this. In not taking it consistently, Eric was able to build a chemical imbalance that only gave him added rage and instability. This helped to sponsor his desire to execute the attack.
“It brought the nation to its knees, but now that we’ve gotten back up how have things changed; what have we learned?”
16 years later, the nation is still being brought to its knees only to find itself asking the same questions.
May the Victims Never Be Forgotten:
Cassie Bernall Steven Curnow Dylan Klebold Rachel Scott Lauren Townsend Eric Harris Isaiah Shoels Dan Rohrbough John Tomlin Kyle Velasquez Daniel Mauser Corey DePooter Kelly Fleming William Sanders Mathew Kechter
Matthew Kechter: February 19, 1983 - April 20, 1999
Daniel Rohrbough: March 2, 1984 - April 20, 1999
William “Dave” Sanders: October 22, 1951 - April 20, 1999
Rachel Scott: August 5, 1981 - April 20, 1999
Isaiah Shoels: August 4, 1980 - April 20, 1999
John Tomlin: September 1, 1982 - April 20, 1999
Lauren Townsend: January 17, 1981 - April 20, 1999
Kyle Velasquez: May 5, 1982 - April 20, 1999
Daniel Mauser: June 25, 1983 - April 20, 1999
Nineteen years ago today, on April 20, 1999, thirteen innocent people lost their lives. They were all full of life and on their way to experience many amazing things. By no decision of their own, their lives were cut short. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were the two who made this decision. While Eric and Dylan are not victims of the shooting itself, they are victims of a failed system. However, that does not and will not ever excuse what they did. We can only hope that all fifteen of the people who perished on April 20, 1999, and their families, are now at peace.