John Savage’s Account of the Massacre in the Library
From the Columbine Report, document 501-600, page 55:
“Yeah, I’m alive. I was in the library – ugh. I heard a banging and I thought someone was renovating the school, it sounded like someone hammering. Then I heard it get way too loud to be that, and I heard shotguns, which are more of a boom than a bang. Shortly after that, a woman ran into the library and said, “Everybody get under the tables, there’s a kid outside with a gun!” So we all did. I heard lots of gunfire, explosions, screams. It was just unreal. I kept telling myself it had to be a dream, that this couldn’t be happening. I heard a big explosion and felt the floor under me shake, and I was scared that they were going to blow up the school. See, the library is on top of the cafeteria, and they set off a couple of pipe bombs in the cafeteria, right under the library. Then I remembered that it took a big truck full of explosives to blow up the Oklahoma City building, so I didn’t worry about that as much. Then they came up into the library, and I saw them, and I thought, “Holy cow, it’s Dylan and Eric! What are they doing?!” I thought they might be planning to kill everyone in the library. So there I was, hiding under one of the tables, and they were going from table to table and shooting some of the people under them. I didn’t actually see anyone get shot, for which I’m thankful, but I pretty much knew they were killing people. I saw them fire in the direction of the computers, but I couldn’t see the computers because there was a bookshelf in the way, but I was somewhat amused at the thought of shooting a computer. I couldn’t hear much of what was said because the fire alarms were going off. Anyway, when they came to my table Eric stuck his head under the table and pointed his gun at me, so I scooted out of the way of the barrel, and then he pointed it at me again, and I scooted back out of the way. Then he stood up and said, “Who is under the table? Identify yourself!” And I said, “It’s me, John!” And Dylan said, “John Savage?” And I said, “Yes!” And Dylan walked over to my side of the table and said, “Hi” And I said, “Hi, Dylan. What are you doing?” And he shrugged and said, “Oh, killing people.” And I said, “Are you going to kill me?” And he looked at me for a second and he said, “No, dude, just run. Just get out of here.” I remember thinking that if he’d said yes, I would have said, “Then make it quick, just put a bullet in my head and get it over with.” But he let me go, so I ran outside. I was sprinting at top speed, so I didn’t see much of the school inside (I wish I’d gone slower and taken a better look), but I remember seeing a big blood stain on the carpet and one of the pop machines was damaged, probably from one of the pipe bombs. I ran to the house where I have a daily bible study class (it’s a Mormon thing called seminary) and the police took me down to Golden to make an official statement for their arrest warrant. But they’re dead now.
It’s so weird to imagine it – Dylan was in my 2nd hour class and Eric was in my 3rd hour, and they killed at least 13 people and themselves. And at least 2 people I knew are dead, too – Rachel Scott and Lauren Townsend. I knew the girl who had 9 wounds to her chest, and one of my other friends was shot in the knee. I have another friend who always spends her lunch in the library, and I haven’t seen or heard from her, so for all I know, she’s dead, too. They were all such incredibly nice people. They didn’t do anything to deserve it.
I’ve spent most of the last couple of days at my girlfriend’s house. I’m going over there again tomorrow. It’s times like this when you realize how important your friends are to you, not only when they’re there for you, but when they’re gone. I’m glad I didn’t die, but not just for my own sake, but for the sake of my friends – I’d hate for them to be sad about me.
I feel like a war vet – whenever I see a shooting scene in a movie, I have a sort of flashback. It’s weird.”
I do not think that it is until we read the Columbine Report and the accounts of all those who lived these horrid events that we get a close picture of how horrible the massacre was. So many people are always interested in knowing as much as possible about Eric and Dylan, but not many care about how the lives have changed of those who lived these terrifying events.