During the 1966 University of Texas shooting, several frat boys and hunting enthusiasts heard the shots fired by perpetrator Charles Whitman and rushed out to meet him, armed to the teeth with their own guns. Police, who were also defending swarms of terrified people against Whitman, allowed the would-be heroes to shoot at him in a joint effort to kill him. A sergeant reportedly took one look at them and shouted: “Shoot to kill, boys!”.
Whitman was ultimately shot dead by police, however the brave and quick-thinking students were said to have distracted the killer momentarily, consequently saving more lives.
One of the most infamous school shootings in US history and one of the most frequently talked-about subjects in the true crime community, the Columbine High School Massacre was a tragedy that definitely left a mark on the world. This post is going to explain in detail the events of the shooting.
On the morning ofApril 20, 1999, two Columbine students put their year-long plans into action. Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, arrived at their high school separately around 11:10am. Both were heavily armed with guns, knives, and several home-made pipe bombs. Harris carried a Hi-Point model 995 carbine rifle and a sawed-off pump-action shotgun, while Klebold was armed with a Tech-DC9 9-mm semi-automatic handgun and an additional sawed-off double barrel shotgun. The pair wore their usual attire of black trench coats, as well as personalized t-shirts. Klebold’s black t-shirt displayed the word “WRATH” in bright red lettering, while Harris wore a white t-shirt with the words “NATURAL SELECTION”. When the two arrived at Columbine High School, they each parked their cars on each side of the school cafeteria’s entrance, as the cafeteria was their main target.
Photo: The knives of which Harris and Klebold were armed with.
Photo: The firearms used in the massacre.
Prior to arriving at the school, Harris and Klebold had planted a small fire bomb in a nearby field. This bomb was set to detonate at 11:14am and was intended to be a distraction for firefighters and emergency services. Luckily this bomb only partially exploded, causing a small fire that was quickly extinguished by the fire department. Back at the school, the vehicles of each perpetrator contained additional bombs set to explode at noon. Harris and Klebold first entered the school to plant two 20-pound propane bombs, which were concealed in duffle bags, in the cafeteria. This action was not caught on the school’s security footage due to the tapes being switched out. These bombs were set to blast at 11:17am. The strategy of the perpetrators was to eliminate the majority of the school population during the busiest lunch time, then execute any remaining survivors.
When duo returned to each of their cars to await the explosion, Harris encountered Brooks Brown, a fellow student. The two had a history of conflicts with each other, but they had recently made amends. Brown approached Harris, remembering that he had been absent from an important class test. After mentioning this, Harris stated “It doesn’t matter anymore”, and continued on saying, “Brooks, I like you now. Get out of here. Go home.” Brown nervously decided to walk away and later heard what sounded like gunshots.
Fortunately the propane bomb explosions failed to occur. It was later discovered that if they had exploded with full power, all 488 people present in the cafeteria at the time would have been killed, or at the least severely injured. The ceiling also could have collapsed, dropping the school’s library onto the cafeteria. When the bombs failed to detonate, Harris and Klebold decided to proceed with their plans. They approached the west entrance of the school at 11:19am, throwing a pipe bomb in the direction of Rachel Scott and Richard Castaldo. The two friends were having lunch together when Castaldo noticed an object being thrown towards them. The pipe bomb only partially exploded, causing Castadlo to assume that this was merely a senior prank. Harris then yelled “Go! Go!” according to a witness, and both shooters retrieved guns from their trench coats. They first began to shoot at Scott and Castaldo. Rachel Scott is believed to have been shot first, ultimately a total of four times, by Harris. She was killed instantly. Castaldo was shot eight times in the arm, chest and abdomen. He became paralyzed below the chest and fell into unconsciousness.
Following this, Harris removed his coat and shot in the direction of three students ascending from a staircase. The students were Daniel Rohrbough and Sean Graves, both 15, and Lance Kirklin, 16. All three were hit and wounded. Meanwhile, inside of the school cafeteria, students had heard the commotion outside and believed they were witnessing a senior prank. A teacher by the name of Dave Sanders realized that the school was really being attacked and took immediate action. Sanders successfully evacuated the majority of the students in the cafeteria and continued to secure as much of the school as possible. Back outside the school, the perpetrators began firing towards five students sitting on a grassy hillside. A 15-year-old boy named Michael Johnson was shot in the face, arm, and leg, but was able to run and escape. Mark Taylor, 16, was shot in the arms, chest, and leg; he fell to the ground. The remaining three students were able to get away unharmed.
It was at this time that Dylan Klebold approached the injured Lance Kirklin, who was weakly calling for help. Klebold shot him in the face after saying “Sure, I’ll help you”. Kirklin miraculously survived. Sean Graves, who was paralyzed below the waist, had crawled through the doorway of a cafeteria entrance and collapsed. Daniel Rohrbough, who had already been fatally shot by Harris minutes before, was shot again at close range in the upper chest by Klebold. The same gunman then walked over the injured body of Sean Graves, entering the cafeteria (possibly to check on the propane bombs inside). Eric Harris shot at numerous students sitting near the cafeteria’s entrance, seriously wounding Anne-Marie Hochhalter, 17, as she attempted to flee. Klebold afterwards met back up with Harris and the two fired at students near a soccer field; nobody was hit. The shooters then walked towards the west entrance once more, throwing pipe bombs (most of which failed to explode).
As Harris and Klebold were approaching the doors, so was art teacher Patti Nielson and Brian Anderson, a 17-year-old student. Nielson had noticed the pandemonium and was intending to tell the perpetrators to “knock it off”, as she also assumed they were pulling a prank or filming a video. When Anderson opened the first set of double doors, the shooters fired at the windows. Nielson was hit in the shoulder with shrapnel and Anderson was hit by flying glass. Nielson immediately rushed into the school library, warning everyone about the dangers; the injured Anderson stayed behind. Nielson instructed those in the library to get underneath tables and stay quiet, afterwards calling 911.
Deputy Neil Gardner, an armed full-time Student Resource Officer, was contacted through his radio at 11:22am. Gardner’s assistance had been requested in the school’s senior parking lot and while driving there it was reported that a female was down. As he arrived at the parking lot at around 11:24am, another call was heard on his radio: “Neil, there’s a shooter in the school”. When Eric Harris noticed Deputy Gardner, he immediately fired at him using his carbine rifle. Harris fired a total of ten shots at Gardner, who was approximately 60 yards away. When Harris diverted his eyes to reload his firearm, Gardner returned four rounds of fire. However, Gardner was not wearing his prescription glasses and was unable to hit the shooter. Harris then entered the school building; no one was injured during this standoff.
Within just the first five minutes of the massacre, two students had been killed, ten were wounded, and one of the shooters had endured a firefight with an armed officer.
For the next several minutes Harris and Klebold walked through the school, throwing pipe bombs and shooting at anyone who encountered them. It was then that Klebold shot student Stephanie Munson in the ankle. Regardless of her injuries, she was able to flee from the school. The gunmen shot out several windows and continued to fire at students they spotted while making their way through the halls, ultimately failing to hit anyone.
Another firefight erupted between two newly arrived deputies and Eric Harris, but again no one was harmed. In the meantime Dave Sanders and another student were still securing the school. They came across the shooters and quickly ran in the opposite direction as they were shot at. The student was able to get away unharmed, but Sanders suffered two gunshot wounds to the chest. When the shooters left, Sanders began struggling towards a classroom holding 30 students. When the injured Sanders entered the classroom, students there placed a sign in a window for authorities and medical services. The sign read “1 bleeding to death”.
Despite the circumstances, teachers were able to recruit a student named Aaron Hancey and brought him to the location of Dave Sanders. Hancey had first aid knowledge, and with the help of student Kevin Starkey and teacher Teresa Miller, was able to conduct procedures on Sanders for a full three hours or so. They tried to stem the blood loss using the shirt of various students while also maintaining contact with officials outside.
Now, at 11:29am, the worst part of the massacre would take place. Patti Nielson had been speaking with emergency services on the phone since approximately 11:25am, and stayed on the line during the entire attack on the library, recording the events. Harris and Klebold first threw two bombs into the library hallway, damaging lockers. After this they entered the library itself, where a total of 56 people were present. Harris yelled “Get up!” at a volume so loud that he can be heard on the 911 recording. Later reports from witnesses claim that the perpetrators then also yelled “All jocks stand up! We’ll get the guys in white hats!”.
When nobody stood up in response to the gunmen, Harris shouted “Fine, I’ll start shooting anyway!”. He first used his shotgun, firing twice at a desk; Evan Todd was hit by wood splinters, but wasn’t seriously injured. Harris and Klebold then walked to the opposite end of the library, towards two rows of computers. Klebold murdered Kyle Velasquez, 16, firing at his head and back. Both of the shooters then reloaded their weapons. Harris spoke to Klebold, saying “Let’s go kill some cops”, and the two proceeded to shoot at police through a window; the officers fired back. No injuries occurred during this exchange. Klebold afterwards fired his shotgun at a table, injuring Patrick Ireland, Daniel Steepleton, and Makai Hall. He then removed his trench coat while Harris fired his shotgun underneath a table without looking. He hit Steven Curnow, 14, in the neck, killing him.
Following this Harris fired under another table, injuring Kacey Ruegsegger, 17. The bullet went through her right shoulder, as well as her hand, and grazed her neck, severing a major artery. When Ruegsegger began to gasp in pain, Harris told her “Quit your bitching.” Next the gunman walked over to a different table and knocked on the surface twice. He then knelt to the ground, saying “peek-a-boo” before firing a single shot into the head of Cassie Bernall. When shooting Bernall, Harris had been holding onto his shotgun with only one hand, causing the weapon hit his face in recoil; he broke his nose as a result.
After the execution of Cassie Bernall, Harris turned to another table and asked Bree Pasquale if she wanted to die. Pasquale simply replied with a plea for her life. It was reported that at this time Harris seemed disorientated; this was likely a result of the heavy bleeding from his broken nose. During this encounter with Pasquale, the other perpetrator witnessed Patrick Ireland attempting to provide aid for another wounded student. Ireland’s head rose above the table and Klebold shot him a second time; Ireland was hit twice in the head and once in his foot. Thankfully Ireland survived this, but he fell unconscious. Klebold then discovered more students -who were also popular athletes- hiding underneath a single table. These three students were Isaiah Shoels, 18, Matthew Kechter, 16, and Craig Scott (the younger brother of Rachel Scott), 16. Klebold attempted to pull Shoels out from under the table as he called to Harris. Using Harris’ nickname, Klebold shouted “REB! There’s a nigger over here!”. Harris then left Pasquale behind and joined his partner.
As reported by witnesses, the perpetrators insulted Shoels for a time, making derogatory racial remarks. Moments later Harris shot Shoels in the chest, killing him. Klebold opened fire as well, murdering Matthew Kechter. “Who’s ready to die next?” Harris afterwards yelled. Throughout this exchange, Craig Scott laid unharmed in his friend’s blood, fearing death. A carbon dioxide bomb was thrown by Harris in the direction of Patrick Ireland, Makai Hall, and Daniel Steepleton. The bomb landed on Steepleton’s thigh, but was quickly thrown away by Hall. After these events Harris walked over to a bookcase, jumped on it, and began to shake it. He additionally fired a random shot in that general area while Klebold walked around and shot at a display case next to the library door.
Klebold then began shooting at the table closest to him. He hit Mark Kintgen, 17, in the head and shoulder. Lisa Kreutz and Valeen Schnurr, both 18, were injured next, getting hit with the same gunshot blast. After this Klebold moved towards the same table, shooting and killing Lauren Townsend, 18, with his Tech-DC9 handgun. When Schnurr, who was suffering from serious injuries, began to scream “Oh my God, oh my God!”, Klebold asked if she believed in the existence of God. When she replied yes, the shooter asked her “Why?” before leaving the table. At this time Harris knelt down at a table, dismissing two girls as “pathetic”. He then approached another table and fired two shots; Nicole Nowlen and John Tomlin, both 16 years old, were injured. As Tomlin tried to move away from the table, Klebold kicked him and Harris mocked his attempt to escape. Tomlin was shot repeatedly and murdered by Klebold.
Harris walked back to where Lauren Townsend lay dead and found Kelly Fleming, 16, hiding behind a table rather than under it due to lack of space. She was shot in the back by Harris, and died instantly. The gunman fired again, hitting the already deceased Lauren Townsend and the injured Lisa Kreutz. The shooters then proceeded to the center of the library and again reloaded their weapons. Harris took notice to a student hiding nearby and asked him to identify himself. This student identified himself as John Savage, who had came to the library to study earlier in the day. Savage identified himself with the belief that the shooters were only targeting jocks, which he himself was not, in an attempt to save his own life. Savage questioned Klebold, asking what they were doing, and Klebold plainly answered “Oh, just killing people”. After this Savage asked if they were going to kill him. Possibly due to the sound of a fire alarm, Klebold asked “What?” and he repeated his question. Klebold hesitated, but told him to leave. Savage immediately fled from the library, running quickly as he feared the shooters may change their minds about letting him go. He made it out of the school safely.
Daniel Mauser would lose his life next. After Savage’s escape, Harris turned and fired his carbine rifle at Mauser, grazing his ear. Mauser, 15, then bravely fought back. He shoved a chair at Harris, but the shooter fired again and fatally hit him in the face at close range. Both perpetrators then moved south, firing randomly at another table, where they critically injured Jennifer Doyle and Austin Eubanks, 17. Corey DePooter, 17, the final victim of the massacre, was also murdered here. He died at approximately 11:35am and was later acknowledged for keeping his friends calm during the attack.
There were no further injuries after the death of DePooter. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 10 people and injured 12 in the library. 34 people remained there unharmed. It was eventually revealed that the shooters had enough ammunition to have killed everyone in the library.
Witnesses reported that at this time Klebold said “Maybe we should start knifing people, that might be more fun”. The shooters moved to the library’s main counter and Harris threw a Molotov cocktail towards another end of the library, but it failed to explode. Harris and Klebold then walked over to where Evan Todd had hid after being initially wounded. They mocked Todd and demanded to see his face. Todd only partially lifted his white hat, and Klebold asked for a reason to not kill him. “I don’t want trouble”, Todd had said. The gunman further taunted the student, saying “You used to call me a fag. Who’s a fag now?!”. The perpetrators continued this momentarily, debating whether or not to murder Todd, ultimately walking away.
Possibly due to Harris’ disorientation the two decided to leave the library at 11:36am. Before exiting, Klebold fired a shot into an open library staff room, where he hit a small television. He also grabbed a chair and slammed it down on top of the counter directly above where Patti Nielson was hiding. With great fear and caution, survivors in the library began to evacuate through the north door, leading them to a sidewalk next to the west entrance of the school. Kacey Ruegsegger was evacuated from the library by Craig Scott; if she had not been evacuated at that time, Ruegsegger likely would have died from her injuries. The injured and unconscious Patrick Ireland and the injured Lisa Kreutz were unable to move and therefore remained in the school.
Teacher Patti Nielson joined student Brian Anderson and three library staff members in the staff break room that Klebold had previously fired shots into. They locked themselves in this room where they remained until approximately 3:30pm, when they were evacuated. Meanwhile the gunmen walked through the building, causing a small fire in an empty storage closet which was quickly put out and shooting into an empty science classroom. Soon they reentered the cafeteria. Harris knelt down and fired towards one of the propane bombs in a failed attempt to detonate it. He also took a sip from a drink that was left behind in the cafeteria while Klebold examined one of the propane bombs.
As the two shooters departed the cafeteria, Klebold threw a Molotov cocktail, which exploded and partially detonated one of the propane bombs at 11:46am. Within minutes, about one gallon of fuel was ignited in the same area, causing a fire which was extinguished by the school’s fire sprinklers. After leaving the cafeteria Harris and Klebold returned to the hallways, shooting aimlessly. As they wandered, the shooters occasionally approached classroom doors, looking inside. They made make eye contact with those inside, but did not attempted to enter any of the rooms. At one point the gunmen reloaded their weapons near the room where Dave Sanders was being attended to. Aaron Hancey later spoke about jumping away from the classroom door’s window, and how those moments were some of the scariest for him during the entire massacre.
The perpetrators arrived at a bathroom and the taunted students inside, making remarks such as “We know you’re in there” and “Let’s kill anyone we find in here”. Neither shooter attempted to enter the restroom and no one there was harmed. Around 11:55am Harris and Klebold entered the cafeteria once more. They briefly entered the school kitchen, then went back up a staircase and into the school’s south hallway. Harris and Klebold finally entered the library at 12:02pm. They began shooting at police officers outside, who returned fire, but as before no one was injured.
At 12:08pm, approximately 49 minutes after the beginning of the massacre, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold committed suicide. Patti Nielson suddenly heard the two shout in unison, “One! Two! Three!”. These words were followed by the sound of gunfire. Harris had fired his shotgun through the roof of his mouth, and Klebold had pulled the trigger as he held his Tech-DC9 handgun up to his left temple.
By 1:09pm SWAT teams had entered the school, going through each classroom individually, discovering and evacuating hidden students and faculty members. At 2:38pm, the injured Patrick Ireland had been able to crawl to the library’s windows. Since being shot by Klebold, he had regained and lost consciousness several times. Ireland stretched himself out of a broken window, intending to be caught by two members of the SWAT team who were standing on top of an emergency vehicle. However, Ireland suddenly fell and landed on the roof of the vehicle. Lisa Kreutz, injured and still in the building, kept track of time by listening to the school’s bells until she was evacuated. Kreutz, along with Patti Nielson, Brian Anderson, and the three library staff members, were safely evacuated by authorities around 3:22pm.
Despite Aaron Hancey and other’s attempts to aid Dave Sanders, he unfortunately passed away by 3:00pm. Sanders was the only teacher to die in the massacre.
A total of 15 lives were lost, including the two lives of the shooters. An additional 24 people were injured; 21 of these injuries were a result of gunfire and the other three occurred while fleeing the school. 188 rounds of ammunition in all were fired by the two perpetrators; 121 by Harris and 67 by Klebold. The police also fired 141 rounds of ammunition during the gunfights with the shooters. Columbine High School was declared safe at 4:30pm, and additional explosives were discovered by authorities in the following hours. After some findings, the sheriff decided to mark the entire school as a crime scene. The bodies of the deceased were still inside of the building at the time. Throughout the late hours of the day, the bodies were removed from the school grounds and taken to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office where they would be identified and autopsied. It was around 5:00pm when the names of most of the perished were released.
Ben: A lot of people also talk about decisions, and who makes those decisions in One Direction. That’s something we touched on earlier. Harry: (singing) Decisions… Ben: These days I guess, is it just always your call on everything, from albums— [Liam: Modest.] [Niall: No.] —to what you do— (Ben laughs) go on, Liam—
Liam: No, it’s us, it’s us, I’m just kidding. It totally is, it totally— Before we start, some strange stuff going on—
I’ve started something, now we’re here. Ben: Maybe correct that. Liam: But yeah no it is totally us. Like I say, it’s amazing like, and the thing is these days it’s not even us trying to put our [—?] in everywhere, people ask us. Like when we worked with you on the videos, for example, if we like a shot, you go ‘do you like that, or don’t you like it?’ You’ll give us a piece of advice for something. I think we’re given a lot advice on certain things, but ultimately, we call the shots. …I actually call the shots, in total.
Niall: I really like your video for Night Changes. Ben:Thanks very much. Niall: It’s very nice. Louis: Mm. Ben: I’ve just shown them the video of Night Changes, and I think it’s quite exciting.
Song Inspiration: Not Your Enemy by Jesse McCartney (don’t judge - it just seemed fitting)
A/N: Hello hello! So yesterday, the amazing @deseraysmiththings posted these great writing prompts involving arranged marriage with the Demon King. I wrote a drabble for one that ultimately inspired this one-shot. I really hope you all like it.
Quick reminder for new readers just joining in (hi new readers!): normally, I write fics for Supernatural. However, I’m also a huge fan of WWE and love reading the works of that community as well. After reading some brilliant pieces from - and chatting with - the amazing @devitt-club, I got inspired to write a fic featuring one of my current favorites: Finn Bálor. So I’m new to the WWE fanfic crowd and couldn’t be more thankful for the love I’ve received so far.