About the gunmen.
It was the 20th of April in 1999 when two gunmen shot up Columbine. The two gunmen were Eric Harris (who was born on the 9th of April in 1981) and Dylan Klebold (who was born on the 11th of in 1981). Eric Harris moved from Wichita, Kansas to Littleton in Colorado with his family when he was 12. Dylan Klebold already lived in Littleton. During high school, Eric became close friends with Dylan, another social outcast. While Eric was talkative and volatile, Dylan was shy and reserved. But they both hated the school and anyone else they believed had mistreated them. By the second year and Columbine High School, Harris had become visibly different. Harris and Klebold started to dress like the school’s outsider clique, the Trench Coat Mafia, by wearing long, black coats, dark clothes and boots. Harris was often hassled by other students for his weird looks and odd behaviour. Both Harris and Klebold studied German and became obsessed with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. They wore swastikas and sometimes gave the “Heil, Hitler” salute. Unlike Klebold, Harris’ anger was often visible. Angry at a friend, he threw an ice ball through his windshield, cracking the glass, and later threatened to kill that same person on his website. The site was filled with violent tirades against anyone and everyone that Harris disliked or thought had done him wrong.
The person on the left is Dylan Klebold, and the person on the right is Eric Harris.
Their first offense,
In 1998, both Eric and Dylan were arrested after stealing from a van they broke into. They were charged with theft, criminal mischief and criminal trespassing. Since it was their first offense, they were enrolled in a diversion program, which consisted of community service and counseling. They were released a month early from the program in February 1999, only two months before the shooting rampage.
Eric was a strong student who earned good grades, but his homework often featured violent imagery and gory details. For about a year the two prepared for a shooting on “Judgement day”. Eric and Dylan learned to make bombs and acquired guns. They even made videotapes in which they discussed their plot
This was one of Eric's drawings. You can see on this drawing how he planned the outfit.
The actual shooting rampage
After months of planning the shooting rampage, Eric and Dylan carried out their assault on their school on the morning of the 20th of April, which was also Hitler’s birthday. They had planted a bomb in the cafeteria, which was supposed to go off around 11 A.M.. The bomb was supposed to force everyone out of the building. Eric and Dylan planned on shooting people as they entered the parking lot. When the bomb failed, the two entered the school a short time after 11 A.M. and began shooting. For less than an hour, they terrorized the school, killing 12 students and a teacher. They also wounded more than 20 others. Returning to the library, where they had killed and wounded several people, Eric shot himself in the head as did Dylan a few moments later.
This is a frame from the camera in the cafeteria.
What happened afterwards
The nation reeled from the news of the school shootings, and both killers and the authorities response to the siege were thoroughly investigated. With many wondering about how the tragedy could have been avoided and how the police and emergency workers could have handled the situation better. Tragically, Harris and Klebold have served as an example often cited by other young school shooters who followed in their wake.
This is one of the many articles written about the Columbine school rampage.