The Columbine High School Shooting

April 20, 1999

What Happened?

The Columbine Shooting was a school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in Jefferson County. Two teens were the shooters, they killed thirteen, wounded twenty others, then committed suicide. Out of those killed there was twelve students and one teacher. The gunmen were Eric Harris, who was eighteen years old, and Dylan Klebold who was seventeen. The boys began killing students outside the school at 11:19 am then moved into the library. By twelve pm they had killed the last of their victims and turned their guns on themselves.


The original plan was for the boys to bomb the school but when their bombs didn't detonate they began the shooting spree. Both were seen as social outcasts and bullied because they were supposedly fascinated with the Goth culture. Speculations as to why the teens committed these crimes were for revenge for being bullied or influence from violent video games. Neither of these theories were proven. Journals were discovered from both Harris and Klebold revealing that the boys had been planning to bomb the school for over a year.

Others involved

Three individuals were arrested and sentenced to prison for assisting in the shooting. Mark Manes sold a gun and one hundred rounds of ammunition to Harris. Philip Duran introduced Kelbold and Harris to Manes. Robyn Anderson, a friend of Harris, helped the boys purchase the guns.

The aftermath

After the shootings school developed a "zero tolerance" policy for violence. Funerals were held for the victims and a memorial was eventually built. The events of that day marked the worst school shooting until the Virginia Tech Shootings on April 16, 2007.
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