- Cassie Bernall, age 17. Cassie was active in church youth programs and Bible study groups. She had recently visited Britain. Her favorite movie was Mel Gibson's "Braveheart."
-- Steven Curnow, age 14. Curnow was a freshman at Columbine. He dreamed of being a Navy top gun and piloting an F-16. He is said to have watched "Star Wars" movies so often he could recite dialogue. Steven played soccer as a boy and had learned to referee to earn pocket money.
-- Corey DePooter, age 17. Corey was a good student and loved to golf, hunt and fish. He was a former wrestler. Corey had taken a maintenance job at a golf club to save up for a boat with a friend.
-- Kelly Fleming, age 16. Was an aspiring songwriter and author, Kelly wrote scores of poems and short stories based on her life experiences. She was also learning to play guitar. Kelly had recently moved from Phoenix and was eager to get her driver's license and a part-time job.
-- Matthew Kechter, age 16. As a junior, Matthew had hoped to start for the football team. He enjoyed lifting weights and maintained an 'A' average.
-- Daniel Mauser, age 15. A sophomore, Daniel excelled in math and science and had earned straight A's on his last report card. Daniel ran cross country and was on the debate team.
-- Daniel Rohrbough, age 15. Daniel helped in his father's electronics business and worked on family farms in Kansas during the summer. He enjoyed computer games, stereos and home theater systems.
-- William "Dave" Sanders, age 47. Mr. Sanders was a Columbine teacher for 24 years. He taught classes in business and science. Mr. Sanders also coached girls' basketball and softball. He was married with three daughters and 10 grandchildren. Mr. Sanders was shot twice in the chest while directing students down a hallway to safety.
-- Rachel Scott, age 17. Rachel played the lead in a student-written play, "Smoke in the Room." She was active in Celebration Christian Fellowship church and liked photography. On the day of the tragedy, Rachel's younger brother Craig, 16, played dead in the library and helped lead others to safety.
-- Isaiah Shoels, age 18. Isaiah was due to graduate in May. He suffered health problems as a child and had heart surgery twice. Isaiah wanted to attend an arts college and become a music executive. He was small in stature but lifted weights, played football and wrestled.
-- John Tomlin, age 16. John enjoyed driving off-road in his beat-up Chevy pickup. He worked after school in a gardening store and belonged to a church youth group. John went on a missionary trip to Mexico and built a house for the poor. He hoped to enlist in the Army.
-- Lauren Townsend, age 18. Lauren was the captain of girls' varsity volleyball team, which was coached by her mother. She was a member of the National Honor Society and a candidate for valedictorian. Lauren hoped to major in biology in college.
-- Kyle Velasquez, age 16. Kyle had attended Columbine only three months before the shooting. Kyle loved computers, his family and the Denver Broncos. He dreamed of joining the Navy, as his father had. Kyle was buried with full military honors at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.
In addition to the dead, 23 were wounded at Columbine. One of the students who organized a memorial to the victims said this:
DeAngelis tells 11 News in part, "I can remember so vividly thinking, what is it going to feel like when a bullet penetrates your body? And I was thinking, is my body going to go numb, is it going to be cold?" All accounts of the scene of the shooting are chilling as Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walked through the school, shooting indiscriminately. Some students were specifically targeted. What makes this even more chilling is that some think the shooters picked April 20 as the day for their attack on the school because it is the birthday of Adolph Hilter and one day away from the April 19th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing 4 years earlier.
However we look at the Columbine shootings, the incident does mark the beginning of a gun control movement, the Million Mom March, that has led to activists all over the country organizing chapters to push for more common sense gun laws. Columbine has also become synonymous with school shootings and one need only say "Columbine" for someone to know what the word means. It is also towards the beginning of this long list of school shootings (1996-present) which should be required reading for everyone. The U.S. has the distinction of having more school shootings than any other country.
There have been a number of anniversaries in March and April commemorating shootings and the victims of shootings. Until we pass some sensible gun legislation, the shootings will no doubt continue. Until we change the way we think about guns and our culture of gun violence in America, the shootings will no doubt continue. Unless common sense breaks out in our Congress and state legislatures, the shootings will no doubt continue. Unless we do something rather than nothing, the list of victims will continue to grow. To do nothing is not an option.