Columbine Was 13 Years Ago

schools and guns

On April 20, 1999, Columbine High School made history in an unfortunate manner. Within only 16 minutes, two Columbine High School students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killed 13 people and injured 21 more. The gunmen used an assortment of weapons and explosive devices in their attacks. The attack was over when the two gunmen committed suicide.

Read the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Report: Columbine High School Shootings which provides a detailed and disturbing account of the attacks including timelines, maps, videos, and 911 audio tapes.

“In an effort to share with others the lessons learned from his department’s experience at the Columbine High School tragedy, Chief William Pessemier of the Littleton, Colorado Fire Department requested that the United States Fire Administration (USFA) assist the department in conducting a post-incident analysis of the event and in documenting the fire and emergency medical services response.”

In the 1999 report by the U.S. Fire Administration, Wanton Violence at Columbine High School, we learn that an attempt to divert the Littleton Fire department and other emergency personnel away from the high school was made by the suspects by planting explosives about 3 miles away. The diversion “placed them about three times farther away from the high school than would have been the case if they had been in station.” See a map that shows the distance between the planted explosives, the fire station and Columbine High School.

On January 28, 2000, Governor Bill Owens signed an executive order that created the Columbine Review Commission which looked into the tragic events at Columbine High School and provided recommendations in the hopes of “avoiding another Columbine and of promoting more effective responses to such assaults should, unfortunately, they occur in the future.”

Read the FBI Records: Columbine High School (Parts 1-4)

Read the Police Reports for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

For additional resources on Columbine and other school-related issues such as bullying, school safety & preparedness, prevention, statistics, please see the HSDL’s School Violence Featured Topic [requires login].

Article formerly posted at