March 30, 2012
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The Columbine High School Shooting
April 20, 1999 started off as a normal day. That is, unless you were in Columbine High School that day. I saw two boys put duffel bags in the cafeteria and one of them lit a lighter and fled. At 10:14, bombs in the cafeteria were timed to go off. But nothing happened. They then decided to start shooting people. By the way, my name is Zak Smith. I was a freshman at the time. At first I heard a few pops and thought it was just the foundation settling, but then I saw 2 guys with guns peeking around the corner and at first, I thought it was just 2 seniors pulling a prank, because it was the end of the school year, but then when the 2 shooters started shooting and hit one of my friends, I ran down the hall and around the corner. I got hit in the ankle, but I didn’t notice it at that time. I could hear their footsteps get closer and closer, so I ducked into an open janitor’s closet and shut the door. I thought they saw me go into the closet, and it wasn’t locked, so they could open and kill me at anytime they wanted to. I didn’t dare breathe as I could hear them clearly speaking, “Where’d that kid go?” and “Be a man and come out!” and “We gotta go if we wanna kill everybody instead of just one kid, Eric.” I was shocked. It was one of my good friends in the Trenchcoat Mafia, Eric Harris. He was always known as quiet even though he got bullied relentlessly. His best friend always at his side was Dylan Klebold. It had to be the other kid in the shooting. As soon as I knew for sure that they were gone, I got out of the closet and ran to the library because that was where the nearest exit was. Little did I know that I would regret that choice forever. As I ran down the halls toward the library, there were many things on my mind. Why were Dylan and Eric doing this? Was it because they were being bullied? I think to this day that is why they did this. When I got to the library, Mrs. Nielson was on the phone with the police and told me to put my head under the table. I hid in the closest spot I could find, which was next to Mrs. Nielson. As soon as I got there, I heard a “GET UP!” and a “Everybody with white hats stand up! NOW!” Then I heard gunshots. They walked around and kept shooting under each table. I could see because I could see a monitor that was for the camera in the library. I kept hearing Dylan shout things, very bad things, as he was shooting people. But not Eric. He was quiet and didn’t say anything, unless he was talking with Dylan. Then I heard a very soft peek-a-boo, a shot, and then someone hitting against a desk. My guess was it was a student who’d been shot, but it was actually Eric from the recoil of the gun. I heard him ask someone if they wanted to die, and a girl’s voice answered “No, please don’t kill me, please!” Dylan saw someone poke up from a table and he shot at him. It was Patrick Ireland. He received a gunshot wound to the head, leaving him unconscious. Eric saw someone under the table and said, “Identify yourself!” He said, “It’s John. John Savage.” John Savage was one of Dylan’s friends. Eric walked away, and John asked Dylan what they were doing. Dylan responded. “Oh, just killing people. You should get outta here man, it’s not safe. Go. GO!” John said nothing as he ran out the outer library door to outside. Eric and Dylan walked out of the library shortly after that, ending their killing spree in the library. They went to the cafeteria where Eric tried to get the propane bombs to explode by shooting at them. They went to the library again, and I heard them shoot at the police forces outside. Then Dylan said, “Ok, on the count of 3, 1………2………3!” Gunshots. Then nothing more. The 49 minute long massacre had finally been put to a stop. As I creeped out from behind the librarian’s desk, I will not describe the gruesome horrors I witnessed, but I will say I was relieved to see the bodies of the 2 killers in pools of blood on the ground. The police didn’t enter the building until after 3 o’clock. When the first officers came in, I was shaking at the things I witnessed and still do to this day. When it was all over with, 12 students and 1 teacher had been killed, and 23 others had been injured. All of the 12 students and 20 of the injured were in the library. I knew that I wasn’t the only one who had witnessed the horrors in the library. Instead of rebuilding the library, the built bricks over the door and dedicated it as a memorial to all of those that died there. The victims were all buried in one area. The killers however, were buried side by side somewhere else. Some people felt sorry for Eric and Dylan, for how badly they were bullied, but other people say no matter what, they shouldn’t have done what they did. I personally kind of feel sorry for them and how badly they were bullied, but not enough to say that what they did wasn’t bad. Because what they did was horrible and no one should have to suffer death just because they were angry at people who bullied them.

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Blue_rose said...
Apr. 7, 2012 at 9:00 am
This must have been a horrific experience.
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