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Columbine High School »info

Owner: Allison Shaw

Dedicated To: Columbine High School

Tribute: To the survivors, victims and family and friends of Columbine High School




The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. In addition to the shootings, the complex and highly planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices, and car bombs.

The perpetrators murdered 12 students and one teacher. They injured 21 additional people, and three more were injured while attempting to escape the school. After exchanging gunfire with responding police officers, the pair subsequently committed suicide.

In 1996, gunman "A" created a private website on America Online, initially to host gaming levels he created for use in the video game Doom. On the site, gunman "A" began a blog, which included jokes and short journal entries with thoughts on parents, school, and friends. By the end of the year, the site contained instructions on how to cause mischief, as well as instructions on how to make explosives, and blogs in which he described the trouble he and gunman "B" were causing. Beginning in early 1997, the blog postings began to show the first signs of gunman "A"'s ever-growing anger against society.

Gunman "A"'s site attracted few visitors and caused no concern until March 1998. Gunman "B" was aware of the site and gave the web address to Brooks Brown, in an effort to warn him of gunman "A"'s threats of violence against Brown and his family. Brown's mother had filed numerous complaints with the Jefferson County Sheriff's office concerning gunman "A", as she thought he was dangerous. The website contained numerous death threats directed against Brown: gunman "B" knew that if Brooks accessed the address, he would discover the content and inform his parents, and likely the authorities would be notified. After Brown's parents viewed the site, they contacted the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The investigator Michael Guerra was told about the website. When he accessed it, Guerra discovered numerous violent threats directed against the students and teachers of Columbine High School. Other material included blurbs that gunman "A" had written about his general hatred of society, and his desire to kill those who annoyed him.

Gunman "A" had noted on his site that he had made pipe bombs, in addition to a hit list of individuals (he did not post any plan on how he intended to attack targets). As gunman "A" had posted on his website that he possessed explosives, Guerra wrote a draft affidavit, requesting a search warrant of the gunman "A" household. The affidavit also mentioned a suspicion of gunman "A" being involved in an unsolved pipe bomb case in February 1998. The affidavit was never filed. It was concealed by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and not revealed until September 2001, resulting from an investigation by the TV show 60 Minutes.

On January 30, 1998, gunman "A" and gunman "B" stole tools and other equipment from a van parked near the City of Littleton. Both youths were arrested and subsequently attended a joint court hearing, where they pleaded guilty to the felony theft. The judge sentenced the duo to attend a juvenile diversion program. There, both boys attended mandated classes and talked with diversion officers. One of their classes taught anger management. Gunman "A" also began attending therapy classes with a psychologist. Gunman "B" had a history of drinking and had failed a dilute urine test, but neither he nor gunman "A" attended any substance abuse classes.

Gunman "A" and gunman "B" was eventually released from diversion several weeks early because of positive actions in the program; they were both on probation. Shortly after gunman "A"' and gunman "B"'s court hearing, gunman "A"'s online blog disappeared. His website was reverted to its original purpose of posting user-created levels of Doom. Gunman "A" began to write in a journal, in which he recorded his thoughts and plans. In April 1998, as part of his diversion program, gunman "A" wrote a letter of apology to the owner of the van. However, around the same time, he furiously derided him in his journal, stating that he believed himself to have the right to steal something if he wanted to. Gunman "A" continued his scheduled meetings with his psychologist until a few months before he and gunman "B" committed the Columbine High School massacre.

Gunman "A" dedicated a section of his website to posting content regarding his and gunman "B"'s progress in their collection of guns and building of bombs (they subsequently used both in attacking students at their school). After the website was made public, AOL permanently deleted it from its servers.

Prior to the massacre
On Tuesday morning, April 20, 1999, gunman "A" and gunman "B" placed a small fire bomb in a field about three miles south of Columbine High School, and two miles south of the fire station. Set to explode at 11:14 a.m., the bomb was intended as a diversion to draw firefighters and emergency personnel away from the school (it partially detonated and caused a small fire, which was quickly extinguished by the fire department).

At 11:10 a.m., gunman "A" and gunman "B" arrived separately at Columbine High School. gunman "A" parked his vehicle in the junior student parking lot, by the south entrance, and gunman "B" parked in the adjoining senior student parking lot, by the west entrance. The school cafeteria, their primary bomb target, with its long outside window-wall and ground-level doors, was between their parking spots.
After parking their cars, each containing concealed car bombs timed to detonate at 12:00, the duo met near gunman "A"'s car and armed a further two 20 pounds (9.1 kg) propane bombs before entering the cafeteria a few minutes prior to the beginning of the "A" lunch shift.

The youths placed the duffel bags containing the bombs, set to explode at approximately 11:17 a.m., inside the cafeteria before returning to their separate vehicles to await the explosion and shoot survivors fleeing the building. Had these bombs exploded with full power, they would have killed or severely wounded all 488 students in the cafeteria and possibly collapsed the ceiling, dropping part of the library into the cafeteria.

A Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy, Neil Gardner, was assigned to the high school as a full-time uniformed and armed school resource officer. Gardner usually ate lunch with students in the cafeteria, but on April 20 he was eating lunch in his patrol car at the northwest corner of the campus, watching students in the Smokers' Pit in Clement Park. The security staff at Columbine did not observe the bombs being placed in the cafeteria since a custodian was replacing the school security video tape as it happened. The bags holding the bombs were first visible on the fresh security tape, but they were not identified as suspicious items. No witness recalled seeing the duffel bags being added to the 400 or so backpacks already in the cafeteria.

As the two youths returned to their vehicles, gunman "A" encountered Brooks Brown, a friend and classmate with whom he had recently patched up a longstanding series of disagreements. Brown, who was in the parking lot smoking a cigarette, was surprised to see gunman "A", whom he had earlier noted had been absent from an important class test. Gunman "A" seemed unconcerned when reminded of this fact by Brown, commenting, "It doesn't matter anymore." gunman "A" then elaborated: "Brooks, I like you now. Get out of here. Go home." Brown, feeling uneasy, walked away. Several minutes later, students departing Columbine for their lunch break observed Brown heading down South Pierce Street away from the school. Meanwhile, gunman "A" and gunman "B" armed themselves by their vehicles and waited for the bombs to explode.

11:19 a.m.: Shooting begins
When the cafeteria bombs failed to explode, gunman "A" and gunman "B" convened and walked toward the school. Both armed, they climbed to the top of the outdoor west entrance steps, placing them on a level with the athletic fields west of the building and the library inside the west entrance, directly above the cafeteria. From this vantage point, the cafeteria's west entrance was located at the bottom of the staircase, next to the senior parking lot.

At 11:19 a.m., 17-year-old Rachel Scott was having lunch with friend Richard Castaldo while sitting on the grass next to the west entrance of the school. Castaldo said he saw one of the boys throw a pipe bomb, which only partially detonated. Thinking the bomb was no more than a crude senior prank, Castaldo did not take it seriously. At that moment, a witness heard gunman "A" yell, "Go! Go!" The two gunmen pulled their guns from beneath their trench coats and began shooting at Castaldo and Scott. Scott was hit four times and killed instantly. Castaldo was shot eight times in the chest, arm, and abdomen and paralyzed below the chest, falling into unconsciousness. It is unknown who fired first; however, gunman "A" was the one who shot and killed Scott, and Castaldo reported that Scott was hit before he was.

After the first two shootings, gunman "A" removed his trench coat and aimed his 9 mm carbine down the west staircase toward three youths: 15-year-olds Daniel Rohrbough and Sean Graves and 16-year-old Lance Kirklin. The three friends had been ascending the staircase directly below the shooters. Kirklin later reported seeing gunman "B" and gunman "A" standing at the top of the staircase before the pair opened fire. All three youths were shot and wounded. Inside the school, some of the students had believed that they were bearing witness to a senior prank by the two seniors. But in the cafeteria, Dave Sanders, a computer and business teacher as well as a varsity coach, quickly realized it was not a prank but a deliberate attack on the school.

Gunman "A" and gunman "B" turned and began shooting west in the direction of five students sitting on the grassy hillside adjacent to the steps and opposite the west entrance of the school. 15-year-old Michael Johnson was hit in the face, leg, and arm, but ran and escaped; 16-year-old Mark Taylor was shot in the chest, arms, and leg and fell to the ground, where he feigned death. The other three escaped uninjured.

Gunman "B" walked down the steps toward the cafeteria. He came up to Kirklin, who was already wounded and lying on the ground, weakly calling for help. gunman "B" said, "Sure. I'll help you," then shot Kirklin in the face, critically wounding him. Daniel Rohrbough and Sean Graves had descended the staircase when gunman "B" and gunman "A"' attention was diverted by the students on the grass; Graves—paralyzed beneath the waist—had crawled into the doorway of the cafeteria's west entrance and collapsed. Gunman "B" shot Rohrbough, who was already fatally wounded by the shots previously fired by gunman "A", at close range through the upper left chest and then stepped over the injured Sean Graves to enter the cafeteria. Officials speculated that gunman "B" went to the cafeteria to check on the propane bombs. Gunman "A" shot down the steps at several students sitting near the cafeteria's entrance, severely wounding and partially paralyzing 17-year-old Anne-Marie Hochhalter as she tried to flee. Gunman "B" came out of the cafeteria and went back up the stairs to join gunman "A".

They shot toward students standing close to a soccer field but did not hit anyone. They walked toward the west entrance, throwing pipe bombs, very few of which detonated. Meanwhile, inside the school, Patti Nielson, an art teacher, had noticed the commotion and walked toward the west entrance with a 17-year-old student, Brian Anderson. She had intended to walk outside to tell the two students to "Knock it off," thinking gunman "B" and gunman "A" were either filming a video or pulling a student prank. As Anderson opened the first set of double doors, gunman "A" and gunman "B" shot out the windows, injuring him with flying glass and hitting Nielson in the shoulder with shrapnel. Nielson stood and ran back down the hall into the library, alerting the students inside to the danger and telling them to get under desks and keep silent. Nielson dialed 9-1-1 and hid under the library's administrative counter. Anderson remained behind, caught between the exterior and interior doors.

11:22 a.m.: Police response
At 11:22, the custodian called Deputy Neil Gardner, the assigned resource officer to Columbine, on the school radio, requesting assistance in the senior parking lot. The only paved route took him around the school to the east and south on Pierce Street, where at 11:23 he heard on his police radio that a female was down, and assumed she had been struck by a car. While exiting his patrol car in the Senior lot at 11:24, he heard another call on the school radio, "Neil, there's a shooter in the school". Gunman "A", at the west entrance, immediately turned and fired ten shots from his carbine at Gardner, who was sixty yards away. As gunman "A" reloaded his carbine, Gardner leaned over the top of his car and fired four rounds at gunman "A" from his service pistol. Gunman "A" ducked back behind the building, and Gardner momentarily believed that he had hit him. Gunman "A" then reemerged and fired at least four more rounds at Gardner (which missed and struck two parked cars), before retreating into the building. No one was hit during the exchange of gunfire.
Thus, five minutes after the shooting started, and two minutes after the first radio call, Gardner had engaged in a gunfight with one of the student shooters. There were already two students dead and ten wounded. Gardner reported on his police radio, "Shots in the building. I need someone in the south lot with me."

The gunfight distracted gunman "A" and gunman "B" from the injured Brian Anderson. Anderson escaped to the library and hid inside an open staff break room. Back in the school, the duo moved along the main North Hallway, throwing pipe bombs and shooting at anyone they encountered. Gunman "B" shot Stephanie Munson in the ankle, although she was able to walk out of the school. The pair then shot out the windows to the East Entrance of the school. After proceeding through the hall several times and shooting toward—and missing—any students they saw, gunman "A" and gunman "B" went toward the west entrance and turned into the Library Hallway.

Deputy Paul Smoker, a motorcycle patrolman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, was writing a traffic ticket north of the school when the "female down" call came in at 11:23, most likely referring to Rachel Scott. Taking the shortest route, he drove his motorcycle over grass between the athletic fields and headed toward the west entrance. When he saw Deputy Scott Taborsky following him in a patrol car, he abandoned his motorcycle for the safety of the car. The two deputies had begun to rescue two wounded students near the ball fields when another gunfight broke out at 11:26, as gunman "A" returned to the double doors and again began shooting at Deputy Gardner, who returned fire. From the hilltop, Deputy Smoker fired three rounds from his pistol at gunman "A", who again retreated into the building. As before, no one was hit.

Inside the school, teacher Dave Sanders had successfully evacuated students from the cafeteria, where some of them went up a staircase leading to the second floor of the school. The stairs were located around the corner from the Library Hallway in the main South Hallway. By now, gunman "A" and gunman "B" were inside the main hallway. Sanders and another student were down at the end of the hallway still trying to secure as much of the school as they could. As they ran, they encountered gunman "A" and gunman "B", who were approaching from the corner of the North Hallway. Sanders and the student turned and ran in the opposite direction. Gunman "A" and gunman "B" shot at them both, with gunman "A" hitting Sanders twice in the chest but missing the student. The latter ran into a science classroom and warned everyone to hide. Gunman "B" walked over towards Sanders, who had collapsed, to look for the student but returned to gunman "A" up the North Hallway.

Sanders struggled toward the science area, and a teacher took him into a classroom where 30 students were located. They placed a sign in the window: "1 bleeding to death," in order to alert police and medical personnel of Sanders' location. Due to his knowledge of first aid, student Aaron Hancey was brought to the classroom from another by teachers despite the unfolding commotion. With the assistance of a fellow student named Kevin Starkey, and teacher Teresa Miller, Hancey administered first aid to Sanders for three hours; attempting to stem the blood loss using shirts from students in the room. Using a phone in the room, Miller and several students maintained contact with police outside the school. All the students in this room were evacuated safely.

11:29 a.m. – 11:36 a.m.: Library massacre
As the shooting unfolded, Patti Nielson talked on the phone with emergency services, telling her story and urging students to take cover beneath desks. According to transcripts, her call was received by a 9-1-1 operator at 11:25:05 a.m. The time between the call being answered and the shooters entering the library was four minutes and ten seconds. Before entering, the shooters threw two bombs into the cafeteria, both of which exploded. They then threw another bomb into the Library Hallway; it exploded and damaged several lockers. At 11:29 a.m., gunman "A" and gunman "B" entered the library, where a total of 52 students, two teachers and two librarians had concealed themselves.

Gunman "A" yelled, "Get up!" so loudly that he can be heard on Patti Nielson's 9-1-1 recording at 11:29:18. Staff and students hiding in the library exterior rooms later said they also heard the gunmen say: "All jocks stand up! We'll get the guys in white hats!" (Wearing a white baseball cap at Columbine was a tradition among sports team members, typically jocks.) When no one stood up in response, gunman "A" said, "Fine, I'll start shooting anyway!" He fired his shotgun twice at a desk, not knowing that a student named Evan Todd was hiding beneath it. Todd was hit by wood splinters but was not seriously injured.

The shooters walked to the opposite side of the library, to two rows of computers. Todd hid behind the administrative counter. Kyle Velasquez, 16, was sitting at the north row of computers; police later said he had not hidden underneath the desk when gunman "B" and gunman "A" had first entered the library, but had curled up under the computer table. Gunman "B" shot and killed Velasquez, hitting him in the head and back. Gunman "B" and gunman "A" put down their ammunition-filled duffel bags at the south—or lower—row of computers and reloaded their weapons. They walked back toward the windows facing the outside staircase. Noticing police evacuating students outside the school, gunman "A" said: "Let's go kill some cops." He and gunman "B" began to shoot out the windows in the direction of the police. Officers returned fire, and gunman "A" and gunman "B" retreated from the windows; no one was injured.

After firing through the windows at evacuating students and the police, gunman "B" fired his shotgun at a nearby table, injuring three students: Patrick Ireland, Daniel Steepleton, and Makai Hall. He removed his trench coat. As gunman "B" fired at the three, gunman "A" grabbed his shotgun and walked toward the lower row of computer desks, firing a single shot under the first desk without looking. He hit 14-year-old Steven Curnow with a mortal wound to the neck. Gunman "A" then shot under the adjacent computer desk, injuring 17-year-old Kacey Ruegsegger with a shot which passed completely through her right shoulder and hand, also grazing her neck and severing a major artery. When she started gasping in pain, gunman "A" tersely stated, "Quit your bitching."

Gunman "A" walked over to the table across from the lower computer row, slapped the surface twice and knelt, saying "Peek-a-boo" to 17-year-old Cassie Bernall before shooting her once in the head, killing her instantly. Gunman "A" had been holding the shotgun with one hand at this point and the weapon hit his face in recoil, breaking his nose. Initial reports suggest that gunman "A" asked Bernall "Do you believe in God?", to which she replied yes, before getting killed. However, three students who witnessed Bernall's death, including Emily Wyant, who had been hiding beneath the table with her, have testified that Bernall did not exchange words with gunman "A" after his initial taunt, although Wyant stated Bernall had been praying prior to her murder.

After fatally shooting Bernall, gunman "A" turned toward the next table, where Bree Pasquale sat next to the table rather than under it. Gunman "A" asked Pasquale if she wanted to die, and she responded with a plea for her life. Witnesses later reported that gunman "A" seemed disoriented—possibly from the heavily bleeding wound to his nose. As gunman "A" taunted Pasquale, gunman "B" noted Ireland trying to provide aid to Hall, who had suffered a wound to his knee. As Ireland tried to help Hall, his head rose above the table; gunman "B" shot him a second time, hitting him twice in the head and once in the foot. Ireland was knocked unconscious, but survived.

Gunman "B" walked toward another set of tables, where he discovered 18-year-old Isaiah Shoels, 16-year-old Matthew Kechter and 16-year-old Craig Scott (the younger brother of Rachel Scott), hiding under one table. All three were popular athletes. gunman "B" tried to pull Shoels out from under the table. He called to gunman "A", referring to him by his online identity and shouting, "REB! There's a nigger over here!" Gunman "A" left Pasquale and joined him. According to witnesses, gunman "B" and gunman "A" taunted Shoels for a few seconds, making derogatory racial comments. Gunman "A" knelt down and shot Shoels once in the chest at close range, killing him instantly. Gunman "B" also knelt down and opened fire, hitting and killing Kechter. Gunman "A" then yelled; "Who's ready to die next?". Meanwhile, Scott was uninjured; he lay in the blood of his friends, feigning death. Gunman "A" turned and threw a CO2 bomb at the table where Hall, Steepleton, and Ireland were located. It landed on Steepleton's thigh, and Hall quickly threw it away.

Gunman "A" walked toward the bookcases between the west and center section of tables in the library. He jumped on one and shook it, then shot in an unknown direction within that general area. Gunman "B" walked through the main area, past the first set of bookcases, the central desk area and a second set of bookcases into the east area. Gunman "A" walked from the bookcase he had shot from, past the central area to meet gunman "B". The latter shot at a display case located next to the door then turned and shot toward the closest table, hitting and injuring 17-year-old Mark Kintgen in the head and shoulder. He then turned toward the table to his left and fired, injuring 18-year-olds Lisa Kreutz and Valeen Schnurr with the same shotgun blast. Gunman "B" then moved toward the same table and fired with the TEC-9, killing 18-year-old Lauren Townsend. At this point, the seriously injured Valeen Schnurr began screaming, "Oh my God, oh my God!" In response, gunman "B" asked Schnurr if she believed in the existence of God; when Schnurr replied she did, gunman "B" simply asked "Why?" before walking from the table.

Gunman "A" approached another table where two girls were hiding. He bent down to look at them and dismissed them as "pathetic". Gunman "A" then moved to another table where he fired twice, injuring 16-year-olds Nicole Nowlen and John Tomlin. When Tomlin attempted to move away from the table, gunman "B" kicked him. Gunman "A" then taunted Tomlin's attempt at escape before gunman "B" shot the youth repeatedly, killing him. Gunman "A" then walked back over to the other side of the table where Lauren Townsend lay dead. Behind the table, a 16-year-old girl named Kelly Fleming had, like Bree Pasquale, sat next to the table rather than beneath it due to a lack of space. Gunman "A" shot Fleming with his shotgun, hitting her in the back and killing her instantly. He shot at the table behind Fleming, hitting Townsend and Kreutz again, and wounding 18-year-old Jeanna Park.
The shooters moved to the center of the library, where they continued to reload their weapons at a table there. Gunman "A" noticed a student hiding nearby and asked him to identify himself. It was John Savage, an acquaintance of gunman "B"'s, who had come to the library to study for a history test. Savage said his name, believing they were targeting only jocks (which he himself was not), in an attempt to save his life; he then asked gunman "B" what they were doing, to which he answered, "Oh, just killing people." Savage asked if they were going to kill him. Possibly because of a fire alarm, gunman "B" said, "What?" Savage asked again whether they were going to kill him. Gunman "B" hesitated, then told him to leave. Savage fled immediately and escaped through the library's main entrance.

After Savage had left, gunman "A" turned and fired his carbine at the table directly north of where they had been, grazing the ear of 15-year-old Daniel Mauser. When Mauser fought back, shoving a chair at gunman "A", gunman "A" fired again and hit Mauser in the face at close range, killing him. Both shooters moved south and fired randomly under another table, critically injuring two 17-year-olds, Jennifer Doyle and Austin Eubanks, and fatally wounding 17-year-old Corey DePooter. DePooter, the last to die in the massacre, at 11:35, was later credited with having kept his friends calm during the ordeal.
There were no further injuries after 11:35 a.m. They had killed 10 people in the library and wounded 12. Of the 56 library hostages, 34 remained unharmed. Investigators would later find that the shooters had enough ammunition to have killed them all.

At this point, several witnesses later said they heard gunman "A" and gunman "B" comment that they no longer found a thrill in shooting their victims. Gunman "B" was quoted as saying, "Maybe we should start knifing people, that might be more fun." (Both youths were equipped with knives.) They moved away from the table and went toward the library's main counter. Gunman "A" threw a Molotov cocktail toward the southwestern end of the library, but it failed to explode. Gunman "A" went around the east side of the counter and gunman "B" joined him from the west; they converged close to where Todd had moved after having been wounded. Gunman "A" and gunman "B" mocked Todd, who was wearing a white hat. When the shooters demanded to see his face, Todd partly lifted his hat so his face would remain obscured. When gunman "B" asked Todd to give him one reason why he should not kill him, Todd said: "I don't want trouble." gunman "B" said, "You [Todd] used to call me a fag. Who's a fag now?!" The shooters continued to taunt Todd and debated killing him, but they eventually walked away.

Gunman "A"'s nose was bleeding heavily, which may have caused him to decide to leave the library. Gunman "B" turned and fired a single shot into an open library staff break room, hitting a small television. Before they left, gunman "B" slammed a chair down on top of the computer terminal and several books on the library counter, directly above the bureau where Patti Nielson had hidden.

The two walked out of the library at 11:36 a.m., ending the hostage situation there. Cautiously, fearing the shooters' return, 34 uninjured and 10 injured survivors began to evacuate the library through the north door, which led to the sidewalk adjacent to the west entrance. Kacey Ruegsegger was evacuated from the library by Craig Scott. Had she not been evacuated at this point, Ruegsegger would likely have bled to death from her injuries. Patrick Ireland, unconscious, and Lisa Kreutz, unable to move, remained in the building. Patti Nielson joined Brian Anderson and the three library staff in the exterior break room, into which gunman "B" had earlier fired shots. They locked themselves in and remained there until they were freed, at approximately 3:30 p.m.

12:08 p.m.: Suicide of the perpetrators
After leaving the library, gunman "A" and gunman "B" entered the science area, where they threw a small fire bomb into an empty storage closet. It caused a fire, which was put out by a teacher hidden in an adjacent room. The duo proceeded toward the south hallway, where they shot into an empty science room. At approximately 11:44 a.m., gunman "A" and gunman "B" were captured on the school security cameras as they re-entered the cafeteria. The recording shows gunman "A" kneeling on the landing and firing a single shot toward one of the propane bombs he and gunman "B" had earlier left in the cafeteria, in an unsuccessful attempt to detonate it. He took a sip from one of the drinks left behind as gunman "B" approached the propane bomb and examined it. Gunman "B" lit a Molotov cocktail and threw it at the propane bomb. As the two left the cafeteria, the Molotov cocktail exploded, partially detonating one of the propane bombs at 11:46 a.m. Two minutes later, approximately one gallon of fuel ignited in the same vicinity, causing a fire that was extinguished by the fire sprinklers.

After leaving the cafeteria, the duo returned to the main north and south hallways of the school, shooting aimlessly. Gunman "A" and gunman "B" walked through the south hallway into the main office before returning to the north hallway. On several occasions, the pair looked through the windows of classroom doors, making eye contact with students hidden inside, but neither gunman "A" nor gunman "B" tried to enter any of the rooms. They even reloaded their firearms close by the room that Dave Sanders was in. After leaving the main office, gunman "A" and gunman "B" walked toward a bathroom, where they taunted students hidden inside, making such comments as: "We know you're in there" and "Let's kill anyone we find in here." Neither attempted to enter the bathroom. At 11:55 a.m., the two returned to the cafeteria, where they briefly entered the school kitchen. They returned up the staircase and into the south hallway at 11:58 a.m.

Suicide of perpetrators
At 12:02 p.m., gunman "A" and gunman "B" reentered the library, which was empty of surviving students except for the unconscious Patrick Ireland and the injured Lisa Kreutz. Once inside, they shot through the west windows at police, who returned fire. No individual was injured in this exchange.

At approximately 12:08 p.m., 32 minutes after they left the library, gunman "B" and gunman "A" died next to each other. Both had committed suicide: gunman "A" by firing his shotgun through the roof of his mouth; gunman "B" by shooting himself in the left temple with his TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun.

Crisis ends
By noon, SWAT teams were stationed outside the school, and ambulances started taking the wounded to local hospitals. Meanwhile, families of students and staff were asked to gather at nearby Leawood Elementary School to await information.

A call for additional ammunition for police officers in case of a shootout came at 12:20 p.m. The killers had ceased shooting just minutes earlier. Authorities reported pipe bombs by 1:00 p.m. and two SWAT teams entered the school at 1:09 p.m., moving from classroom to classroom, discovering hidden students and faculty. All students, teachers, and school employees were taken away, questioned, and offered medical care in small holding areas before being bussed to meet with their family members at Leawood Elementary. By 3:00 p.m., Dave Sanders had died of his injuries before SWAT officers could take him to get medical care. He was the only teacher to die in the shooting. Officials found the bodies in the library by 3:30 p.m.

By 4:00 p.m., the sheriff made an initial estimate of 25 dead students and teachers. The estimate was ten over the true count, but close to the total count of wounded students. He said that police officers were searching the bodies of gunman "A" and gunman "B". At 4:30 p.m. the school was declared safe. At 5:30 p.m., additional officers were called in, as more explosives were found in the parking lot and on the roof. By 6:15 p.m., officials had found a bomb in gunman "B"'s car in the parking lot. The sheriff decided to mark the entire school as a crime scene. Thirteen of the dead, including the shooters, were still inside the school at the time. At 10:40 p.m., a member of the bomb squad, who was attempting to dispose of an un-detonated pipe bomb, accidentally lit a striking match attached to the bomb by brushing it against the wall of the ordnance disposal trailer. The bomb detonated inside the trailer but no one was injured.

The total count of deaths was 12 students and one teacher; 20 students and one teacher were injured as a result of the shootings. Three more victims were injured indirectly as they tried to escape the school.

A total of 188 rounds of ammunition were fired by the perpetrators during the massacre (67 by gunman "B" and 121 by gunman "A"). Additionally, law enforcement officers fired a total of 141 rounds during exchanges of gunfire with the shooters.