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Father of Columbine victim says authorities lied

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (CNN) -- Saying all he wants to know is the truth, the father of a slain Columbine High School student Thursday said authorities lied to him when they said shooter Dylan Klebold killed his son.

Brian Rohrbough, whose 15-year-old son, Dan, was gunned down outside the high school, said a recently released ballistics report from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation concludes that a bullet found in his son "could not be identified."

That's contrary to what the Jefferson County Sheriff's office told him in the aftermath of the April 20, 1999, shooting, he said. Authorities said the bullet that caused the fatal wound to his son came from the TEC-9 fired by Klebold.

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"This bullet positively didn't come from Klebold," said Brian Rohrbough at a news conference. "We are outraged to find that the sheriff's department would lie to us and the public about physical evidence.

"My son clearly was an innocent victim. All I've wanted from the very beginning was the truth about what happened. And now two years later, even things we thought they had told us were true, turn out not to be."

Calls to the sheriff's office seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Klebold and fellow student gunman Eric Harris killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves in the nation's deadliest school shooting.

Dan Rohrbough, a freshman at the high school, was believed to have been the first person killed in the massacre, shot on the pavement outside as the gunmen headed into the building.

The CBI ballistics test indicated the bullet could have come from a gun fired by Harris, although the report says it was "not consistent with any of the firearms submitted in this case."

The boy's father believes his son was accidentally killed by authorities. He said witnesses claim Dan was running from the scene with his back to the gunmen; his son was shot in the abdomen.

"I think it was a law enforcement officer, but I'm not prepared at this point in time, without knowing absolutely who, to even speculate on something like that," Rohrbough said.

The father said that the new information has undermined the credibility the sheriff's department and what he has been told in the past.

"This further confirms our belief that they will go to any length in an attempt to cover up what really happened at Columbine," he said.

The boy's mother, Sue Petrone, said, "Now, I find out that everything they told me was a lie."

Dan was shot three times, once each in the leg, shoulder and abdomen. Only one bullet, the one to his abdomen, was retrieved from his body.

Experts point out it is not uncommon for bullets to be so damaged upon recovery that they cannot be positively linked to a specific weapon.

Rohrbough is part of an ongoing lawsuit against Jefferson County Sheriff's Department filed by several parents of Columbine victims over the department's handling of the case.


Greta@LAW







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