Cabell: Columbine killers video released
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Video of Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris was released to the public Wednesday by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.
The two are seen, along with others, in a forest south of Denver shooting various weapons. The video was shot just six weeks before the April 20, 1999, school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, where 12 high school students and one teacher died. Klebold and Harris also killed themselves.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer spoke to CNN correspondent Brian Cabell about the release of this video.
BLITZER: Disturbing new video of the Columbine killers never before seen by the public. It shows violent images of the teen gunmen firing an arsenal of weapons just weeks before their high school rampage.
CNN's Brian Cabell [will] tell us why this video is just now being released.
CABELL: The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department has been holding onto these tapes for the last four and a half years. They've essentially been sitting on a shelf. But a task force [that has been] looking into the massacre said they should be released to the public [because] the public [has] a right to see them. That's precisely what has happened today. They were released this afternoon, this one particular tape, about 15 minutes long.
What you see from the very start is Eric Harris, one of the two shooters. He and Dylan Klebold are the principals in this tape. What you see is two boys in an actual forest south of Denver about March 6, 1999. You can see some snow still on the ground. This was almost exactly six weeks before the Columbine massacre.
You see them with a variety of weapons, not particularly skilled [and] shooting at bowling pins. They were in a bowling class apparently just hours before this [video] was shot. The weapons they are shooting with were illegally modified, at least a couple of them.
[They are] firing at bowling pins, firing at trees, pine trees there and firing haphazardly in the forest. It looks from just general appearances as though it's two teenagers playing with guns, joking around. Also you see a supplier. ... Mark Manes. He was sentenced to six years in prison for supplying some of the guns. He was released to a halfway house after about two years.
Also on this tape a gentleman by the name of Phillip Duran. ... He was sentenced to four and a half years for supplying these weapons. It was Duran apparently who taped most of this target practice, although others had their hand in it as well.
All in all it appears to be a lighthearted outing out in the forest with some very deadly weapons.
Interestingly this 15-minute tape has been made available not only to the media but also to the public. It's being sold by the sheriff's department for $20. It is a processing fee. I just talked to someone in the records office in Jefferson County about an hour ago. She said so far it's been the media for the most part that's been buying them. I asked, "Are other people coming in, curiosity seekers?" So far she says no.
There is another tape or two out there, Wolf, the so-called basement tapes. Those have not been released to the public yet. Those are tapes that were taped several months before the shootings. The media have seen those tapes but so far those have not been released to the public.
BLITZER: Brian, I assume they shared this video, these very disturbing pictures with the families of the kids who were killed before they released this to the public?
CABELL: Yes they have. There's been mixed reaction apparently from the families in Colorado as to whether they want [the video] to be seen; but the general feeling is that this is something people should see. After four and a half years of investigation this is something that people should see to try to understand exactly what happened back in Littleton, Colorado, back in 1999.
BLITZER: All right, Brian Cabell, thanks very much.