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US

Gunmen open fire at Colorado school; some students trapped

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 ALSO

Special: Are schools safe?



 TODAY'S STORIES

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April 20, 1999
Web posted at: 3:09 p.m. EDT (1909 GMT)

LITTLETON, Colorado (CNN) -- At least two gunmen, described as wearing black trench coats and masks, opened fire and tossed an explosive device Tuesday at Columbine High School, wounding at least 10 people.

A police spokeswoman said that "numerous students" were trapped in the school cafeteria and other locations in the school.

Authorities said the two shooters were holed up in the school. SWAT teams had surrounded the facility.

Police said that there were still students trapped inside the two-story building.

At the rear of the school, eight students were being treated by medical personnel. At least one student was seen being put in an ambulance in front of the school.

Three people, all with gunshot wounds, were taken to Swedish Medical Center. A spokeswoman said one of the women had nine gunshot wounds to the chest but remained conscious. Another woman had a gunshot wound to the chest and a male student was shot in the back.

Two students, a boy and a girl, were admitted to Denver Health Medical Center. One was said to be in critical condition, the other in fair condition.

Dozens of ambulances could be seen near the sprawling facility and campus.

A large number of police officers wearing helmets and body armor and carrying high-powered weapons gathered in a staging area near the building.

A student, Braden Pasusich, said he saw two students in black trench coats with weapons. Other students said the weapons included shotguns, automatic weapons and pipe bombs.

"They were just shooting. They didn't care who they shot at. They just kept shooting. Then they threw a grenade," said another student named Janine who talked to a Denver television station.

A student who identified himself as Bob said that the two, who he said were wearing black masks, were holed up in the school.

Jonathon Ladd, a student at the school, said he heard a loud noise like an explosion and then gunshots.

He said the shots were coming from the back of the school toward the school office.

"There was one shot after another," said Ladd, who said he fled the school.

The school has an enrollment of 1,870, according to the school's Web site.

The incident began shortly after 11:15 a.m. MDT (1:15 a.m. EDT).

Littleton, population 35,000, is located southwest of downtown Denver.



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