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Diary: Teens had hoped to kill 500

A community mourns the loss of 12 students and one teacher at Sunday's memorial service

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Colorado school shooting

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Police: girl, 18, being questioned not a suspect

April 26, 1999
Web posted at: 12:40 p.m. EDT (1640 GMT)


In this story:

Teen questioned on gun purchases

Diary mentions hijacking

How the killers died

More funerals today

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



LITTLETON, Colorado (CNN) -- The grieving people of Littleton were burying four more victims of the Columbine High School massacre on Monday as investigators said that the two teen gunmen had hoped to kill hundreds of classmates and teachers.

Authorities also said an unidentified 18-year-old female being questioned about whether she purchased any firearms used in the rampage is not considered a suspect "at this time."

Authorities believe that Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, spent more than a year planning last week's gun and bomb assault, which left the gunmen, 12 students and one teacher dead.

Although it's believed the assailants each took their own lives, the possibility of a murder-suicide has not been ruled out, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Davis said on Monday.

Lt. John Kiekbusch of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department told CNN that a diary found in Harris' home showed he and Klebold were talking about destroying "a substantial part of the school" and killing at least 500 people.

"They came very close to being able to do that," he said on Monday.

The two gunmen, both seniors, fired shotguns and semiautomatic weapons and tossed pipe bombs outside the school and in the cafeteria, hallways and school library, police have said.

More than 30 bombs also were recovered from the school, including a 20-pound propane bomb in the cafeteria kitchen.

Teen questioned on gun purchases

Investigators are questioning a female, believed to be a friend of Klebold's, about whether she purchased the semiautomatic weapons -- a rifle and a pistol. At age 18 she would be legally able to make such a purchase.

According to federal agents, the girl "did make the purchase," Kiekbusch said. But Davis said that had not been confirmed.

"We have not called her a suspect at this time," he said. "There is no arrest imminent, either."

Diary mentions hijack

The gunmen's diary indicates that if they survived, they wanted to hijack and crash an airplane into New York City, and if that didn't work, possibly flee the country, authorities said.

"It was almost romanticized that if they could pull this off, they'd spend the rest of their lives on an island," Keikbusch told CNN.

There is no indication Harris or Klebold took any steps to accomplish the hijack plan, Kiekbusch said.

The diary, which reads like the "script for a bizarre movie," makes no direct reference to an accomplice or motive, he said. "It's rambling, just this hatred, this evil."

No victims were specifically singled out as targets in the diary, Keikbusch added.

How the killers died

The Colorado physician who pronounced Harris and Klebold dead at the scene said they each died from a single gunshot wound, one through the mouth and the other to the side of the head.

Dr. Christopher Colwell of the Denver Medical Center said he found Klebold and Harris lying next to each other, on top of what appeared to be a black trench coat, near a window in the corner of the school library.

Ten of their 13 victims were killed in the library.

"If not for the weapons around them (the gunmen) and the ammunition belts, it would have been hard to tell them from the other students," Colwell said.

One wore an ammunition belt with a few clips around his chest, over a dark vest which could have been some kind of body armor, and a white shirt, Colwell said.

Beside the bodies were bombs and a duffel bag containing other explosive devices.

Funeral services today

Teacher and athletic coach Dave Sanders, 47, who has been hailed as a hero for rushing students to safety after he was wounded, was to be buried on Monday.

Funeral services also were planned for students Cassie Bernall, Lauren Townsend and Daniel Rohrbough.

Services for the remaining student victims are scheduled for later in the week.

On Sunday, more than 80,000 people, weeping and clutching flowers, attended an emotional service for all of the victims, held in an open-air shopping mall parking lot about a mile from the school.

Jefferson County school officials said Columbine's nearly 2,000 students would return to classes Thursday a few miles south at Chatfield High School.

Going back "is going to be really hard," student Amber Burgess told CNN. "I think we're going to be paranoid. But, honestly, it'll be great to be back. I'm ready to go and see everybody."

Columbine's graduation ceremony will be held May 22 at a suburban amphitheater normally used for rock concerts.

Pat Maloney, a youth counselor who has spoken to dozens of Columbine students about the horrors of last Tuesday, told CNN that those who have been able to "talk it out" are doing better than those who are "still holding it in."

Correspondents Carol Lin and Martin Savidge contributed to this report.


RELATED STORIES:
Diary: Gunmen had hoped to kill 500
April 26, 1999
Columbine investigation turns to parents' role
April 25, 1999

DONATIONS FOR COLUMBINE FAMILIES:
The Healing Fund
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RELATED SITES:
Swedish Hospital (patient conditions)
Littleton Adventist Hospital - Important Phone Numbers
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APA HelpCenter
Violence Policy Center
  • Fact Sheet on Littleton, Colorado School Shooting
Columbine High School
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Jefferson County Public Schools
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School violence
GUN-FREE SCHOOLS ACT OF 1994
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