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Rest in Peace: Littleton to bury its last victim

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 MESSAGE BOARD:

Listening After Littleton

April 29, 1999
Web posted at: 4:46 a.m. EDT (0846 GMT)


In this story:

Focus on suspect's girlfriend

Gunman rejected by Marines

Victim's family may hire lawyer

RELATED STORIES, SITES icon



LITTLETON, Colorado (CNN) -- As a grieving community braced Thursday to bury the last victim of the Columbine High School massacre, police pursued hundreds of leads in their search for potential suspects and answers in the worst school shooting in U.S. history.

And a state judge ruled search warrants in the case would remain sealed because "this incident has had a traumatic impact on this entire community and the community has a great interest in having the matter investigated in the most complete manner possible."

Judge Henry Nieto sided with local prosecutor, District Attorney David Thomas, who said releasing the search warrants to the media and public could jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

A Denver newspaper had sought the release of search warrants and related documents in the investigation of the massacre at Columbine High School, arguing that the material was a "matter of wide public interest."

Focus on suspect's girlfriend

Meanwhile, investigators Wednesday cleared three young men who were spotted near the Littleton, Colorado, school in dark jackets and combat fatigues while Dylan Klebold, 17, and Eric Harris, 18, were inside killing 12 students and a teacher before turning the guns on themselves. But investigators continued to focus on Klebold's girlfriend.

Police said the 18-year-old woman bought three "long guns" -- two sawed-off shotguns and a semi-automatic rifle -- used in the rampage. The woman has hired an attorney, but has not been named a suspect and has been cooperating with investigators, police said.

The legal age to purchase guns in Colorado is 18, authorities said. Legal experts said that investigators must determine whether Anderson knew about the plot or in some way facilitated it.

Police have not disclosed where Anderson bought the guns. Media reports have said the weapons were purchased at gun shows, which display weapons and other hunting items and do not always ask for identification in making a sale.

Klebold and Harris, who died in the rampage of apparently self-inflicted gunshot wounds, belonged to a clique called the "Trench Coat Mafia" that was obsessed with war and war games. Investigators said a diary recovered after the shootings showed the pair had been planning the siege for a year.

Gunman rejected by Marines

suspects
Investigators cleared three young men detained the day of the shooting   

Meanwhile, it emerged that Harris was rejected by Marine Corps recruiters just five days before the massacre because he was on an anti-depressant medication known as LUVOX, sources who asked not to be named told CNN Wednesday.

LUVOX is most commonly prescribed to treat obsessive- compulsive disorder.

Defense Department sources said earlier Wednesday that Harris had contacted Marine Corps recruiters and inquired about joining but was disqualified because of his use of a prescription drug and the fact that he was under the care of a doctor at the time.

A spokesman for the U.S. Marine Corps confirmed reports that a Marine recruiter disqualified Harris from service because of a medical condition just five days before he allegedly took part in the high school massacre.

Lt. Jeff Sammons, spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Quantico, Virginia told CNN that any recruit under a doctor's care for virtually any reason would be disqualified for service.

Sammons said any kind of psychiatric background would be very hard to overcome and would require a very lengthy record of recovery that most such recruits wouldn't complete, even in minor cases. As an example, Sammons said, "If a recruit comes to us with anti-depressant medication, he would be disqualified."

Sammons said that in Harris' case, "The system worked. It caught someone who was not qualified for enlistment."

Jefferson County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Davis said the initial toxicology report indicated there was no drug or alcohol in any of those killed during the siege, including Harris and Dylan Klebold, the other suspected shooter.

"The final reports from the coroner have not been made and given to us. However, like I've said, I'll have to revert to what they told us about the toxicology reports earlier, and that is that there weren't any drugs or alcohol in the blood, and, once again, I didn't hear her say illegal drugs or legal drugs," said Davis.

Victim's family may hire lawyer

On Thursday the last of the 13 burials for victims of the slaying will be held when Isaiah Shoels, 18, will be laid to rest. The aspiring music industry executive, who overcame serious health problems to become an athlete, was the only African American who died in the carnage.

Witnesses said the gunmen targeted athletes and minorities during their attack.

Shoels' parents believe that racism was a key part of the rampage and that school officials ignored complaints their son was targeted by the "Trench Coat Mafia." School officials have said such a complaint would not have been ignored and that the school had a good record on race relations.

CNN has learned that Shoels' family has contacted noted attorney Geoffrey Fieger about representing them.

Fieger's Detroit office told CNN a family member called Fieger over the weekend and the attorney is considering the proposal.

Reuters contributed to this report.


CNN INDEPTH SPECIAL:
Are schools safe?

RELATED STORIES:
Columbine shooter rejected by Marines because of anti-depressant drug, sources say
April 28, 1999
Trauma scars hard to heal
April 28, 1999
Columbine song reaffirms life and hope
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Fatalities at Columbine High
April 28, 1999
More funerals held for school shooting victims
April 27, 1999
Columbine teachers prepare for students' return
April 27, 1999
Parents of hospitalized Columbine students hope for best
April 27, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Swedish Hospital (patient conditions)
Littleton Adventist Hospital - Important Phone Numbers
Denver Health Medical Center - Home
Mile High United Way - The Healing Fund DonorNet APA HelpCenter
Violence Policy Center
  • Fact Sheet on Littleton, Colorado School Shooting
Columbine High School
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
Jefferson County Public Schools
KUSA
  • Breaking News
KMGH Denver
School violence
GUN-FREE SCHOOLS ACT OF 1994
CDC: Facts About Violence Among Youth and Violence in Schools
Violence and Discipline Problems in U.S. Public Schools: 1996-97 / 98-030
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