Columbine updates | 2004
Columbine Shooting Aftermath 2004
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Five Years...

January 1, 2004 -- The newly-released book Surviving Columbine: How Faith Helps Us Find Peace When Tragedy Strikes, written by survivor Liz Carlston, was promoted by Michael Johnson in Salt Lake City, Utah. The book includes the stories of three Columbine Survivors: Liz Carlston, Amber Huntington, and Michael Johnson.

January 14, 2004 -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office debated releasing over 70 video tapes collected during the investigation, some of which were made by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

January 20, 2004 -- Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink said the results of the investigation regarding contact between the Columbine gunmen and local law enforcement would be released the following month. The results were based on interviews with former deputy John Hicks and other individuals two years before the shootings took place.

January 23, 2004 -- U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Babcock ruled that those who opposed the destruction of the only sworn statements from parents of the killers of Columbine couldn't intervene, but their arguments against the case would be considered by the court.

January 30, 2004 -- The Jefferson County sheriff's office records of the Columbine shootings were rejected for viewing by the Colorado Court of Appeals, which stated that a lower court had to determine first whether the records could even be released. The Denver Post called for the release of the records since police investigation into the case was finished. The Colorado Court of Appeals also announced that some Columbine evidence might be released to the public, evidence that included journals and schoolwork as well as audio and video tapes that were seized at Eric Harris's home.

February 20, 2004 -- The Jefferson County sheriff's office announced that the evidence that was collected after the Columbine High School shootings, including videos made by the gunmen, would be released to the public February 26, 2004.

February 24, 2004 -- Investigators concluded after a four month probe that Randy and Judy Brown were the source of an anonymous August 7, 1997 report to the Jefferson County sheriff's office about Eric Harris. The Browns didn't remember making that report.

2004 Columbine evidence exhibitFebruary 24-25, 2004 -- Jefferson County holds an exhibition of all the evidence released having to do with the Columbine High School shootings. Put together in a sort of grim museum of grisly artifacts, boxed belongings, photographs, and reports, the public airing of Littleton's tragic laundry attracted a large crowd -- including family members of victim Coach William "Dave" Sanders. The description of the 2004 Evidence Exhibit on this site was submitted by a reader who attended.

February 26, 2004 -- Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar revealed the fact that law enforcement had at least 15 prior encounters with the Columbine shooters before the tragedy of April 20, 1999, but said that he found no evidence of negligence on the part of JeffCo's sheriff's office. After the press conference, the public was allowed into the auditorium to view the evidence and could purchase two video tapes there: One was 34 minutes long and showed the crowd gathered in Clement Park the day of the shootings. The second tape was 94 minutes long and contained the movies Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold made for film class.

February 29, 2004 -- The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office reached a $117,500 settlement with Patrick Ireland. The sheriff's office assumed no liability in the settlement, successfully ending the last federal case against JeffCo. The family of Isaiah Shoels still had an unsettled lawsuit against the parents of both gunmen at that time.

March 10, 2004 -- Attorney Geoffrey Fieger asked a three-judge panel from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the mistyped letter of approval filed by Fieger's secretary that stated the Shoels's acceptance of the $366,000 settlement from 2001. If allowed, the Shoels' would then be able to back out of the deal and continue a wrongful-death suit against the parents of the Columbine shooters.

March 30, 2004 -- Chairman of the Columbine Memorial Committee Bob Easton announced that the construction of the memorial would be delayed until more funds were raised. Less than a quarter of the $2.5 million needed had been gathered, setting back the foundation's hope to have the memorial built by the 5th 'anniversary'.

April 17, 2004 -- Tom Mauser, father of Daniel Mauser, walked in his son's shoes to the NRA's national convention in Pittsburgh to challenge Vice-President Dick Cheney to discuss extending the assault weapons ban, which would expire in September.

April 20, 2004 -- The 5th 'anniversary' of the Columbine tragedy. Columbine High School closed completely. People gathered in the evening at the Clement Park amphitheater for a candlelight memorial. A fighter jet flew over at 6:00 PM to start the evening. Survivor Anne Marie Hochhalter gave a speech about moving forward; Steve and John Cohen performed their song Friend of Mine once more and Dawn Anna, mother of victim Lauren Townsend, spoke behalf of the families of the victims. The ceremony ended with principal Frank DeAngelis reading the names of the dead followed by a moment of silence. The shooters's names were not included in the reading.

September 2004 -- The final grand jury investigation of the 'lost' Guerra documents was finally released.

October, 2004 -- In response to the lawsuit filed against him in 2003 by the Rohrbough family, Taylor denied the claims of Danny's parents till they produced a tape they had made of him saying it to them the second time he told them. As a result of his actions, Taylor was fired from his law enforcement job, on top of the law suit he faced scheduled for jury trial November 30, 2004.

November 29, 2004 -- The parents of victim Daniel Rohrbough settle out of court with James D. Taylor, one day before the jury trial.