GOLDEN -- Dylan Klebold,
one of the two young gunmen responsible for the 1999
deaths of 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High
School, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound
to the left side of his head.
A summary of his autopsy released Friday by the
Jefferson County Coroner's Office states: "The cause of
death is due to brain injuries secondary to a close
contact, large caliber, through and through gunshot
wound involving the left side of the head. This gunshot
would is consistent with self-infliction."
was written by Dr. Ben Galloway, a forensic pathologist.
On Jan. 29, Jefferson County District Judge R. Brooke
Jackson ordered the release of the autopsy summaries on
Jackson also had ordered the release of the summary
of the Klebold autopsy, but that was delayed after
Klebold's family requested a stay because the Rocky
Mountain News is seeking release of the full report.
Jackson denied the Klebolds' request for a stay Feb.
Autopsy reports for victims Isaiah Shoels and Daniel
Rohrbough and gunman Eric Harris were released
Questions about Klebold's death arose after sources
close to the investigation indicated Klebold was shot
once in the left side of the head, apparently by one of
two 9 mm weapons -- either a semiautomatic assault
pistol or a rifle.
Some investigators believe that if the right-handed
Klebold had shot himself, the wound should have been on
the other side, a source said after the shooting.
But Galloway's finding that the wound is consistent
with a self-inflicted gunshot was bolstered Friday by
Arapahoe County Coroner Dr. Michael Dobersen.
"We do see kind of a predominance of, if you are
right-handed, you will hold the gun in that hand.
However, there is a significant number of cases where it
is the other way around," Dobersen said.
Although Jackson earlier had withheld any portion of
the Klebold autopsy, he did reveal that the teen-ager
had no drugs or alcohol in his body when he and Harris
carried out their rampage.
Despite Jackson's rejection of the News'
request for release of the complete Klebold autopsy,
the paper will continue its effort.
"The first and foremost reason is that they (the
complete autopsy results) are public record subject to
disclosure," said attorney Marc Flink, who is pursuing
the release on behalf of the News.
"Along with that, we think there still is information
that can be learned from the full autopsy. It can help
people understand what happened on April 20, 1999."
Frank Patterson, the attorney for the Klebolds, said
he will continue to oppose full disclosure.
"We will object to any further reconsideration from
the trial court," Patterson said.
Former Jefferson County Coroner Nancy Bodelson --
joined by District Attorney Dave Thomas and the families
of 12 of the 13 victims -- sought to keep the reports
sealed, claiming their release would delay the healing
process for the grieving families.