Nathan Alden Dykeman
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
6 feet 4 inches, 165 lbs.
Nathaniel "Nate" Dykeman was a senior at Columbine High when the shootings happened. He is a former friend of both gunmen. A friend of Brooks Brown
, he met Eric in 8th grade Spanish class in 1995, and then met Dylan at Eric's house. Brooks and Dylan had been friends since the first grade; Eric and Brooks happened to ride the same school bus. The friendship between all four quickly cemented.
Nate, Eric, and Dylan became close friends. They often spent time at each other's houses. Nate told investigators that Klebold's parents were like a second set of parents to him. It was his opinion that their mutual friend Chris Morris
was Dylan's only other close friend (though evidence shows Dylan was quite close with Zach Heckler) and Eric's best friend.
In December 1998, for second semester Nate took early morning Bowling class with Eric, Dylan, and Chris. The students were allowed to pick their own teams, so the teens formed a team together.
In January of 1999, Eric and Kristen "Kristi" Epling went on an informal date with Eric, bowling at Belleview Lanes with some other friends. That date led to a falling-out between Nate and Eric, as Nate was interested in Kristi. Kristi was able to help them patch things up, but they were never as close after that as they had been. Kristi and Nate officially started going out in February. Over the next two months, Nate started spending more time with her than he was with Eric and Dylan.
In late January or early February 1999, Nate saw Dylan give Philip "Phil" Duran around $200 - $300 in twenty dollar bills behind the Blackjack Pizza where he, Chris, Dylan, Eric, and Phil all worked. Nate thought at first that Klebold was buying drugs and gave him crap about it later, but Dylan told him that the money was for a shotgun. Dylan also told him that Phil had sold him a semi-automatic pistol and that the guy could provide Nate with any firearms he needed. These are the same appeared in a video he saw that the gunmen filmed previously on 8mm tape (possibly Hitmen for Hire
). Nate wasn't there for the filming.
On Saturday, April 17, 1999, Nate and Kristi attended Columbine's prom. Kristi was friends with both him and Eric and had taken German class with Eric the past four years. When they attended prom togther, Nate and Kristi went in a group of twelve teens, including Dylan Klebold and his date Robyn Anderson. After the shooting, Nate told investigators that Dylan had seemed "normal" that night, very upbeat. He talked about his plans to stay in touch with his friends after he left for college in Arizona following graduation.
On April 20, Nate noticed that neither Dylan nor Eric were at bowling. He didn't find this unusual as they had both been cutting classes a lot more frequently the past few weeks. When both were absent from the 10:45 Language Arts class he shared with them, he found that odd. While they would cut class, they didn't typically cut so many at the same time.
When he went to leave campus for lunch close to 11:20 a.m., he saw Eric walking from the junior parking lot toward the school carrying a bag. He thought it was strange that Harris was coming in from the junior lot instead of the senior lot, but he thought nothing more about it at the time and went home for lunch. When he tried to return to school after lunch, he found it blocked off by police barricades. He returned home.
From the balcony of his home near Columbine, he and his stepfather Victor Goode watch the event unfolding at the school. Through binoculars, they see Patrick Ireland's rescue from the library window. Soon, Nate tells his stepdad that he thinks Harris and Klebold might be involved.
When questioned by authorities, Nate initially denied any knowledge of guns or bombs the shooters had before the massacre but quickly came clean, telling them on April 21, 1999 that he knew Klebold and Harris had been experimenting with black powder and pipe bombs for over a year before the shootings. He witnessed them blow up several things, and saw pipe bombs at both the Klebold and Harris residence on several occasions.
At one point, Eric took Nate to his parents' bedroom closet and showed him a pipe bomb that the Harrises had found and confiscated. They didn't know what to do with it - he was already on probation for the January break-in. If they alerted the authorities, Eric would go be arrested. So, they hid it in their closet. Eric also showed him two or three other bombs he had made that he was hiding in his bedroom, created after his parents took the first one away. At the time, Eric had "canon fuse" hanging on his wall like a lariat. There was also a full can of black powder in a coffee can in Eric's bedroom.
May 30, 1999, Nate appeared on Good Morning America
(archived link) with Barbara Walters, followed by an interview on Bay News 9
. After that, they refused further media attention.
Three days after the shooting, Nate left the home he shared for the past six years with his mother Julia Goode and stepdad Victor. He spent the next few days in a local hotel with his biological father, Matt Dykeman, who came up from Florida to be with his son after the tragdy. Nate's moving out was due to an argument between Nate and his family. Because they were close friends, Eric and Dylan had spent a lot of time at Nate's house and in his bedroom. His mother and stepdad thoroughly went through everything in his room following the massacre.
"They tore apart my room," he told the media. "They threw away my heavy metal CDs, anything that had a skull on it or something like that. I couldn’t believe the way they treated me."
After moving in with his dad
(offisite link), Nate accepted $16,000
(archived offisite link) from ABC for a copy of the video tape "Morning Ritual" that Dykeman and Klebold filmed one day on the way to school. He also entered an agreement with the National Enquirer
for a story that Nate later said "distorted, mischaracterized, and misquoted" him.
Dustin Gorton, Nate Dykeman, and Chris Morris in yearbook photo taken March 4, 1999.
Nate Dykeman with dad Matt Dykeman.