Columbine High School shooting archive - On April 20, 1999 Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took the lives of 13 victims and their own lives


[ est. 4 21 1999 ]
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The Injured at Columbine High School
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Makai Hall Makai Hall, 19 in 1999.
Makai was sitting with his friends in the library when the shooting began. He was hiding under a table with Dan Steepleton and Patrick Ireland when the shooters entered the library. When they demanded that everyone with white hats stand up, he held back Dan, telling him: "Don't move." At one point Dylan came within line of sight of their table and, smiling, opened fire. Makai was hit in the knee by the shotgun blast. Pat moved to help him and was shot in the head. Pat was knocked unconscious; Makai and Dan played dead. Then Eric Harris threw a home-made C02 bomb that bounced under their table and landed on Dan's thigh. Dan was too afraid to move; it was Makai who reached over, grabbed it, and threw it back out from underneath the table where it exploded mid-air.

Three days after the tragic event he was interviewed by CNN. He was quite modest when asked to discuss his act of heroism. He also said that he knew Dylan from French class the previous year. They had worked on some class projects together. However, he never made eye contact with Dylan during the shootings.

"I thought he was an all right guy..." Makai said. "Decent, real smart. He wasn't the kind of person he's being portrayed as. He was a nice guy, never treated me bad."

He was treated for a shotgun wound to the right knee and shrapnel in the cheek. Underwent surgery and spent 3 days in the hospital. He was released April 23, 1999. He graduated Columbine May 20, 2000.

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Patrick Ireland Patrick Ireland, 17 in 1999.
Patrick was in the library at the time of the attack, and was shot in the head. Because of this his initial reports to investigators were a bit confused: During the ambulance ride to the hospital he told officers that the gunmen wore masks, and that he was in the emergency room when he was shot. He couldn't remember who he had been talking to or what he was doing when he was shot.

Investigators interviewed him again nearly a month later and he was able to relate more about what happened to him. Pat had gone to the library to get some homework finished, as he usually did. He typically sat with friends there during "A" lunch - that day was no exception. He sat down at a table where Corey DePooter and Austin Eubanks were already seated and was soon joined by Dan Steepleton and Makai Hall. A few minutes later he heard a teacher shouting that two kids had guns and that everybody needed to get down. He thought it was a joke at first but she kept telling them to get down and the fear in her voice convinced him she was serious. He ducked under the table with Makai and Dan; he didn't see where Austin and Corey went.

He heard the gunshots then, coming closer to the library and soon in the library. He put his head down and closed his eyes, held his breath and played dead. He heard one of the gunmen yell "Anybody with a white hat stand up!". Pat had been wearing a cap at that time but couldn't remember what it looked like or if he took it off after the gunman said that. He next heard the other one say "This is for all the shit you put us through." He heard gunfire but didn't open his eyes till the sound of it was quite close and he heard his friend Makai groaning in pain. He looked at Makai and saw blood flowing from the boy's right knee and more on Dan's foot. He moved between the two with the idea to provide first aid to Makai. He reached out to put his hand on Makai's wound to provide pressure and "blacked out" - he had been shot twice in the head and again in the foot, though he had no memory of being shot.

Pat passed in and out of consciousness for two hours in the library, the fire alarm finally waking him. His ears were ringing and he heard someone coughing - a sound that eventually stopped and didn't start again.

Window escape"At that point I didn't know where I was shot. I didn't even think I was injured. And I was thinking, 'I gotta get out of here.' So, I tried to stand up. I couldn't stand up. And so, I slid across the floor on my back head-first, pushing with this [the good] leg. I couldn't see very well; so I had to get out of there. When I got to the wall right next to the window, I rested for a little bit then finally decided to go ahead and try to get up and it took me two tries. My back was up against the wall, and I pushed with my leg and slid my back up against the wall, at that point I was standing and I kinda rolled over on my stomach... the window was broken already, so I tried to clear some of the glass."

--Patrick Ireland in a press interview

He wasn't feeling any pain at the time but knew he could only use his left arm left leg, and kept blacking out on his way to the window. However, he was eventually able to pull himself up onto the ledge. He heard someone outside yelling at him to "stay"; he was confused at the time but waited and a few moments later heard another voice yell to him that it was okay to jump. He leaned out the window and was caught by the SWAT team members who were waiting below, though Pat had no memory of being caught. His next recollection was that of being treated by emergency workers. He survived by pushing himself out of the window (which the shooters had destroyed while firing at police) where SWAT were forced to come get him else let him fall from the second story while news cameras were rolling. If he waited in the library for help he would likely have died.

He was treated for two gunshot wounds to the head and one to the right foot as well as a laceration to his right inner elbow. Later moved to Craig Hospital for spinal and cerebral rehabilitation. He returned to Columbine that fall, using a cane to help support his weight as he walked. On September 25, 1999 he was elected Columbine's homecoming king. He graduated from Columbine May 20, 2000 as a co-valedictorian. In 2004, Jefferson County 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.

This site last heard Pat was doing well: He was working as a financial rep and had married sweetheart Kacie.

Pat Ireland 2009

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Michael Johnson Michael Johnson, 15 in 1999.
Michael was outside the cafeteria with four friends: Denny Rowe, Mark Taylor, John Cook, and Adam Thomas. They were sitting on the grass near the stairs when the shooting began. At first Michael didn't know what was going on but he quickly realized bullets were hitting the ground near him and and his friends. He felt a sensation like someone had poured warm water on his left leg and he and his friends got up to run toward a shed that was about 120 yards from where they were at. As they ran, he heard Mark cry out: "Oh my God! I've been shot!" and the other boy fell to the ground.

As Michael continued running he felt another "warm feeling" on the back of his jaw and realized he'd been shot as well. He managed to make it as far as the shed; Denny, John, and Adam kept running and jumped the nearby fence. Michael laid down and propped himself against the shed and noticed the left leg of his blue jeans was covered in blood from mid-thigh down to his ankle. Michael remained there next to the shed for a while; at one point a teacher, Mr Lowery, came by and told him that he was going to get him some help. Soon after Michael heard what he thought was a pipe bomb exploding and lost consciousness for a bit. The next thing he knew, two students - Evan Todd and Ryan Barrett - were trying to help him. The next thing he remembered after that was being removed from the shed area by law enforcement who transported him to paramedics.

When asked by investigators, Michael told them he knew of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold but didn't actually have dealings with either one of them. He told investigators that he thought they were members of the Trench Coat Mafia but didn't really know anything about the group.

Michael was in intensive care for 8 days during which time doctors had to wire his jaw shut and repaired a ruptured blood vessel in his leg. He was released April 28, 1999.

Though doctors thought he might lose his leg at one point, today Mike can run and has held a job at the Mann Theater. His parents Kathy and Gary feel that though they've gone through a lot, the ordeal has made them closer as a family.

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Kacey Ruegsegger Kacey Ruegsegger, 17 in 1999.
Kacey was in the library reading when the shooting began. When the call went out for everyone to get down, Kacey hid under one of the small tables in the southern bank of computer tables, and pulled a chair in front of herself. One of the gunmen stood in front of where she was hiding and told everyone with a white hat to get up so he could shoot them. They then shot an acquaintance of hers, Dan Steepleton.

She heard the gunmen make a racial slur to someone, something along the lines of: "Oh, a nigger. You're a dead black boy." When they shot the boy [later identified as Steven Curnow] who was hiding under the computer table next to her, she put her head down and covered her ears with her hands. She was then shot in the shoulder and when she cried out, the gunman who shot him told her to "stop your bitching". She lay down then and pretended to be dead.

Kacey receives medical attention at the triage area outsideKacey remained under the table after the person who shot her moved away and she continued to hear bangs, some of which she thought were bombs exploding. After the gunmen left the room, two students tried to help her get out: [Craig Scott], brother to victim Rachel who was killed outside, and a girl, [Sarah Houy]. Kacey was unable to move quickly and was trampled by other students who were in a rush to leave the area. She managed to make it out of the building and to the police waiting outside, then was rushed off to the triage area.

Kacey had transferred to Columbine just months before the shootings because two of her friends had committed suicide and another had died of leukemia at her old school and her parents wanted her to be in a more positive environment. She suffered multiple injuries including a gunshot wound to the right shoulder, a through-and-through injury to her right hand that medical officials pulled a metal washer out of, and a gunshot graze on her neck. They pulled a shotgun wad out of her shoulder. At the hospital she was given at least two doses of morphine and was still in quite a bit of pain. A steel plate was put in her arm and she went through lengthy physical therapy. She was released from the hospital on May 1, 1999.

She went on to attend Colorado State University and had hopes of being an American Quarter Horse Association chapter champion in Denver once more, like she was before the shootings. As of April 2006, Kacey is fully recovered and happily married.

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