Born September 1, 1982
16 years old
John Tomlin was a native of Wisconsin, he worked after school at a local nursery hauling trees and belonged to a church youth group, where he met his girlfriend of seven months, Michelle Oetter. Family and friends remember his energy and the warmth of his smile. He loved church and Chevrolet trucks. He had recently got his driver's license and had just bought an old Chevy pickup that he had been working for since he was 14. He once drove all the way to Mexico to help build a house for a poor family. He enjoyed four-wheeling in his truck and lifting weights.
, like Rachel Scott
's car, became a standing memorial in the parking lot. Thursday following the shootings his family gathered around the truck despite the fact that it was raining. His bible was still sitting on the dashboard, where he always left it in the hope that someone would see something there that would bring them closer to God.
"He was a perfect son," his father, John Michael Tomlin, said. "He was just good. You'd ask him to wash a car, and he'd wash both cars."
John spent his lunch hour in the library daily, studying. He was there the day the gunmen stormed the school. Hiding under a table, he welcomed a girl he didn't know (victim Nicole Nowlen
) into his hiding place when she grew scared where she was hiding and he held her hand to comfort her when the killers started shooting people in the library. Then the shooters came to their table. Without bending to see who was under the table, Eric Harris opened fire on John and Nicole, injuring them both
with a blast from his shotgun. Then Dylan Klebold came around the table and shot John
at point-blank range in the head, killing him almost instantly.
The first of the funerals for the victims killed at Columbine, his was held at Foothills Bible Church where he had attended church. He was buried in his hometown of Waterford, Wisconsin, in Saint Peters Cemetery. He was buried in a satin-lined coffin embroidered with Chevy trucks.
Photos of John Tomlin and Family:
- John's parents
- Autopsy Summary
- Denver Post Online remembers John Tomlin
- Rocky Mountain News remembers John Tomlin