Born August 5, 1981
17 years old
Rachel Scott was a vibrant and straight-forward individual. She wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in, no matter what. She played the lead in a student-written school play, "The Smoke in the Room
" (co-starring friends Nick Baumgart, Lauren Beachem, and others), and was writing a play for her senior year. She also liked photography and was active in the Celebration Christian Fellowship church. She was "made for the camera," according to her father, Darrell, and was an aspiring writer and actress. "There's nothing I can add or take away from what she gave us," her mom, Beth, said. "In those short 17 years, it was complete."
She quit smoking at the request of friend Nick Baumgart who later took her to the prom. If she hadn't quit, it's quite possible she would've been at "Smoker's Pit" during lunch instead of in the line of fire. As it was, she was eating lunch on the grass with friend Richard Castaldo
when the shooters opened fire
on the west entrance near where she was seated on the grass. According to witnesses, she was hit and fell to the ground where, moments later, one of the shooters came down the hill and shot her at point-blank range when she tried to get up. She died from gunshot wounds to the head, chest, arm and leg, and was one of the first victims in what would soon become one of the nation's most deadly mass shootings.
One of the shooters, Dylan Klebold, had known Rachel since kindergarten and had even been the sound tech for a talent show she performed in, in 1998. Ironically, when the sound broke down, it was Dylan who saved the performance by hooking up a reserve tape deck. Rachel had been performing a mime dance "Watch the Lamb" which portrayed Simon of Cyrene, who carried Jesusí cross along part of the Via Dolorosa. That same mime dance was later performed behind her coffin during her funeral.
Rachel's family didn't know for certain that she was dead until Thursday when her name was on the list of confirmed dead but they all knew in their hearts that the worst was coming as their prayers for her to turn up safe and sound went unanswered during those long hours between the shootings and news of her death. Rachel had always been close with her brother Craig (who had been in the library during the shootings and miraculously survived uninjured despite being next to Isaiah Shoels
and Matt Kechter
were shot and killed) but had experienced difficulty connecting with her father. That last week before her death, Rachel and her dad had a long and bonding discussion, something that left both of them feeling incredibly happy. For Darrell that moment would later give him comfort when dealing with Rachel's death.
Throughout her life Rachel was an incredibly spiritual person who often wrote to God in her diaries about wanting to "reach the unreached". She begged Him for the chance to show others the way, to let her life have some purpose in spreading His word. In 1998 she drew a collage of images that included a rose growing up out of a columbine, with several dark drops spiralling it (you can see this picture on the video Untold Stories Of Columbine
). On the morning of the shootings, she doodled a reprise of the picture: a pair of eyes
crying 13 teardrops onto that same rose - the same number of victims the shooters would kill during the massacre just hours later.
After her death, Rachel's car was turned into a makeshift memorial
by her friends where it sat in the parking lot. "In my eyes, she was just one of those kinds of people you know you won't ever meet again," Rachel's friend Lauren Beachem said of her. "She was the kind of person only born once."
Rachel was buried at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in the Columbine Memorial Garden in Littleton, Colorado.
Photos of Rachel Scott and Family:
- Rachel's dad Darrell and her sister Bethanee
- Darrell Scott - Rachel's dad
- Beth Nimmo - Rachel's mom
- Craig Scott - Rachel's brother (survivor who was in the library next to victims Isaiah Shoels and Matt Kechter)
- Rachel with friend Alisha Basore
- Misc. pictures of Rachel Scott: 1
- Beth Nimmo's message to her daughter on Rachel's coffin
- Rachel Scott Autopsy report 1
Books & Movies:
- Rachel's Tears: The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott
by Beth Nimmo, Darrell Scott (parents), and Steve Rabey
- The Journals Of Rachel Scott A Journey Of Faith At Columbine High
by Beth Nimmo
- Chain Reaction A Call To Compassionate Revolution
by Darrell Scott and Steve Rabey
- Rachel Smiles: The Spiritual Legacy of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott
by Darrell Scott
- The Martyrs' Torch
by Pastor Bruce Porter
- Untold Stories Of Columbine
DVD by Darrell Scott
- http://www.racheljoyscott.com/ Rachel Scott's family memorial site. You can read Rachel's journals here as well as hear from her family and more.
- http://www.rachelscott.com/ Rachel's Challenge (Another familial website)
- Wikipedia's entry on Rachel Scott