Columbine victims | surviving Columbine 1, 2
Surviving the Columbine High School shooting
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

The chaos and terror inside Columbine High School on the day of the shootings was horrifying. A person was lucky to escape it alive. Those that made it out of the school went from one nightmare to another. For the Columbine survivors, the hours following the massacre were full of fear, emotional trauma, pain, and suffering. Students, teachers, families, friends, first responders... They all had to wait anxiously for news about the welfare of those still trapped inside. It was days before they would know for sure who was dead and who wasn't.

Many of the photos below have been scaled-down to speed load-time. The full-size original images are linked.
WARNING: Some photos are graphic, depicting shooting victims receiving medical treatment at triage stations. All are heart-breaking.

Columbine survivors Jessica Holliday and Diwata Perez

This picture of survivors Jessica Holliday (left) and Diwata Perez (right) would come to symbolize the suffering surrounding the tragic Columbine High School shootings worldwide. The image was picked up by national and international news.

Photo by George Kochaniec.
This photo of Jessica Holliday and other survivors from the library was turned into a cover for Newsweek magazine that same month. Holliday, the blonde girl in the picture, has been mistaken by some to be Stephanie Munson. Columbine doubters have tried to point to this photo as proof she wasn't shot, but Munson was wearing jeans and shoes with socks, not overalls and sandals. Holliday and Perez were close friends of Lauren Townsend.
Jessica Holliday and other students flee Columbine
Newsweek covers Columbine

Student Ashley Prinzi watches Columbine High

Student Ashley Prinzi tearfully watches the school.
Students outside wait, pray and cry
Students outside wait, pray and cry
Upset students who escaped Columbine during the shootings
Traumatized students support each other
Students outside wait, pray and cry
Columbine students wait for news about others still trapped inside Columbine.

When the assault began, people who escaped Columbine during the shooting ran in any direction they felt was safe. Some chose better than others. Some ran and kept running: Several students interviewed later by investigators reported running home or to the houses of friends. Some were picked up in cars by people who knew them. Others got into cars with strangers. Most who left the scene called 911 from their safe locations. Emergency lines were tied up for hours.

People who escaped the horror watched the news with family members and friends, trying to stay informed about the event in progress. Several students, unsure where to go, hid in the surrounding neighborhood in alleys and behind houses, alone and in groups. Many didn't come out for several hours, afraid of being shot.

Escape down Pierce Ave
Teens escape down Pierce Ave
Columbine students return
Coming back from hiding in an alley behind the school.
More students return to Columbine High
More students who fled the school were rounded up and brought back from around the neighborhood. They were taken to Leawood Elementary or the Littleton Public Library to be picked up by anxious parents.

Students waiting outside Columbine
Students cheer as others are freed from the school Students embrace one another
Columbine students shed tears of joy
Teens wait anxiously outside of Columbine, fearing for those still inside. Tears of fear turn to ones of relief as friends are reunited.

Students and teachers escape from Columbine High School Teachers and students flee Columbine
Students and teachers freed from the staff
lounge & cafeteria restrooms run from Columbine.
Danny Rohrbough's body at the base of the stairs

People escaping the school have to run past Danny Rohrbough's body at the base of the stairs that lead to Columbine High School's west entrance.

Columbine students on buses
Columbine students on buses
Columbine students on buses
Students loaded onto buses watch Columbine, waiting to be taken to Leawood Elementary where their families await their safe return.
Columbine students on buses
Columbine students on buses
Columbine students on buses

Page 1, 2