AP

20 Years After School Attack, Columbine Remembers 13 Lost

Apr 20, 2019, 2:04 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:10 pm

LITTLETON, COLORADO - APRIL 19: Flowers rest on shooting victim Lauren Townsend's plaque at the Columbine Memorial on April 19, 2019 in Littleton, Colorado. April 20 will mark 20 years since the school shooting that claimed 13 lives at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. (Photo by Joe Mahoney/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Mahoney/Getty Images)

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado community will mark the 20th anniversary of the attack on Columbine High School on Saturday with community service projects and a ceremony remembering the 13 people killed by teenage gunmen.

Saturday’s events in and around the suburban community surrounding Columbine end a three-day slate of somber ceremonies honoring the 12 students and a teacher who were killed and lending support to their families, survivors of the attack and the school’s students and staff.

The days surrounding the anniversary remain emotionally fraught for survivors of the attack, including hundreds who escaped the building without physical wounds. Some describe their response to the month as an “April fog,” dominated by their own memories of the sunny Tuesday in April that shocked the world.

Since 1999, American schools have tried to prevent a threat that had once been unthinkable.

Districts across the country formed teams to assess threats and cooperate with law enforcement on a response. Drills training students to evacuate their school or “lockdown” and hide from a shooter are routine. School security has become a multibillion-dollar industry, adding specialized doors, surveillance video and other technology.

This week brought a new demonstration of that burden as federal authorities led a manhunt for a Florida teen described as “infatuated” with the 1999 shooting who traveled to Denver on Monday and purchased a shotgun.

On Tuesday, authorities published the young woman’s name and photo after learning of her obsession with Columbine and the gun purchase. They said she had not made specific threats but dozens of schools, including Columbine, locked their doors Tuesday.

More than 400,000 kids stayed home on Wednesday when schools shut down across the metro area.
The 18-year-old was discovered dead of an apparent suicide Wednesday morning in the foothills west of Denver, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Columbine.

Long-planned events marking the anniversary continued as scheduled, beginning with a Thursday evening church service and a community vigil Friday night at a memorial constructed within sight of the school.

The Columbine perpetrators, who took their own lives during the attack, have inspired cult-like admirers including some who have committed other shootings or were prevented from doing so.

Officials overseeing security at Columbine and other schools in Jefferson County acknowledged the dark interest this week and warned off those who would treat the school as a destination.

“We are not a place to come visit if you’re not a student, if you don’t have business there,” John McDonald, security chief for the school district, said Wednesday. “We’re not a tourist attraction and we’re not a place for you to come and gain inspiration.”

Security remained heightened at Denver-area schools through the week. People who plan to attend the public remembrance ceremony Saturday afternoon at a park near Columbine also have been warned of security checkpoints.

The school itself will be closed to the public.

KSL 5 TV Live

AP

(Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)...

Associated Press

Toyota recalls 280,000 pickups and SUVs because transmissions can deliver power even when in neutral

The recall is to fix a transmission problem that can let the vehicles creep forward while in neutral.

16 hours ago

Members of HM Coastguard Search and Rescue gather after homes were evacuated when a suspected Secon...

Pan Pylas

A World War II bomb prompted an evacuation in England before being taken to sea to be blown up

An unexploded World War II bomb has been safely transported through the eerily empty streets of the southwestern English port city of Plymouth.

1 day ago

FILE: The University of Wyoming campus sign with the Wyoming Union in the background Friday March 2...

Mead Gruver

Highway crash in Colorado kills three University of Wyoming swimmers

A single-vehicle wreck on a highway in northern Colorado killed three members of the University of Wyoming swimming and diving team.

1 day ago

This image provided by the Denver Police Department shows Miles Harford. Denver police are asking f...

Associated Press

Denver police search a former funeral home owner who kept the cremated remains of at least 30 people

Denver police are asking for the public's help in finding a former funeral home owner who they say kept a woman's body in a hearse for two years and also kept the cremated remains of at least 30 people.

2 days ago

FILE...

Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Seattle officer who struck and killed graduate student from India won’t face felony charges

Prosecutors in Washington state said Wednesday they will not file felony charges against a Seattle police officer who struck and killed a graduate student from India while responding to an overdose call.

3 days ago

In this screen grab from lapel camera video provided by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, movie...

Associated Press

Jury selection begins for trial of ‘Rust’ armorer in fatal 2021 shooting by Alec Baldwin

Prosecutors are pursuing accountability in the 2021 death of a cinematographer who was shot by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal for the Western movie “Rust."

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

20 Years After School Attack, Columbine Remembers 13 Lost