Columbine High School massacre

The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting and attempted bombing that occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, United States. The perpetrators, twelfth grade (senior) students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 students and one teacher, all of which were killed by gunfire. Ten students were killed in the library, where the pair subsequently committed suicide. At the time, it was the deadliest shooting at a school in United States history, not surpassed until 2012 by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 28 people died. The crime has inspired several copycats, and "Columbine" has become a byword for a school shooting. The two perpetrators injured 21 additional people with gunshots and also exchanged gunfire with the police. Another three people were injured trying to escape the school. In addition to the shootings, the attack involved several homemade bombs. The largest of these were placed in the cafeteria, powerful enough to kill or seriously injure all students in there, although they failed to detonate. Car bombs were also placed in the parking lot and at another location that was intended to divert first responders. The motive remains unclear, but the pair planned the massacre for at least a year and wished for the massacre to rival the Oklahoma City bombing and cause the most deaths in United States history. USA Today referred to the attack as "planned as a grand, if badly implemented, terrorist bombing". The police were slow to enter the school and were heavily criticized for not intervening during the shooting. The incident resulted in the introduction of the Immediate Action Rapid Deployment tactic, which is used in situations where an active shooter is trying to kill people rather than take hostages. Columbine also resulted in an increased emphasis on school security with zero tolerance policies. Debates were sparked over gun control laws and gun culture, high school cliques, subcultures, and bullying. Also discussed were the moral panic over goths, social outcasts, the use of pharmaceutical antidepressants by teenagers, teenage Internet use and violence in video games. Many impromptu memorials were created after the massacre, including Rachel Scott's car and John Tomlin's truck. A permanent memorial began planning in June 1999. Designing took three and a half years and included feedback from victims' families, survivors, the high school's student and staff, and the community. A groundbreaking of the permanent memorial occurred in June 2006. The Columbine Memorial opened up to the public on September 21, 2007.


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