Columbine High School Massacre Discussion Forum

A place to discuss the Columbine High School Massacre along with other school shootings and crimes.
Anyone interested in researching, learning, discussing and debating with us, please come join our community!
 
HomeHome  PortalPortal  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  
Share | 
 

 Interview with a Columbine Survivor

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
CatherineM813



Posts : 643
Join date : 2013-03-25

PostSubject: Interview with a Columbine Survivor    Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:15 pm




My First Hand Account of April 20, 1999 by Ryan Bigley


This is an excerpt; the full story is at:  http://www.angelfire.com/co2/myapril20story/

(and yes, it is an old website)

"My day started off normally. First period, I had Wind Symphony. I do remember one of my senior friends talking to somebody about how today was 4/20. He was talking about how that day was Hitler’s birthday. We were putting the final touches on our pieces for the Kansas City trip. As soon as we were done, the band teacher, Mr. Biskup, told us “Have a great day". Second period, I had Concert band. That’s also the period we have daily announcements. I read on the screen “RNN (Rebel News Network) Daily Announcements 4:20/99" I watched announcements, and then warmed up my second instrument. That was just a normal period. Then third period came along. Right before it, I talked with my friend Pat Hume. We hardly talked that second semester, so it was one of those rare moments. Little did I know that it would be the last time for a while. Third period was my free period. I usually sat with two of my friends in the back of the cafeteria (right by the door where Dan Rohrbaugh held it and helped people out before getting shot) and we’d do homework, or just talk. That day, we decided to go up to the library instead of the cafeteria that day. So we took the back door out and up the concrete stairs (The same route that Lance Kirklin, Dan Rohrbaugh, and Sean Graves took before they were shot). After we got to the top of the stairs, we passed by where Rachel Scott and Richard Castaldo were shot. Then we took the doors where the shooters came in. And finally, walked into the library. We sat at the first table in the door, unknowingly that the library is where 12 people would be killed later that day. We sat at the table where 1 person was killed, and 5 others wounded. After we left the library when the period ended, me and my friend walked to geometry, which we both had together. My really good friend Kathy Carlston had that class right before me, so I always got to say hi to her before math. Fourth period was another normal period. We did some group work in geometry, nothing major. It was, however, the last time I would ever see another one of my good friends, Anthony Shoels. His brother, Isaiah was killed in the library. After the shootings, I never saw him again. After fourth period was let out, I walked directly to my science room, unknowingly I’d be there for the next 4 hours.

At around 11:21 am, My science teacher, Mrs. Mosier, was going through her everyday lecture, when we heard something weird. It sounded like a stampede and there were people screaming. Then, a young boy runs in and says “I’m hiding in here. There’s a kid out there with a gun. For real." And of course, we went into a panic, and Mrs. Mosier tried to keep everyone calm. Then we heard the first shot. It sounded like a big “BOOM". Then the fire alarm went off. So, we assume that there’s a fire in the building, so Mrs. Mosier tries to lead us out the back door (there were two doors, one that leads to the main hall, and one that leads down the science hallway), then we heard another gunshot, so Mrs. Mosier kept us inside the room. Then we heard a really big “BOOM" (pipe bomb? shotgun?) so we immediately get under tables and toward the front of the room away from the windows. I don’t know if she knows it, but she probably saved our lives with that decision. When I got back inside, I was one of 7 people cramped under a science table trying to avoid the windows. One of the scariest parts of that, was that I had my back to the window at that time, so I constantly looked over my shoulder at the windows to be sure that the shooters weren’t looking in the windows. During that time, the shots continued, we felt explosions of pipe bombs downstairs push us up off of the floor and vibrate the floor, and the fire alarm was still blaring. After a half an hour, the shots died down, but then, we heard another shot, and we all cramped again under the table away from the windows. After one hour, the final (shot? explosion?) was heard and we stayed cramped under the table. While cramped under that table, an ironic thing happened. I heard that Cassie Bernall (one of the students killed) was asked if she believed in God, and she said “Yes", well, a girl I know, Jacquie Baker, asked me the exact same question. “Do you believe in God?" I replied, just like Cassie “Yes, I believe in God". I found that kind of ironic. (I also found out later that it was not Cassie Bernall that said Yes, but Valeen Schnurr said the now infamous word).

After about an hour and a half since the shootings began, the gunfire/explosions finally were not heard anymore, yet we still stayed cramped under the table, not to take any chances. During that time, I started to worry about my friends. Mostly about the ones who had A lunch (the time period when this happened). One in particular, Kathy Carlston. I’ve been really good friends with her since 7th grade, and she had A lunch. I didn’t know where she was, and I got really worried about her. She’s also over 6 feet tall so she could have made an easy target. I eventually heard from her about 4 days after the shooting, and she told me her story. She ran up the stairs and into a science room, the science room Mr. Sanders was in. She was pretty traumatized after that, but she made it out ok. After about two hours, we didn’t hear anything but the fire alarm, so we were getting a little impacient. Mrs. Mosier told all of us that if it gets too long, we’ll call the office and we’ll work something out. But, I was getting back pains being cramped under the table, so I got out from under the table and stretched. Then I laid down along the floor, but still away from the doors.

I got really bored, so I got into a conversation with one of my friends Mike Mallon who was at the front of the room. At about 1:40 pm, the fire alarm finally stopped blaring, and the passing period bell went off, and it never stopped. We got aggravated with the constant “DING, DING, DING, DING, DING etc." and then we got even more impatient. So, Mrs. Mosier called her husband, who also worked at the school. She asked what the bell was about. After she got off of the phone, she said, “We just need to sit tight, we can turn on the tv, but we need to stay quiet, and Mr. Sanders isn’t doing too well." With that, a lot of us got a little uneasy.

Mrs. Mosier told me and another guy to look out the window and see if we see anything. All we saw was the flashing strobe lights from the fire alarms. We didn’t see anything else. Mrs. Mosier turned on her radio, and it had intensive coverage of the shooting and it told us that there were up to 13-14 people injured or killed, and with that, a lot of us (including me) started to get uneasy and eventually cry. From our classroom, we could hear helicopters fly over the school and we could see the copter-cam from the tv. And we also saw Patrick Ireland fall out of the window to safety and we were all worried that he would get out alright because he looked terrible.

At about 3:00, we heard the SWAT team down the hallway say stuff like “OPEN THE DOOR NOW!" “BREAK DOWN THE DOOR!!" GET OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!!" We knew that we weren’t going to mess with them. At about 3:10, a SWAT team member screamed at our door “OPEN THE DOOR AND GET YOUR HANDS UP!!" Mrs. Mosier got up and went to the door and opened it. And since we saw people evacuate the building with their hands up, that was our natural reaction to that. When the SWAT team member came into the room, he was like “Ok. Here’s what we’re gonna do. That’s ok, you can put your hands down now." Then he asked “Are there any suspects in here?" There weren’t any that we knew of, so we replied no. Then he explained that we would be evacuated in groups of 10, keep your hands on your head, and if you hear any gunfire, your butt is concrete (which means, get your butt to the ground.) So, at about 3:15, the order was given to evacuate that room. As soon as I got out, I ran to right outside my room, then I was searched. Then I was told to move on down the hall and then I was searched again. Then I was told to just relax for a minute in the middle hallway. As soon as the rest of my class was out, I was ordered to get my hands on my head and run down the hallway, up the back hallway, to the exit down the Social Studies hallway. I was one of the first people to be out, but I was also ordered again to put my hands on the wall and was about to be searched for a third time, but they just told us to run across the street. But as I exited the building, the light of the sun nearly blinded me after 4 hours of darkness, but it was a great feeling to see the light of day one more time. Then I was ordered with the rest of my class to run from there to a SWAT team van parked across the street where I was searched for a third time. I later learned that a picture was taken of me and my class running from the school was published in NewsWeek, the Denver Post, and months later, in a Guns N’ Roses music video (it was a remake of “Welcome To The Jungle" that had coverage of Columbine, along with other infamous news acts of the 90’s, like Oklahoma City, etc.. but then they stopped showing it when some parents of Columbine petitioned to take it off the air). In all three accounts, I am clearly seen, with my hands on my head and a concerned look on my face.

When the officer who checked me said I was clear, I had an immediate feeling that it was all over, and I’m out of there. So, we were ordered to climb through a hole in a fence that led to a bus that transported us to a nearby elementary school. That’s where I met up with some friends and more importantly, my parents. One of the very first of my friends that I met up with was Jamie Kettlewell. She was in my english class that semester. I talked to her from the bus I was in. She asked me if I was alright and if I had seen two of her friends. I said that one of them was on the bus, but I didn’t see the other one. After that, I was ordered to get off the bus, given instructions on where to go, and I got off. I walked across the parking lot and into the building where they took my name. Then I walked up the stairs where the took my name again. Then I walked across the stage in the school auditorium, and at the other end, I looked out into the swarm of people and saw my parents. They waved at me, and I waved back. It was good to see that my parents knew I was okay. "



Some of the Q&A from Ryan Bigley’s FAQ page, which is linked from the page above or [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Q: Did you know any of the two gunmen (Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold)?

A: No, not personally. I don’t recall knowing Eric, but I did see Dylan in the hallways on occasion. I was not friends with them, nor did I meet them at all.

Q: Did you know any of the dead/wounded?

A: Ironically enough, none of my closest friends were hurt or killed. I knew Dan Rohrbaugh back in 7th grade, but we didn’t talk much after that. I knew Steven Curnow from kindergarten, but we didn’t talk much after elementary school. Richard Castaldo and Anne Marie Hochhalter were both in band, but I didn’t talk to them much. Other than that, that was about it.

Q: Was it scary?

A: This has to be one of the stupidest questions I’ve ever been asked, but I get it a lot. If two gunmen burst into your school armed to the teeth with several guns, hundreds, maybe thousands of rounds of ammunition, and bombs capable of destroying a huge portion of the school, and showed no mercy for any human being in that school, would you be scared? Yeah, I would say it was pretty scary

Q: Does it still “haunt" you?

A: It never really has haunted me, but on occasion, I will think back to that day, only to realize how scary and unsecure it really was. Also how it was blown out of proportion with everything that’s going on in the world, why a school massacre was the top story on every news station for over a month. The school shooting in Germany had the same number of deaths (15) and I only saw it on the news once. It still crosses my mind every so often.

Q: (Direct quote from someone who instant messaged me a while back) ”You went to Columbine? You’re f***ing in the trench-coat mafia, you sick f***. Burn in hell everyone from Columbine!”

A: Get a clue. Not EVERYONE that went to Columbine was in the trench-coat mafia. Not everyone at Columbine has a gun. If you walk in to Columbine High School right now, you will NOT get shot at. There were two kids who lost their minds and shot up my school ONCE, and it was almost 5 years ago. Columbine is a great school with great kids, and when I finish college, I hope to teach there someday. Not everyone there is a bad person. Before you criticize someone who goes there, get a clue, and look up the facts, before assuming just because the word Columbine (which is the state flower) has become synonymous with guns and violence in the media, that does not mean that everyone there is that way.

Q: What year in school were you?

A: I was a freshman

_________________
Life moves pretty fast and if you don't stop to look around in awhile, you could miss it- Ferris Bueller
Back to top Go down
View user profile
StinkyOldGrapes



Posts : 279
Join date : 2013-06-12
Location : Planet Earth

PostSubject: Re: Interview with a Columbine Survivor    Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:10 pm

What a great find! I always find the accounts of what it was like to be inside the school the most interesting to read.

_________________
I bring NOTHING to the table.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
CatherineM813



Posts : 643
Join date : 2013-03-25

PostSubject: Re: Interview with a Columbine Survivor    Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:09 am

Thankyou. I actually found it on Tumblr. It's always interesting to see these types of things about Columbine on Tumblr instead of the typical fan girl stuff.

If you go to the thread Columbine Blogs I posted a website that has numerous blog postings from Columbine Survivors. Of course Brooks had the first post.

_________________
Life moves pretty fast and if you don't stop to look around in awhile, you could miss it- Ferris Bueller
Back to top Go down
View user profile
StinkyOldGrapes



Posts : 279
Join date : 2013-06-12
Location : Planet Earth

PostSubject: Re: Interview with a Columbine Survivor    Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:43 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Thankyou. I actually found it on Tumblr. It's always interesting to see these types of things about Columbine on Tumblr instead of the typical fan girl stuff.

If you go to the thread Columbine Blogs I posted a website that has numerous blog postings from Columbine Survivors. Of course Brooks had the first post.

I'll check out that thread. Thanks. I'm serious about this: I really appreciate the the wealth of information people, like yourself, post on this board. Very Happy I clutter up this board with my angry rantings sometimes too many times-and I'm sorry for that- but there's a lot of great info on this board.

_________________
I bring NOTHING to the table.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
 
Interview with a Columbine Survivor
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Character Interview/Fun Facts Thread
» Survivor
» Marnie Kaleen's Interview
» Interview for Luke Stevenson
» Interview with Viktor Williams!

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Columbine High School Massacre Discussion Forum :: Columbine High School Massacre Discussion Forum :: Documents, evidence, and videos-
Jump to: