Colorado School Shooting

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A woman embraces her daughter after they were reunited following a shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on Tuesday, April, 20, 1999. As many as 25 were killed at the school by two young men who went on a shooting rampage on Tuesday. Credit: Ed Andrieski, AP

Mr. Mom is asking everyone today to pray for the Littleton, Colo., students, teachers and parents terrorized today by gunfire and explosions inside Columbine High School.

LITTLETON, Colo. (Reuters) - Bomb squads Wednesday searched for booby traps in a high school where two teen-age gunmen killed at least 13 people before shooting themselves to death in the worst mass shooting at a U.S. school.

Jefferson County officials overnight lowered the estimated number of dead in Tuesday's bloody rampage. Jefferson County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Davis said Wednesday that ''we have 15 fatalities. That includes 11 males and four females. I think there is some mixture of students and possibly at least one faculty member.'' Davis said the fatalities included the two gunmen.

Police said 20 others were critically injured in the shooting spree.

Sheriff John Stone said Tuesday night that SWAT teams had spotted 25 bodies in Columbine High School, in an affluent suburban area southwest of Denver.

All schools in Jefferson County were closed Wednesday, while all public high schools in Denver closed for security reasons and memorial services were scheduled through the day.

Students who lived through the nightmare found it difficult to sleep amid memories of the attack. Josh Lapp said he was afraid to be alone in the dark. ``I was like a little kid again,'' he said.

Students said the gunmen targeted athletes and minorities.

The scene remained one of chaos. Officials were unable to enter the school because of fears that bombs would detonate. Robots with cameras were used to search the building.

``Right now, safety is the big concern,'' Davis said.

The sheriff's office said 12 bodies -- nine boys and three girls -- were in the library, one adult male body was outside the library and two or three bodies were outside the school.

The two suspects, identified as Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, were members of a group called the ``Trench Coat Mafia.'' They wore long black coats and talked a lot about guns and violence.

Police obtained warrants to search the pair's homes and were reported to have found bomb-making materials at one. Television pictures showed police carrying out bags of computer equipment and books from Harris' home.

The pair scattered more than a dozen homemade bombs with timers in and around the school.

The attack was by far the worst in a spate of school shootings that have shocked Americans over the past 18 months. It was also one of the bloodiest mass shootings of any kind in a country where gun control efforts have been hotly debated.

Before Tuesday, the worst school shooting in the United States took place in March 1998 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, when two boys, aged 11 and 13, shot and killed a teacher and four girls. That was one of a series of incidents at U.S. schools in which at least 14 people were killed and more than 40 wounded in less than two years.

The bodies in Littleton were unlikely to be removed from the school before midday because investigators needed more time to collect evidence and document the crime scene, Davis said.

Bomb squads would need several days to complete searching the school for explosives, he said.

The danger of the booby traps was brought home when one previously undiscovered device exploded late Tuesday -- hours after the slayings.

The homemade devices included highly lethal pipe bombs, propane-fueled shrapnel explosives and plastic containers filled with gasoline and soap, the sheriff said. Some were found near the bodies of the two suspects and others elsewhere in the school and in cars in its parking lot.

The attack was likely to renew the debate on gun control. The Colorado Legislature is debating whether to allow more concealed weapons permits, arousing criticism from gun control advocates.

U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno said Wednesday that stricter gun control laws were only part of the solution to school violence.

Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America, Reno said schools, churches, parents and community groups must work together to respond sooner to signs of troubled teen-agers and help them resolve their anger before they resort to deadly force.

``We've got to get guns out of the hands of young people. We've got to make sure they have the counseling, the support to help them come to grips with the anger of their life when it occurs.''

By Judith Crosson

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The purple heart represents courage, the white ribbon represents the innocent lost and harmed. This Purple Heart Ribbon was created in honor of all the innocent lives sacrificed or wounded at the hand of violence.


From a Youth Pastor in Littleton, CO with a first hand
account of things you didn't hear from the Media...

Brothers & Sisters in Christ - I write this for your

Though until today I was someone on the outside of the
Columbine incident through fellowship with other local
youth pastors throughout today, attending Cassie
Bernall's funeral, and attending a citywide Youth
pastor meeting tonight - I have a new appreciation for
just how Awesome our God is....

Some Testimony to God's work in Jefferson County/Things
you won't hear about in the news:

Funerals - John Tomlin, Rachel Scott, and Cassie
Bernall's funerals were very evangelical and
evangelistic in nature.  All three focused 90% on
Christ and 10% on the individual.

The gospel was presented clearly in each of the
funerals and a number of the local youth made first time
commitments to Christ in each of the services. The true
faith of the parents and desire to draw others to
Christ through the life & death of their children was
very evident..

1.    John Tomiln's Memorial Service (16) - John was a
committed believer. He was active in mission work.
John's best friend shared at the funeral that although
John was a great guy, he was not going to heaven
because of that.  He was going to heaven because of his
trust and fellowship with Christ.  This was a
reoccurring theme throughout the funeral.  There were a
number of first time commitments to Christ that took
place at the funeral.

2.    Rachel Scott's Funeral (17) - Rachel was a
committed believer who desired to go into missionary
work in Africa. Her prom date shared how her faith and
impacted him and those around her in the school.  Over
15 first time commitments to Christ occurred at the

3.    Cassie Bernall/Martyr's Funeral (17) - I was
blessed with an invitation from a brother youth
worker/her youth pastor to attend the funeral.  Cassie
was totally anti-Christian 2 years ago.  She was
involved in witchcraft and very suicidal.  Her parents
forcibly drug her into the youth pastor's office.  When
she walked out - his reaction was "Wow, she is a lost

Through the prayers of her church's youth group,
parents, and youth pastor.. Cassie about 6 months later
walked back up to the youth pastor and said "You'll
never guess what I did today...  I gave my life to
Christ..." - From that point forward, Cassie was a
radical evangelist on her campus.

The funeral showed some video tape of her sharing parts
of her testimony which were very powerful.  It is
because of her radical faith on Campus that she was
asked if she believed in God - She replied "Yes, I
believe in Jesus" (Not I believe in God as the media
has reported)... From that she was killed...

I can say that her parents were devastated but proud of
their daughter (she looks exactly like her mother). The
funeral was more of a celebration of Christ's work in
her and through her and a number of girls shared how
she had led them to faith...

At Cassie's Memorial Service over 75 kids made first
time commitments to Christ.  At the funeral, the pastor
and a member of the musical group presented
the gospel twice and offered the "Sinner's Prayer"
twice..  - Her funeral was more of an evangelistic
event than a mourning of the loss...

I was very touched by the testimony of her friends
along with the clear presentation of the gospel (in
attendance was everyone from the JeffCo SWAT Team,
Paramedics, District Attorneys' Office, etc)..   I feel
honored to have been able to witness such an event &
watch God work through her death to bring life to

Other's worth mentioning/Praying For: John & Steve
Cohen - They wrote
"Friend of Mine/Columbine" a evangelistic song
regarding their school and
the need for God's redemption.  The memorial service
televised internationally on Sunday was opened with the
song. They have had the opportunity to clearly present
the gospel on Good Morning America and the Today Show
(this morning in fact).

I spent about 30 minutes talking to them. John was the
leader of the Columbine Bible Club which apparently was
very very large.  His (and his brother's) faith were
very apparent and their tender/gentle hearts clearly
showed through.

As a testimony on how God works in mysterious ways -
Virgin Records will be producing their CD free for them
(Though it is being sold for $10 ($11.95 w/ Shipping)
to support the victim's families..  They are a true
testimony of great
faith in a young age.  [On a side note - They are in a
Christian Ska band-I
forgot the name]...  Their clear articulation of the
Gospel on several national (and international) shows is
a great witness to their faith & to God's amazing work
through this incident..

Craig Scott (15) - Craig was sitting between Isaiah
Shoels and Matt Kechter in the library.  Matt was his
best friend.  Both Matt & Isaiah were shot and Craig
played dead, lying in their blood.  Craig then led a
number from the library out to safety.  He then led
those from the library in prayer for their brothers &
sisters who were still in the school.

He shared that one by one his friends siblings came out
- but his never did.  He lost his best friend and
sister. The next day on the Today show he shared his
story then affirmed that he would be getting through
this with God's help.  He clearly affirmed that his
hope is in God and that he and his family will make it
through.   In the midst of his pain- the hope he has
was very apparent.

My Youth Ministry Friends - I spent 5 hours this
evening at a Youth Leader
Gathering at Foothills Bible Church.  We had around 400
Youth Pastors
from the local area showed up.   I'd ask for your
prayers for the youth
leaders in the Jefferson County area.  I spent several
hours just weeping with
several of my good friends from seminary who either
lost kids or have kids
severely impacted by the shooting.

I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a member
of one of the youth groups I've been involved in..
These youth ministers were devastated and drained but
their hope in Christ was very clear.  I had the
opportunity to minister to and pray with a number of
JeffCo Youth Pastors today & was very encouraged.. They
are an amazing bunch who are exhausted emotionally and
physically & need the prayers of others...


Larry - Larry is a classmate who runs a outreach center
for troubled youth
called "Tuesday at your Mother's" - He has local bands
come in and play
and is geared towards the troubled youth in the area.
Tuesday before
last Eric Harris was at his coffee house/concert.

The band playing broke a string on their guitar and it
took 30 minutes to fix - The lead singer clearly
presented his testimony and the Gospel in that 30
minute period. In fact, one of the band members had a
word that someone "Was going to kill someone or had
just killed someone" and asked them to come forward for
prayer - no one did.

My brother Larry is wrought with guilt over the fact
that he had Eric Harris at one of his services just 7
days before their killing spree and he feels he didn't
minister properly to prevent the tragedy.  Please pray
for Larry's peace & for his ministry to troubled
youth.  He still has several of Eric and Dylan's crowd
show up to his coffeehouse/concerts...

Jeremy - Jeremy is a classmate who is the Youth Pastor
at Foothills Bible Church - Almost the entire youth
group attended Columbine.  They lost John
Tomlin & are really hurting.  Jeremy needs strength in
ministering to his
youth (Also Rusty - Youth Leader at Foothills)...
Clement Park -

After Cassie's Funeral - I spent some time at Clement
Park with some youth pastor brothers.  I was encouraged
to see that about 90% of the notes left were clearly
evangelical and expressed the need to turn to Jesus and
His atoning sacrifice.  If you are in the local area -
I would say this is a sight your children should see..

I noticed a number of parents with middle school and
elementary age children using this as a "teachable
moment"... I heard a number of people sharing the
gospel with visitors (though L. Ron Hubbard folks were
there passing out materials also) Jefferson County -
The minute I drove into Jefferson County - I felt the
clear presence of the Holy Spirit at work.  The city is
ripe for the
harvest. I've heard testimonies of 10's to 50's at a
time turning to Christ at each of the various memorials
and services.  The gospel is being clearly presented at
every event.  The churches are united in service and
effort / the sense of community among the believers is
amazing.   The churches are being supported by the
community in amazing ways.

At the youth pastor event we had more food than
everyone could eat and take
home..  Local restaurants are giving away thousands of
meals to the churches..  God is working through secular
organizations and businesses for His purpose.   At the
youth event - Group Publishing/Youth Specialties
donated hundreds and hundreds of youth material
books/etc.  They had more than everyone could take.

I'm writing all this to encourage you in that our Lord
and Savior works in
mysterious ways.  Through the death of believers like
Cassie, John and Rachel - He has brought new life to
thousands....  I've seen the Gospel presented on CNN (&
CNN International - Live) a number of times..

Even more so on the local stations..  Amazingly - Often
by youth....The church in the area is united, the
believers focus is on Christ (it's amazing how fast
priorities change in a situation like this) and the
city is hungering for the Gospel..  Christ is clearly
working in infinite ways through this incident...

Please pray for the churches/ministers and for the
pre-Christians in
Jefferson County and Praise God for His Amazing
ways...   And please be
encouraged by the amazing workings of our Lord through
tragedies like

God Bless,


PS - For those that are curious - The passages used for
Dylan Kleybold's
funeral Saturday were about David and Absolom and how
although Absolom
rebelled against his father (David) and drew up an army
to fight against
him - David still loved him and mourned his death...
There was a private
funeral with only 12 in attendance.

Dylan's older brother's best friend had felt called to
share the Gospel with their family last Christmas.
None responded then -  but he has now withdrawn from
this semester at college and is flying back to minister
to the family..

============= Steve & John's Song - Getting national

Friend of Mine
Columbine, flower bloom, tenderly I sing to you.
Columbine, roseblood red, heartbreak overflows my head.

Columbine, flower bloom.
Columbine there's hope for you.
Columbine, friend of mine.
To your gain, on the mark.
With your love, love again.
Comfort peace and sweet release come from you.
Where, it's true, I hide myself in you.
Can you still hear raging guns ending dreams of
precious ones.
In God' son, hope will come, his red stain will take
our pain.
Columbine, friend of mine.
Peace will come to you in time.
Columbine, friend of mine.
Turn a page, to your gain.
Keep your heart on the mark.
Comfort us with your love.
Love again.
Christ of grace attend this place we look to you.
Honor you.
Fix you in our view.
Columbine, flower bloom.
Tenderly I sing to you.
Columbine, roseblood red, heartbreak overflows my head.

Columbine, friend of mine.
Peace will come to you in time.
Columbine, friend of mine.

Jonathan and  Stephen Cohen

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