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AP Was There: Hours of terror unfold inside Columbine

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - On April 20, 1999, two teenage boys dressed in black trench coats went on a killing rampage at Columbine High School in suburban Denver. They shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded two dozen others before taking their own lives. Twenty years later, The Associated Press is republishing this story about the attack, the product of reporting from more than a dozen AP journalists who conducted interviews in the hours after it happened. The article first appeared on April 22, 1999. ___ A moment of surprise, then hours of terror By TED ANTHONY AP National Writer LITTLETON, Colo. - Her favorite lunchtime meal was ready - "my only meal," jokes Sarah DeBoer. So, nachos in hand, she headed toward the commons area of the Columbine High School cafeteria. It was a sunny Tuesday morning, maybe 60 degrees, only 17 school days before graduation, and a spring mentality was afoot - the kind that says summer is on the horizon. Outside, two disaffected young men knew something their classmates didn't. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had endgame in mind. Ms. DeBoer, who knew the pair in passing, had talked to them Friday. True, they liked to bluster about guns and vengeance and Adolf Hitler. But they seemed - for them, at least - fine. Upstairs in the school library, four dozen students were studying their way through the lunch period. Down the hall, Dave Sanders, a popular instructor and coach, was teaching a science class. Nearby, Stephanie Williams, 16, a junior, was in the choir room singing. Then, at about 11:15 a.m., a sound from outside: pop-pop-pop-BANG. In the cafeteria, they thought it was a lunchtime prank. Whatever it was, it was getting closer. Sarah DeBoer, a 16-year-old...

Derrick White has career-high 36 points, Spurs beat Nuggets 118-108

San Antonio point guard Derrick White was screaming, flexing and stomping around the court after almost every basket against Denver. It was completely out of character for White, but the mild-mannered point guard has not been in this situation before. White had a career-high 36 points and the Spurs beat the Nuggets 118-108 in San Antonio on Thursday night, withstanding a first-half lapse to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series. "I just had a chip on my shoulder," White said. "This is the way I've played since I was young. Just try to go out there, compete and have fun." Nikola Jokic had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Denver. Game 4 is Saturday in San Antonio, where the Spurs are 3-0 against the Nuggets this season. White attacked Denver point guard Jamal Murray from the opening tip after being on the receiving end of Murray's career outing Tuesday night. Murray had only six points, a game after scoring 21 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to help Denver overcome a 19-point deficit to even the series. "There is no doubt in my mind that Derrick White, the last couple of days, has been reminded about Jamal Murray's fourth-quarter performance," Denver head coach Michael Malone said. "Derrick White came out like he hadn't eaten in two days. He came out hungry, he came out (ticked) off and he sent a very loud and clear message. I'm anxious to see our guys, how do we respond to that." DeMar DeRozan scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half for San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Rudy Gay had 11 points and 10 rebounds. 76ers 131, Nets 115: Joel Embiid took off his warm-up gear and changed into street clothes, his left knee feeling too sore to play. Even with the All-Star center sitting...

McMahon homers twice, Rockies beat Phillies 6-2

DENVER (AP) - Ryan McMahon homered twice and had five RBIs in his return to the lineup and Kyle Freeland pitched six scoreless innings as the Colorado Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2 Thursday night. McMahon had the first multi-homer game of his career and helped the Rockies snap a five-game home losing streak. Colorado has won four in a row overall after dropping eight straight. J.T. Realmuto homered and Cesar Hernandez had three hits for Philadelphia. McMahon had been out of the lineup since suffering a strained left elbow against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 5. He missed 10 games, but came back strong to help Freeland get his eighth win in his last nine decisions at Coors Field. Freeland (2-3), who left Saturday's start in San Francisco with a blister issue, allowed just two hits and didn't walk a batter. He was headed for a no-decision when McMahon hit a three-run homer off Philadelphia starter Zach Eflin (2-2) in the bottom of the sixth to give the Rockies a 3-0 lead. Realmuto cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the seventh with his third home run of the season, but McMahon's 416-foot blast into the Rockies bullpen in the bottom of the inning made it 6-2. Tony Wolters had three hits and Nolan Arenado two for the Rockies. TRAINER'S ROOM Phillies: OF Odubel Herrera (right hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game and OF Roman Quinn was activated. Herrera left Wednesday's game in the fifth inning after pulling up while chasing a fly ball against the New York Mets. ... SS Jean Segura tested out his strained left hamstring before the game, but was not in the lineup. Rockies: OF David Dahl was activated from the 10-day injured list and was in the lineup Thursday. Dahl, who had been out since April 8 with a left core injury,...

White anota 36 puntos en triunfo de Spurs sobre Nuggets

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Derrick White impuso una marca personal con 36 puntos y los Spurs de San Antonio derrotaron el jueves 118-108 a los Nuggets de Denver después de reponerse de un colapso en la primera mitad para tomar ventaja de 2-1 en su serie de primera ronda. Nikola Jokic terminó con 22 tantos, ocho rebotes y siete asistencias por Denver. El cuarto juego es el sábado en San Antonio, en donde los Spurs tienen marca de 3-0 ante los Nuggets esta campaña. White atacó al base de los Nuggets Jamal Murray desde el silbatazo inicial después de haber sido castigado por Murray el pasado martes. Murray finalizó apenas con seis unidades, un juego después de anotar 21 de sus 24 puntos en el último cuarto para ayudar a Denver a borrar un déficit de 19 tantos para igualar la serie. White rompió su récord personal después de recibir una falta de Paul Millsap en una bandeja que anotó después de rebotar en un costado del aro y en el tablero que puso a los Spurs al frente 99-89 con 8:52 en el reloj. White añadió cinco rebotes, cinco asistencias y tres robos, además de encestar 12 de sus 17 intentos de campo. El base igualó su marca personal de puntos con 26 tantos tan solo en la primera mitad. Después de eso DeMar DeRozan se hizo cargo al conseguir 21 de sus 25 puntos en la segunda mitad. LaMarcus Aldridge aportó 18 unidades y 11 tableros y Rudy Gay terminó con 11 tantos y 10 rebotes. White tuvo 10 puntos en el primer cuarto, mientras era defendido principalmente por Murray. Michael Beasley terminó con 20 puntos y Gary Harris con 12 por los Nuggets.

The Latest: Plane tickets, gun buy raised FBI's concerns

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - The Latest on the search for a woman who may pose a threat to schools in Colorado (all times local): 10:53 a.m. The FBI says there no more threat to Columbine, no word on location of woman "infatuated" with the school attack 20 years ago. 10:40 a.m. The FBI is confirming there is "investigative activity" in the Colorado community of Mount Evans related to a young woman who authorities say is obsessed with the Columbine shooting and purchased a shotgun and ammunition after traveling to the state from Florida. Mount Evans is popular recreation area about 60 miles southwest of Denver. ___ 10:35 a.m. Students at the Florida high school attended by a young woman authorities allege is obsessed with the Columbine shooting have described her as quiet and intelligent. Seventeen-year-old junior Drew Burnstine says Sol Pais is in his math class at Miami Beach High School, attended by about 2,500 students. He described her as "a very quiet, smart student who sat alone in class." The FBI has said that Sol Pais, flew to Colorado on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition. Authorities initially said she "made threats to commit an act of violence in the Denver metropolitan area." But the FBI later softened that description to say she made "threats in the Denver metro area" ahead of Saturday's anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School that killed 13 people. Burnstine says Pais "never caused problems or indicated that she wanted to harm anyone." Students say that Pais mostly dressed in black. Burnstine says he once held the door open for Pais, and "she said thank you." He recalls one time when Pais quickly closed her laptop as the teacher approached her in class. ___ 10:20 a.m. Students at Miami Beach High School spent much of the morning behind locked classroom doors after news emerged that authorities were...

The Latest: Miami Beach teen seen as threatening Columbine

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - The Latest on threats that put Denver-area schools on alert (all times local): 12:40 a.m. Education officials say Denver-area public schools will be closed Wednesday due to the an ongoing safety concern as authorities search for a woman who they say is armed, making threats and "infatuated" with the Columbine High School shooting. Authorities say 18-year-old Sol Pais made undisclosed threats that prompted Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver to lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon. Denver Public Schools said all facilities and programs will be closed Wednesday, and there will be no afternoon activities or athletic competitions. The district said the decision to close campuses was in collaboration with other Denver metro-area school districts. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the FBI say Pais traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition. ___ 10:15 p.m. Tuesday Schools in the Denver area are on heightened alert after authorities say a woman who is "infatuated" with the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School made threats just days before the 20th anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people. Authorities are looking for 18-year-old Sol Pais after undisclosed threats prompted Columbine and more than 20 other schools outside Denver to lock their doors for nearly three hours Tuesday afternoon. All schools in the Denver area were urged to tighten security, and some canceled evening activities or moved them inside. Investigators say Pais traveled to Colorado from Miami on Monday night and bought a shotgun and ammunition. Police who might come into contact with her were told to detain her and evaluate her mental health.

School shootings draw attention to officers' mental health

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - The first SWAT team members to see the horror in the Columbine High School library had to step around bodies and ignore a wounded student's plea for help as they searched for shooters they didn't know had already died by their own hands. As member Grant Whitus put it, officers carried something home with them that day, a level of trauma and a sense of futility that stayed with them for years and may have contributed to the team's demise. "It was just beyond anything I'd ever thought I'd see in my career," he said of the 1999 shooting that left 12 students and a teacher dead and remains locked in the nation's memory. "So many children were dead." Amid the emotional toll of what it experienced, the Jefferson County Regional SWAT team began to fall apart. By 2002, only three members of the 10-person team remained. The others were reassigned or left the department. On the 20th anniversary of Columbine, the effects of trauma and turmoil experienced by law enforcement authorities who respond to school shootings are still largely unknown. Experts say agencies are reluctant to let researchers interview officers and dredge up potentially painful memories. Many officers also view seeking psychiatric help as a sign of weakness - particularly in elite units like SWAT - and see their own mental health as secondary when civilians are affected by school shootings and other grave loss. "That's what they signed up for, right? To deal with this violence and see these violent outcomes," said labor attorney Eric Brown, who handles cases for Newton, Connecticut, police officers. "So there's not a lot of empathy for them when they show the signs of PTSD or other mentally disabling side effects." But attitudes are starting to change. A group of global law...

Colorado governor signs major overhaul of oil and gas rules

DENVER (AP) - Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday signed into law a major overhaul of state oil and gas rules, turning the focus away from encouraging production and directing regulators to make public safety and the environment their top priority. The law also gives local government significant new authority to restrict the location of wells, which could limit or prohibit drilling in some areas near homes and schools. "Today, with the signing of this bill, it is our hope that the oil and gas wars that have enveloped our state are over, and the winner is all of us," said Polis, a Democrat. The state has struggled for years to balance the interests of the booming industry against growing concerns of people who live nearby drilling rigs, wells and tanks. Colorado ranks fifth nationally in crude oil production and sixth in natural gas. The industry says it contributes $32 billion annually to the state economy, including taxes and 89,000 direct and indirect jobs. But fast-growing communities north of Denver are spilling into the state's most productive oil and gas area, the Wattenberg field, sparking complaints about noise and pollution and provoking fears about explosions. In 2017, natural gas escaping from a severed pipeline was blamed for an explosion that destroyed a house in Frederick, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Denver. Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law, Joseph Irwin, were killed. Martinez's wife, Erin, was badly injured. She became a quiet but effective advocate for the new law. "This is something that means a lot to our family," she said after Polis signed the bill. "We feel like it's a great way to honor Mark and Joey. The second anniversary (of the explosion) is tomorrow, so it's really fitting we got that done before that came." Supporters...

2020 hopeful Hickenlooper meets Columbine shooting survivors

DENVER (AP) - Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday met with survivors of the Columbine High School attack and other survivors of the state's mass shootings just four days before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Hickenlooper, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has been touting gun control measures he signed following the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, which killed 12 people. But Tuesday's event had a somber tone and barely touched on the reliable Democratic vote-getting issue of gun control, instead veering into an inconclusive discussion of the need for improved mental health services for both the victims of mass shootings and for potential perpetrators. Hickenlooper kicked off the hourlong discussion at a Denver church by noting recent suicides of survivors of last year's Parkland High School shooting and of the father of one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre. The former governor, who's called for federal funding of more long-term counseling for those affected by mass shootings, asked the group about the lingering impact of the trauma. Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was one of 13 people killed at Columbine, worries there's been too much emphasis on "be strong" after recent attacks. "You need to balance that with the reality that some people are still traumatized," he said. Democratic state Rep. Rhonda Fields, whose district includes the site of the Aurora massacre and whose son was killed earlier in an unrelated homicide, is concerned that resources aren't getting to those who need them. "There is a ripple effect when it comes to mass shootings," she said. "I don't know if people know how to ask for help sometimes because the focus seems to be on the parents or the students who were right there." . ..

The Latest: Colorado governor signs oil and gas overhaul

DENVER (AP) - The Latest on a bill overhauling Colorado oil and gas regulations (all times local): 4:25 p.m. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has signed a bill overhauling state oil and gas regulations, shifting the focus from encouraging production to protecting public safety and the environment. At a signing ceremony Tuesday, Polis said he hopes the law will end Colorado's "oil and gas wars." The state has struggled for years to balance the interests of the industry against growing concerns about noise, pollution and safety. Supporters say the law brings much-needed protection to people and the environment. Opponents say it will stifle the industry and kill jobs. Efforts are already underway to overturn it and recall a lawmaker who voted for it. Drilling is contentious in Colorado, which ranks fifth nationally in crude oil production and sixth in natural gas. Fast-growing communities north of Denver are spilling into oil and gas areas, creating conflicts. ____ 1 p.m. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is ready to sign a bill overhauling oil and gas regulations, shifting the focus from encouraging production to protecting public safety and the environment. Polis plans to sign the legislation Tuesday. Supporters say it brings much-needed protection to Colorado's booming population and the environment. Opponents say the law will stifle a major industry and kill jobs. Efforts are already underway to overturn it and recall a lawmaker who voted for it. Oil and gas drilling is contentious in Colorado, which ranks fifth nationally in crude oil production and sixth in natural gas. The industry says it contributes $32 billion annually to the state economy and supports 89,000 jobs. But fast-growing Colorado communities are spilling into oil...

The Latest: FBI says armed woman 'infatuated' with Columbine

LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - The Latest on a lockout at Columbine High School and other Denver area schools (all times local): 4:10 p.m. All schools in the Denver area are being urged to tighten security after what appears to be a credible threat caused a lockout at Columbine High School and more than 20 other schools in the area. Patricia Billinger, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety, says the agency made the recommendation because Tuesday's threat was deemed "credible and general." At least one school district heeded the advice. Aurora Public Schools tweeted that students were being released in a "controlled manner," and additional security was put in place throughout the district as a precaution. The lockouts come just days before the 20th anniversary of a mass shooting at Columbine High School that killed 12 students and a teacher. Authorities say they are looking for a woman suspected of making threats. They say she should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. ___ 3:45 p.m. Following a lockdown at Columbine High School and other Denver area schools, authorities say they are looking for a woman suspected of making threats. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the FBI says 18-year-old Sol Pais traveled to Colorado on Monday night and made threats but they didn't provide any details about the threats. They say she was last seen in the foothills west of Denver, where some of the schools put on lockdown are located. They didn't say where she traveled from. Authorities said Pais is armed and considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached. Doors were locked at Columbine and at least over 20 other schools in the Denver area as the sheriff's office said it was investigating a possible threat against schools that was related...

Columbine survivors face new pain sending kids to school

DENVER (AP) - Dropping her kids off at school used to be the hardest part of Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson's day. She would cry most mornings as they left the car, and relied on texted photos from their teachers to make it through the day. Now, the mother of four - and Columbine shooting survivor - sees mornings as an opportunity. She wakes early, makes breakfast and strives to send a clear message before her kids leave home: I adore you. Twenty years after teenage gunmen attacked Columbine High School, Ruegsegger Johnson and other alumni of the Littleton, Colorado, school have become parents. The emotional toll of the shooting that killed 12 classmates and a teacher has been amplified by fears about their own kids' safety, spiking each time yet another shooter enters yet another school. "There are parts of the world I wish our kids never had to know about," Ruegsegger Johnson said, tears springing to her eyes. "I wish that there would never be a day I had to tell them the things I've been through." As the survivors of Columbine entered adulthood, they watched the attacks at their school and so many others - Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Parkland - alter the American classroom. Drills teaching students to "lock down" inside classrooms became routine. Schools formed teams to assess threats, particularly from students. And security firms forged a multibillion-dollar industry, introducing surveillance video, panic buttons and upgraded doors and locks. Now, many of these Columbine students-turned-parents grapple with crippling fear dwarfing pride as their children walk into their own schools. Leaning on her religious faith and family support, Ruegsegger Johnson worked hard to push down her terror and manage her post-traumatic stress as her children got older. She...

Columbine survivors send kids to schools altered by attack

DENVER (AP) - Dropping her kids off at school used to be the hardest part of Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson's day. She would cry most mornings as they left the car, and relied on texted photos from their teachers to make it through the day. Now, the mother of four - and Columbine shooting survivor - sees mornings as an opportunity. She wakes early, makes breakfast and strives to send a clear message before her kids leave home: I adore you. Twenty years after teenage gunmen attacked Columbine High School, Ruegsegger Johnson and other alumni of the Littleton, Colorado, school have become parents. The emotional toll of the shooting that killed 12 classmates and a teacher has been amplified by fears about their own kids' safety, spiking each time yet another shooter enters yet another school. "I'm grateful I have the chance to be a mom. I know some of my classmates weren't given that opportunity," Ruegsegger Johnson said, tears springing to her eyes. "There are parts of the world I wish our kids never had to know about. I wish that there would never be a day I had to tell them the things I've been through." As the survivors of Columbine entered adulthood, they watched the attacks at their school and so many others - Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Parkland - alter the American classroom. Drills teaching students to "lock down" inside classrooms became routine. Schools formed teams to assess threats, particularly from students. Security firms forged a multibillion-dollar industry, introducing surveillance video, panic buttons and upgraded doors and locks. And police changed their strategies for responding to a gunman intent only on killing. Some of the Columbine survivors find comfort in students being shielded by high fences or locked doors. Others find themselves frustrated by the ready acceptance of active-shooter...

Principals from schools with shootings form support network

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - In the days after a teenager shot and killed three fellow students at Ohio's Chardon High School in 2012, then-Principal Andy Fetchik remembers getting a call from someone who knew just what he was experiencing. It was Frank DeAngelis, the principal of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, during the deadly 1999 shooting. DeAngelis told him: It's going to be OK. You'll get through this. If you have questions, feel free to call me. Fetchik called, and he found DeAngelis to be a comfort and a resource as Chardon began its recovery. Now both men are part of a new network of current and former principals who hope to offer support to other school leaders in the aftermath of violence. "This is the network each of us wishes we had when the shooting occurred in our school," DeAngelis said in a written statement. The Principals Recovery Network will also advocate for educational resources and policies to help schools prevent violence. It convened this month ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. The group, organized by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, includes 17 current and former principals from schools in 11 states, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the site of a shooting in 2018. Collectively, the participants have lost more than 40 students and staff and seen scores more wounded in shootings over the past two decades. "We're not experts in recovery, but we're experts in the fact that we lived through it," Fetchik said, "and I think that it will provide a resource that kind of confirms to the school leader that there's others out there and they're not alone." Some members said they already reach out to offer support if a shooting occurs, but the network gives their...