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April 21 marked the second anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School where 12 students and one teacher were killed and 23 others injured. Recent events in the news suggest that the nation is far from "finding closure" for the incident. To begin with, on Friday, preliminary statements by the chairman of the Governor's Columbine Review Commission criticized law officers' tactics during the attack and said warning signs were ignored. In particular, his statement suggested that the police forces at the scene mishandled the tragedy in a couple of ways: by telling students to remain in the library where most of the victims were subsequently gunned down and by using a "perimeter approach" to the situation, instead of sending the SWAT team into the high school while the massacre was occurring. The full report is scheduled to reach the governor's desk in mid-May. The anniversary also marked the settlement of one of the many lawsuits brought by the families of the victims. The parents of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, along with two other defendants currently serving time for purchasing weapons for the two boys, agreed to pay 2.53 million dollars in damages to the families of 30 victims. Last week, a judge was asked to dismiss a case brought by the family of slain teacher Dave Sanders that holds 25 communications companies liable for the shootings because they sold products (movies, video games, etc.) that encouraged the killers' actions. A ruling is pending. Finally, on Thursday, the Jefferson County Sheriff's office belatedly released documents that some have suggested point to a mishandling of the 1998 investigation into charges that Eric Harris was making and storing pipe bombs in his home. The recent shooting in Santee, CA also suggests to many observers that the nation has yet to find the means of preventing such incidents from happening repeatedly.
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Date Issued 2001
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2001-05-01
Archived Scout Publication URL

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