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'Hit list' deleted by judge

News Staff

More than 11,000 pages of investigative files from the April 20, 1999, attack on Columbine High were released Tuesday and contained several new disclosures.

Jefferson County District Judge R. Brooke Jackson ordered the release Nov. 13. He also ordered deletion of some information, including names of students on a "hit list" compiled by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher and wounded more than 20.

Other deleted information includes medical reports, names of some witnesses and suspects, instructions and methods of bomb making and other information related to public safety.

Among the disclosures:

Harris and Klebold announced their violent plans for Columbine High School in various ways but nobody put all the pieces together until it was too late. Among the missed signs: Harris told another worker at a pizza joint he was collecting propane tanks and wanted to blow up the school. Klebold wrote in a school paper about a man with guns stashed beneath an overcoat, "ready for a small war."

The killers' parents reacted differently after authorities raced to their homes after the killings. The Klebolds talked freely with officers and invited a search of their home; the Harrises were described as uncooperative and tried to keep investigators out of their home.

Harris and Klebold took advantage of their jobs at a pizza parlor to practice making bombs and preparing for the attack on the school.

Chris Morris, a friend of the killers' who was considered a suspect at one time, agreed to help investigators gather evidence that led them to a man who supplied Harris and Klebold with one of their guns.

Columbine special education teacher Robin Ortiz emerged as a hero from the reports, which show he shepherded uncounted students to safety in the midst of the rampage.

None of those in the library heard any conversation between Harris and Klebold during the attack.

Numerous statements from witnesses contradicted the assertion of the family of Daniel Rohrbough who was killed outside the school that he died from "friendly fire."

November 22, 2000