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More Columbine Documents Released
Public Can View 11,000 Pages on Massacre Investigation

Nov. 21, 2000
By Keith Coffman

GOLDEN, Colo. ( -- Authorities released 11,000 pages of raw investigative material from the Columbine High School massacre today, which the father of a slain student hopes will bolster his claim that police killed his son and covered it up.

"Maybe now we can get information on ballistics and eyewitness accounts that weren't in the police report," said Brian Rohrbough, whose son, Daniel, was one of two students killed outside the school. "We'll get to see all the facts, not through the rose-colored glasses of a hired author."

Rohrbough claims in a lawsuit filed against the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office that a deputy killed his son, not gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Police deny the allegation, saying in the official report that no one died because of "friendly fire."

Harris, 18, and Klebold, 17, gunned down 12 fellow students and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves in the April 20, 1999, rampage.

Students' names redacted
Jefferson County District Judge Brooke Jackson ordered the release of the raw material months ago at Rohrbough's request but ruled that the sheriff's office had to edit the material before releasing it to the public.

Jackson ordered the removal of the names of students targeted but not killed by the gunmen, other possible suspects mentioned by eyewitnesses and other personal information. Autopsy results and medical records of the victims were not included in today's disclosure.

Two hours after the voluminous material went on sale today, five copies had been sold, all to news media outlets. The public can buy the entire file for $602, or view the data on select days through Dec. 1, said Jefferson County spokesman John Masson. Eventually, the county will make the information available through public libraries, he said.

Mysterious gunman?

Excerpts from a description and drawing of a possible gunman made by Columbine student Jennifer Smull.

The materials include scores of eyewitness statements and investigators' follow-up interviews. One such witness, Jennifer Smull told police she saw a third suspect inside the school during the siege.

"I thought he was a cop until he held up a sawed off shotgun," Smull said in her statement, made within hours of being evacuated from the school.

Smull, a sophomore at the time, was trapped in the science wing of the school for three hours, adjacent to the room where teacher Dave Sanders bled to death after being shot during the opening salvo of gunfire inside the school. She drew a sketch of the unknown suspect for police.

Smull identified Klebold as one of the shooters, but said Harris -- who she said she knew and had encountered earlier that day -- was not the other gunman she saw.

"[Smull] told me that the party she saw was about 25 to 30 years old, had a thick muscular neck and muscular build, and that Eric Harris was too scrawny to be the same party she observed," Jefferson County sheriff's Investigator Larry Erzen wrote after his follow-up interview.

Material to be scrutinized
William Erickson, the chairman of a commission appointed by Colorado Gov. Bill Owens to review the massacre, said he was interested in reviewing the material.

"The comments of Klebold and Harris made at the time of the shooting may be of some interest," said Erickson, a former chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. "But we'll take a look at before we know if it's of any value."

Erickson has publicly criticized the county for stymieing his efforts to get information on police actions the day of the siege.

The commission has been unable to view homemade videotapes made by the killers leading up to the attack, and, citing the lawsuits filed against his office, Sheriff John Stone has refused to testify before the commission, drawing a public rebuke from Erickson.

Keith Coffman is an correspondent in Colorado.