Police Link Girlfriend to 3 Guns
LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) _ An 18-year-old student who authorities say bought three of the four guns used in the Columbine High School massacre may face more questioning as investigators chase a wider conspiracy beyond Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
Officials have said that Robyn Anderson, Klebold’s girlfriend, is not a suspect but a witness to the April 20 rampage. Twelve students and a teacher were killed before student assailants Klebold and Harris shot themselves.
Ms. Anderson, who attended the prom with Klebold days before the shootings, is just one of 600-plus leads being pursued in Colorado’s largest-ever criminal probe. Detectives said they had ``high hopes″ for future arrests, though no one has been formally labeled a suspect.
``One of those 600 could throw anybody back into the focus of the investigation,″ Jefferson County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Davis said. ``We’re conducting this investigation as if there are more suspects.″
Mourners drained by a week of funerals turned today to the final service for the Columbine victims. Witnesses say the gunmen killed Isaiah Shoels, 18, because he was black.
Harris, 18, and Klebold, 17, hiding their arsenal under black trench coats, also wounded 23 people and left more than 50 bombs at the school and in their homes. Diaries show the plot had been planned for a year.
On Wednesday, authorities confirmed that Ms. Anderson bought two shotguns and a rifle last fall. A semiautomatic TEC DC-9 handgun used in the attack has not yet been traced.
``She did buy the long guns,″ Davis said. ``Did she supply the weapons to them with some idea of what they were planning to do with them? That’s still one of the major things we want to find out.″
Authorities said Ms. Anderson bought the shotguns and rifle after her 18th birthday in November. Investigators said at least one was bought at a gun show. Federal law allows persons 18 years of age to buy rifles and shotguns, but not handguns.
Repeated efforts to reach Ms. Anderson at home and by phone for comment have been unsuccessful. Investigators say she has retained an attorney and has been cooperative.
Anguished by the bloodshed at Columbine, people across the country are talking about school safety, parental responsibility, gun control and violence in movies, music and video games. With Vice President Al Gore in attendance, cable network MSNBC staged a town meeting Wednesday night focusing on the shootings, and CNN planned its own tonight.
The attack has also produced a disturbing series of copycat crimes, including Wednesday’s shooting of two 17-year-old boys at a Taber, Alberta, high school. One of the boys died after a 14-year-old boy walked into the school and opened fire, police said.
Nationwide, educators have increased security and at least a half-dozen law enforcement agencies have arrested kids accused of plotting weapons attacks at school. A number of school districts have banned trench coats.
In the same school district as Columbine, a phony bomb threat on Wednesday forced students to evacuate Pomona High School. No explosives were found.
``The wackos are coming out of the woodwork,″ said another sheriff’s spokesman, Sgt. Jim Parr. ``A lot of sick people think this is something to emulate.″
Among the leads is the medical problem cited by the Marines Corps when it rejected Harris as a recruit just five days before the attack. Harris was rejected because he had been taking the antidepressant drug Luvox, The New York Times reported today, citing a Defense Department source. Luvox is often used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents.
Investigators said they were interested in whether Harris’ condition could be linked to the massacre.
``His acceptance or nonacceptance into the Marine Corps I don’t think has any bearing on what happened,″ Parr said. ``But if he were on medication or not on medication, that would be part of it.″
The coroner’s office said tests showed no drugs or alcohol in the bodies of the gunmen.
Also Wednesday, a federal official told The Associated Press that the FBI has enhanced a surveillance videotape that captured events in the cafeteria, where several students were wounded during the rampage. The tape was returned to Colorado for analysis.
Meanwhile, families buried more victims of the massacre.
One thousand people gathered at Trinity Christian Center to remember Steven Curnow, a 14-year-old who dreamed of becoming a Navy fighter pilot.
In Waterford, Wis., 450 people gathered at United Methodist Church to bury John Tomlin, 16, in a green-and-gold casket _ the colors of his beloved Green Bay Packers. His family moved to Colorado four years ago from Wisconsin.
The Jefferson County school system plans to hold a memorial on Sunday, one week after 70,000 mourners remembered the Columbine victims at an outdoor ceremony attended by Gore.