Colo. Girlfriend May Have Had Guns
LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) _ Radios and televisions fell silent across the Denver area at 11:21 a.m. today, one week to the minute after the eruption of gunfire at Columbine High School was first reported.
Church bells tolled 15 times, one for each person killed, including the gunmen, and television news broadcasts showed a blue Columbine memorial ribbon while observing the moment of silence.
Earlier, authorities said the 18-year-old girlfriend of gunman Dylan Klebold had purchased at least two of the weapons used in the attack.
The Denver Post reported today that investigators believe the girlfriend bought three weapons not long after her 18th birthday in November. The Denver Rocky Mountain News said the young woman, identified as Robyn K. Anderson, was believed to have bought two guns.
Investigators also discounted a report from a Colorado Springs gun dealer that the other gunman, Eric Harris, was among five teens who tried to buy a machine gun and another weapon last month. The dealer said the aborted transaction was videotaped.
But Larry Bettendorf, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said the videotapes had nothing to do with the massacre.
``Our agents have reviewed the videotape or tapes, and they did not find any evidence of the suspects or their associates in there,″ he said.
Harris, 18, and Klebold, 17, committed suicide after bursting into Columbine High with guns and bombs a week ago today, killing 12 fellow students and one teacher. Four guns were found in the school.
Ms. Anderson was questioned Monday, and authorities describe her as a witness, not a suspect. District Attorney Dave Thomas said she was cooperating with investigators.
Prosecutors said the weapons may have been purchased legally.
``We think three of them were provided by the girlfriend of Klebold,″ Mark Paulter, a Jefferson County chief district attorney, told the Post. ``She bought them because she was older. She was 18 at the time. She bought them in November or December.
``We’re not sure she committed a crime under Colorado statute. If you provide a handgun to a person under 18, that’s a violation of the statute. If you provide a shotgun or a rifle, that’s not a violation.″
Prosecutors said Ms. Anderson bought two shotguns and a rifle. Sheriff John Stone acknowledged it was possible that she did know how Klebold and Harris planned to use the guns.
``She’s not going to use those for pheasant hunting,″ Stone told the News.
A man who was at Ms. Anderson’s home declined to comment, saying the family was terrorized by reporters, the Post said.
Investigators still believe that someone other than Klebold and Harris was aware of their plans in the days and weeks leading up to the attack.
``There’s a lot of munitions there,″ Stone said. ``Either somebody else brought it in or they brought it in and stored it. ... It’s hard to get that in under your raincoat and not be noticed.″
Stone said three boys who were arrested near Columbine on the day of the attack have not been cleared in the case.
``I’m suspicious of their story,″ Stone said. ``They are not out of the woods in this one yet.″
Also Monday, authorities said Klebold and Harris had aimed for an even bigger bloodbath, plotting to kill hundreds of students, and then to hijack a plane and crash it into New York City. Investigators cited a diary they found that was kept by Harris.
The attack’s bold, bizarre nature led to speculation that the gunmen might have been taking drugs, but toxicology tests revealed no drugs or alcohol in their bodies, the coroner’s office said.
``It makes it a little more frightening to me that they were of sound mind and not under the influence of alcohol and drugs,″ prosecutor Thomas told MSNBC.
Columbine’s campus remained closed to everyone except bomb squads and investigators. Columbine teachers reported for duty today at an undisclosed location. Columbine’s students will begin classes at nearby Chatfield High School next Monday, four days later than planned, school officials decided today.
Teachers haven’t been allowed to pick up their books and other belongings since the bloodshed at Columbine.
``If they need anything and we can find it, we’ll get it for them,″ sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Parr said Monday. ``But I think they’re going to be operating on a shoestring for a while.″
Chatfield Principal Sally Blanchard said her staff would try to make Columbine teachers feel welcome on campus as they prepare their lessons in hopes of finishing out the school year.
``We want them to feel honored. We want them to feel safe,″ she said.
Funerals were held Monday for three students and Dave Sanders, the only teacher killed in the rampage.
Mourners, including students by the hundreds, also turned out Monday to remember Lauren Townsend, an 18-year-old honor student and captain of the girls’ volleyball team; Daniel Rohrbough, the 15-year-old boy shot while holding an exit door open for fleeing students; and Cassie Bernall, the 17-year-old girl who professed her love of God just before she was shot.
``Cassie died a martyr’s death,″ Pastor George Kirsten told mourners. ``She went to the martyrs’ hall of fame.″