Cory's father was a teacher the day of the massacre.
I, Investigator Kate Battan, received the within Search warrant on this 19 day of May, 1999, and executed it as follows:
On May 28, 1999, at 11:00 o'clock a.m., I searched the business described in the Search Warrant and left a copy of the Search Warrant with:
Jefferson County Public Schools
The following is an inventory of property taken pursuant to the Search Warrant:
Accumulative records, Special needs files, Discipline records, Attendance records.
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On April 20, 1999, Jefferson County Sheriff's Investigator Ralph Gallegos interviewed Christopher Morris, dob 06/09/81, shortly after the shootings at Columbine High School. Christopher Morris told Investigator Gallegos that he used to be part of the "Trench Coat Mafia" (TCM), and that he believed the people inside of Columbine High School doing the shooting were Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, and XXXXXXX. Morris said Klebold, Harris and Perry are also members of the trench Coat Mafia. Christopher Morris further told Investigator Gallegos that Eric Harris goes by the name of "Reb."
Morris told Investigator Gallegos that two weeks prior to April 20, 1999 Eric Harris had been picked on by "jocks" at Columbine High School. Shortly after this incident, Christopher Morris was at Dylan Klebold's house with Eric Harris and Harris said, "Wouldn't it be nice to kill jocks?"
On April 22, 1999, Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agents Jack McGrath and Paulette Brundage interviewed Christopher Morris, who again admitted to being an associate of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Special Agents McGrath and Brundage asked Morris where he was at the time of the shootings on April 20, 1999, and he advised that he was at Cory Friesen's house playing a video game. Morris said that he and Friesen had gone to a Video City store on the evening of April 19, 1999 and had talked to Charles Phillips, an employee of the store, who both he and Friesen knew. Morris said that Friesen had rented a computer game and that it was this game which he and Friesen were playing at Friesen's house during the time of the shootings at Columbine High School. Morris has denied any involvement or knowledge in the Columbine Shooting and has denied being at Columbine High School during the time of the shootings. Morris asserts that he was at Friesen's home playing a computer game.
On April 27, 1999, Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Matthew Harris interviewed Columbine High School student Christopher Wisher, dob 03/19/83. Wisher told Special Agent Matthew Harris that he was in the parking lot of Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, at about 11:15 a.m., and heard a sound like fireworks going off. Wisher told Special Agent Harris that he saw a white male dressed in black, wearing a trench coat, outside of the cafeteria, who shot at three students with a shotgun.
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Wisher told Special Agent Harris that he thought the male might be Chris Morris.
On May 6, 1999, West Metro Fire Department Investigator Dan Pfannenstiel interviewed Ashley Egeland, dob 11/20/83 who is a student at Columbine. Egeland said that on April 20, 1999, at about 11:10 a.m., she was in the gym class when she heard an unknown student yell that "someone was coming with a gun." Ashley told Investigator Pfannenstiel that she ran to the main hall that runs east/west in Columbine and saw "two gunmen." Ashley Egeland further told Investigator Pfannenstiel that the first male was carrying a long gun and was shooting at doors and lockers. Egeland recognized this gunmen as Eric Harris. Ashley told Investigator Pfannenstiel that she saw the second gunmen who had a black gun in his left hand and was also shooting his gun. Ashley Egeland said that she recognized this person as XXXXXXX. Investigator Pfannenstiel further questioned Ashley Egeland about the identification of the second gunmen and she indicated that she was 99.9% sure it was XXXXXX and that it was "definitely not Dylan Klebold."
Joe Stairs testimony
As for Chris Morris yes I knew him very well. Those of you who have deeply studied my interigation by the police already know what I am about to say but I will repeat it for everyone else. Chris Morris was the only name I gave the police when they asked me who if anyone did I think could have been possibly involved. He was a good friend in HS but to say that he had anger issues would be a great understatement. He clearly had a problem with restraint as well, and due to those two factors I would say he is the only person I would say could possibly have been involved. Of course I don't think he was for reasons that I have stated previously. If he were involved others would have known by now since I seriously doubt he could have done such a thing and not talked about it for this long. Also Corey Friesen who is Chris's best friend would have to have been involved as well since Chris rarely does anything without his involvement. I also know Corey very well and I seriously doubt he could have been involved. He is not a violent person or an angry one for that matter.
On the day
Science teacher Kent Friesen grabbed students from the hallway and pulled them into a classroom. Friesen took bulbs from emergency lights and repeatedly went into the hall. He got dry chemical fire extinguishers, which he planned on using as weapons should the killers try to come into the room.
Cory Friesen's father has close call
The accident occurred when science teacher Kent Friesen was preparing for his
fourth-period chemistry class. Friesen, who does not have classes during third
period, was in preparatory room adjacent to the back of the class when he
transferred nitric acid from a large container into a smaller container.
There was an agent inside the smaller container that caused the nitric acid to flash into his face and release noxious fumes throughout the building, said Jefferson County School District spokesman Rick Kaufman. "Luckily it didn't get into his eyes," Kaufman said.
Friesen said he quickly got into a decontamination shower inside the classroom while someone else called 911. Wayne Sill, a teacher in the adjacent classroom, hurried to Friesen's aid - as did three other students. "I'm fine," Friesen said later at his home. "It was minor injuries. That's all."
It could be a threat
This doesn't sound like a spill. This sounds like a small explosion, caused
by whatever "agent" they are talking about. I wonder is Friesen isn't scheduled
to talk to that grand jury currently meeting, and that this was a small reminder
of what can happen to loose tongues. It's no secret that Friesen was friendly
with TCM leader Chris Morris, or that his son Cory was tight with the
was CM's main alibi for 4-20.
That rivalry had been smoldering for months. Some students say even the teachers picked on the Trench Coats, blaming them for things they hadn't done and letting the jocks get away with anything because they were the crown princes. One athlete in particular liked to taunt them. "Dirtbag," he'd say, or maybe, "Nice dress." Others called them "faggots," inbreeds, harassing them to the point of throwing rocks and bottles at them from moving cars. "You have to understand that there were as many lies, rumors and intrigue as in Washington this past year," says Marsh. "It's almost the definition of a teenager to be cruel to those who are not like you. They don't like to admit it," she says, but "the ones who are the worst at spreading rumors and lies would be the jocks and the cheerleaders. There was one rumor we went around killing small animals. Another rumor that we had orgies."
Some of the Trench Coats tried to ignore the hazing, but some snarled back, and one reportedly flashed a shotgun at his abusers in the park. They made a video for class, a tale of kids in trench coats hunting down their enemies with shotguns. The graffiti in the boys' bathroom warned: COLUMBINE WILL EXPLODE ONE DAY. KILL ALL ATHLETES. ALL JOCKS MUST DIE.
One of the trench coat gang-Pat
police that five of the seven named above were indeed inside the school with
guns, in addition he named five more trench coaters-Eric Ault, John
Charles Phillips, and Eric Jackson- as being involved in the planning or
bomb-building. And at least two of the female trench coat associates-Melissa
told other students that they had advance foreknowledge of the attack.
ow does anyone come to the conclusion that life is so worthless that the only joy remaining is a brief spasm of deadly revenge? In the Littleton, Colorado case, we have the clear representation of close friends. "Their motive is, basically, because they hate the school and the administration," said pupil Alejandra Marsh. "They were just mad at the world," adds Ben Grams, "Mad because they weren't popular." Witnesses observed that their explicit revenge was directed against "jocks," the athletic bullies who had tormented them.
There were a lot of things Melissa Sowder didn't like about Columbine High School. The bullies, for instance. They were football players, mostly. They shoved her friends in the halls and threw snowballs or bottles at them on the way home. Sometimes they shoved her, too. Who needed it?
"Teachers would see them push someone into a locker, and they'd just ignore it," she says. "I think they were afraid of the students. They didn't stop half the fights in that school."
But Columbine wasn't all bad, Sowder insists. She liked most of her teachers. And there were nice students, too--guys she met in the commons area, drinking coffee or hot chocolate and talking about what was wrong with Columbine. Guys like Eric Harris.
"I used to talk to Eric once in a while," Sowder says. "He was like the sweetest guy I ever knew. He'd do pretty much anything for people he liked. We'd talk mostly about how we got picked on, how the school was not caring what the students did. And how some people could get away with anything."
Sowder was near the bottom of the intricate social hierarchy at Columbine last fall. She was a freshman and a special-education student, struggling to get the services and classes she needed. She liked to dress in black, and most of her friends were kids who thought of themselves as outcasts--punks and goths and skaters.
Eric Harris was a senior and a very confident student. He, too, dressed in black. He had a juvenile conviction for theft and had been reported to the police for making death threats against another student on the Internet. His personal Web page crackled with fantasies of murder and revenge, and he liked to show off his extensive knowledge of guns and explosives.
Before the world that was Columbine blew up last spring, guess which one of the two attracted more scrutiny from school officials?
Right up until April 20, 1999--the day he and his buddy Dylan Klebold stormed the school, tossing pipe bombs and shooting helpless classmates, killing thirteen and injuring 23 before taking their own lives--Eric Harris was just another scowling face in the crowd. One of the most baffling aspects of the worst school massacre the country has ever seen is how Harris and Klebold's deadly plan went undetected by friends, teachers, administrators--and, apparently, their own parents--until the killings began.
The question becomes even more troubling when you consider how school authorities have dealt with Melissa Sowder, who knew Klebold and Harris only slightly. In her first few weeks at Columbine, Sowder ditched class several times, resulting in a parent conference and restrictions imposed on her ability to leave campus during the day. But when she tried to complain to teachers about harassment by jocks, she was told, "Deal with it," she says.
One day last fall, Sowder was called to the dean's office after she was late to one class. "He asked me what I think about all day at school," Sowder says, "so I told him I thought about blowing up the school. The school made me that angry. He told me I was suspended for a day and called my mom."
Diana Sowder says she spoke to her daughter about speaking and acting responsibly. But she also believes that the school "overreacted" to Melissa's remark, which officials described as a threat. Over the next few months, Melissa Sowder's movements were closely monitored by school staffers, who followed her in the halls and quizzed her if she showed up at school early or stayed late.
Sowder was in the cafeteria when Klebold and Harris began their rampage last April. She escaped unharmed, fleeing with a group of students. When classes for Columbine students resumed at Chatfield High two weeks later, she was summoned to the principal's office and informed that she might prefer home-schooling.
"I think they had kind of classified me as a troublemaker," she says. "I told them I felt okay about going back to school."
Columbine officials didn't feel okay about it, though. A counselor in a security officer's uniform followed Sowder from room to room, actually sitting through each class and observing her behavior. On her third day at Chatfield, she made a remark about the shootings to another student. According to Sowder, she'd been greeted warmly for the first time by athletes who'd formerly harassed her, so she said that maybe something positive would come out of the tragedy "because now the jocks will treat us better."
That isn't the way the school's spy system heard it. Relying on a version of the remark passed on by two students to a teacher and then administrators, a school counselor contacted Diana Sowder that day and informed her that her daughter was not to come back to Chatfield. Melissa was being removed from school because she allegedly said that "the kids who died at Columbine deserved it." Melissa denies she said any such thing, and another student who says she was present during the conversation supports her story. Steve and Diana Sowder say that they were given no chance to meet with school officials and that their daughter had no hearing--no opportunity to respond to the accusation or appeal the decision--before she was summarily booted out of school.
Jefferson County School District spokesman Rick Kaufman says he can't comment, for privacy reasons, on disciplinary actions taken against individual students. However, he acknowledges that eighteen students identified as "associates" of Klebold and Harris were offered other options, such as home-schooling, in lieu of completing the semester at Chatfield. Six accepted. After classes resumed, three students were removed from school in separate disciplinary incidents involving "comments" about the shootings.
"We take any such comments, whether they were made in jest or not, very seriously," Kaufman says, "and will do so again this fall. It's no different than someone walking through an airport and saying, 'I'm carrying a bomb.'"
Melissa Sowder says she wants to return to Columbine when classes begin August 16, but she has no idea if she will be allowed to do so. Frustrated with school officials' reluctance to meet with them, Steve and Diana Sowder have hired an attorney and are considering a lawsuit against the district over what they regard as the trampling of their daughter's rights. (Editor's note: In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that the Sowders' attorney is related to writer Alan Prendergast, who has no personal or financial interest in their case.) Yet their situation is hardly unique. Melissa says that several of her friends have been encouraged not to return to Columbine this fall, too. "I think it's because they're outcasts," she says.
Kaufman responds that he's unaware of any ongoing disciplinary process against any Columbine students. "We can't just tell anyone not to come to school," he says. "Not without following district policy."
Steve Sowder insists that the district isn't following its own rules, much less the law. "The school talks about tolerance and sensitivity, but here were these kids coming back after the shootings, and they weren't providing services," he says. "Instead, they were watching them. What they're saying and what they're doing are two different things."
Melissa denied making the remark and said gunman Eric Harris was only an acquaintance.
"What she said is maybe something good will come out of this, and that maybe the jocks will stop pushing her around, treating her bad and calling her names," Sowder said.
Melissa was among 18 students asked not to return to school after the shootings.