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Cold blooded killers, p.5
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       Cold Blooded Killers, p.5

           R. J. Parker
 
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  They then walked to the windows facing the outside staircase, where they’d come from just minutes ago. Noticing police evacuating students, Harris said, "Let's go kill some cops," and they began to shoot out the windows. Police returned fire. After a few seconds, Klebold turned away from the windows and fired his shotgun at a nearby table, injuring Patrick Ireland, Daniel Steepleton, and Makai Hall. He immediately removed his trench coat. Harris grabbed his shotgun and walked over to the lower row of computer desks, firing his gun underneath the first desk in the row without looking to see who was under it. The shot killed Steven Curnow, who was hiding underneath. He then shot under the next computer desk, injuring Kacey Ruegsegger.

  Harris walked over to the table across from the lower computer row, slapped the top twice with his hand, knelt down, and said "peek-a-boo," before shooting Cassie Bernall in the head. The recoil from the weapon hit his face, breaking his nose. Although one witness reported that Bernall was the individual who was asked, "Do you believe in God?" the exchange actually happened with Klebold and surviving student Valeen Schnurr. Three students witnessed Bernall's death, including the person who was hiding under the table with her, and testified that Klebold and Bernall did not exchange words. Although some students who were in the library asserted the exchange occurred, none of them physically witnessed it. They may instead have heard the exchange between Klebold and Schnurr and have been misled by news reports that attributed the words to Bernall.

  Harris turned to the next table where student Bree Pasquale sat next to the table rather than beneath it. She had not hidden underneath, as there was not enough room. Harris asked her if she wanted to die, and Pasquale responded with a plea for her life. Witnesses report that Harris seemed disoriented, possibly from the wound to his face, which was bleeding heavily. As Harris taunted Pasquale, Patrick Ireland tried to aid Makai Hall, who had suffered a wound to his knee. While doing so, his head came above the table. Klebold shot him, hitting him twice in the head and once in the foot. He was knocked unconscious, but survived.

  Klebold then proceeded towards another set of tables, discovering Isaiah Shoels, Matthew Kechter, and Craig Scott, Rachel Scott's brother, hiding under the table. All were popular athletes at the school. Klebold attempted to pull Isaiah out from underneath the table, but was unsuccessful. He then called to Harris, who left Bree Pasquale and joined him. Klebold and Harris taunted Shoels for a few seconds and made derogatory racial comments towards him before Harris knelt down and shot him in the chest at close range, killing him. Klebold also knelt down and opened fire, hitting and killing Matthew Kechter. Craig Scott remained uninjured but he lay in the blood of his friends, pretending to be dead.

  Harris turned and threw a CO2 bomb at the table where Hall, Steepleton, and Ireland were located. The CO2 bomb landed on Daniel Steepleton's thigh, but Makai Hall grabbed the bomb and threw it south, away from the shooters.

  Harris walked to the bookcases between the west and center section of tables in the library. He jumped on one of the bookcases and shook it, then shot at something in that general area. It is not known what he shot at, since no one could see him at the time. Klebold walked through the main area, past the first set of bookcases, the central desk area, and a second set of bookcases, into the east area. Harris met up with him there. Klebold shot out a display case next to the door, turned, and shot at the closest table to him, injuring Mark Kintgen. He turned to the table to his left and shot at it, injuring Lisa Kreutz and Val Schnurr with the same bullet. He approached the table and fired again, killing Lauren Townsend. Meanwhile, Harris went over to another table where two girls were hiding, bent down to look at them, and dismissed them as ‘pathetic.’ The shooters then went over to an empty table and reloaded their weapons. Schnurr, who had been hurt badly, began to cry out at that point, "Oh, God help me!" Klebold went back to her and asked her if she believed in God. She floundered in her answer, saying no and then yes, trying to get the answer right. He asked her why and she said it was because it was what her family believed. He taunted her, reloaded his shotgun, and then walked away. The slightly injured Evan Todd reported that Klebold said, "God is gay."

  Harris moved to another table and shot twice underneath it, injuring Nicole Nowlen and John Tomlin. When Tomlin tried to crawl out, Klebold came back around the corner and kicked him.

  Harris taunted his attempt at escape, and Klebold shot him repeatedly, killing him. Harris walked back over to the other side of the table where Lauren Townsend lay. Behind it, Kelly Fleming, like Bree Pasquale, sat next to the table rather than beneath it. Harris shot her with his shotgun, hitting her in the back, killing her instantly. He continued to shoot at the table behind her, hitting Townsend and Kreutz again, and wounding Jeanna Park. An autopsy later revealed that Townsend had been killed by the first shot.

  At 11:37 a.m., the shooters moved to the center of the library where they continued to reload their weapons at a table midway across the room. Harris noticed a student nearby, and asked him to identify himself. The student was John Savage, an acquaintance of Klebold's. Savage asked Klebold what they were doing, to which Klebold replied, "Oh, just killing people." Savage asked if they were going to kill him. Klebold said "What?" because the fire alarms were going off. Savage asked again if they were going to kill him. Klebold hesitated, and then told him to leave the library. Savage fled immediately, and escaped via the library's main entrance.

  After Savage was gone, Harris turned and fired his carbine at the table directly north of where they had been, hitting Daniel Mauser in the face at close range, killing him. Both shooters moved south from there and fired randomly under another table, critically injuring Jennifer Doyle and Austin Eubanks, and fatally wounding Corey DePooter. DePooter, the last victim of the massacre, was credited with keeping his friends calm during the ordeal. At this point, several witnesses heard Harris and Klebold comment on how they no longer found a thrill in shooting their victims. Klebold was quoted as having said, "Maybe we should start knifing people; that might be more fun." They had each brought two knives in case it came down to hand-to-hand combat … or to do what Klebold suggested. Both shooters moved away from the table and headed toward the library's main counter. Harris threw a Molotov cocktail toward the southwestern end of the library as he went, but it failed to explode. He came around the east side of the counter and Klebold joined him from the west, converging near where Evan Todd had moved after the copier incident. The shooters made fun of Todd, who was wearing a hat, which meant that he was a jock. When the shooters wanted to see his face, he lifted the hat up partway, so they could not see it. Klebold asked Todd to give him one reason why he should not kill him, and Todd replied, "I don't want trouble." The shooters continued taunting him and debated killing him, but they eventually walked away.

  At this point, Harris's nose was bleeding heavily, which is what may have prompted him to decide to leave the library. Klebold turned and fired a shot into an open library staff break room, hitting a small television. He slammed a chair down on top of the computer terminal that was on the library counter, directly above where Patti Nielson had hidden. The two walked out of the library at 11:42 a.m., ending the massacre.

  Immediately, thirty-four uninjured and ten injured students, evacuated the library through the north door which led out to the sidewalk adjacent the west entrance, where the rampage had begun. Patrick Ireland, who had been knocked unconscious, and Lisa Kreutz, who was unable to move, remained in the building. Patti Nielson joined Brian Anderson and the three library staff in the exterior break room into which Klebold had earlier fired shots. They locked themselves in and remained there until they were freed at approximately 3:30 p.m.

  After leaving the library, the pair went into the science area and threw a small firebomb into an empty storage closet. When the bomb exploded, they ran off while a teacher in the adjacent room put out the fire. They proceeded toward the south hallway, stopped, and shot into an empty science room at the end of the hall.

  At
approximately 11:44 a.m., they went down the staircase into the cafeteria where they were recorded by the security cameras. The recording shows Harris kneeling on the landing and firing a shot toward a propane bomb, unsuccessfully attempting to detonate it. He took a sip from one of the drinks left behind by fleeing students as Klebold approached the propane bomb. The recording shows Klebold lighting a Molotov cocktail and throwing it at the propane bomb. As the two left the cafeteria, it exploded, partially detonating one of the propane bombs at 11:46 a.m. A gallon of fuel ignited in the same vicinity at 11:48 a.m., causing a fire that was extinguished by the fire sprinklers.

  The shooters then left the cafeteria and headed back upstairs. Once again on the upper level, they wandered around the main north and south hallways of the school, shooting aimlessly. They walked through the south hallway, past the social studies section, and into the main office before returning to the north hallway. Several times, they looked through windows on the classroom doors, and even made eye contact with students, but never attempted to enter the rooms. After leaving the main office, the pair went up to a bathroom entrance and began taunting students inside, saying "We know you're in there," and "Let's kill anyone we find in here," but they never actually entered the bathroom. At 11:55 a.m., the two returned to the cafeteria and entered the kitchen briefly, only to return up the staircase and into the south hallway, at 11:58 a.m. At 12:02 p.m., the shooters re-entered the library, now empty of all living students except for the unconscious Patrick Ireland and Lisa Kreutz. Once inside, they shot at police through the west windows again to no avail. At approximately 12:08 p.m., they moved over to the bookshelves near the table where Patrick Ireland lay. There, they shot themselves.

  Patrick Ireland regained and lost consciousness several times, and crawled over to the windows. At 2:38 p.m., he attempted to exit, falling out the library window near two SWAT team members, a scene rebroadcast on many media outlets. As documented by the video footage, the SWAT team members were later criticized for allowing Ireland's body to drop over seven feet to the ground while doing nothing to attempt to catch him or break his fall.

  Lisa Kreutz remained injured in the library. In an interview, she recalled hearing somebody say something like, "You in the library…" around the time Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were getting ready to commit suicide. She lay bleeding in the library until police arrived. Kreutz said that she kept track of time by the school's bells, becoming lightheaded when she tried to move. She was removed, along with Ms. Nielson, Brian Anderson, and the three staff, at 3:22 p.m.

  A call for additional ammunition for police officers in case of a shootout came at 12:20 p.m. The killers had ceased shooting just minutes earlier. Authorities reported pipe bombs at 1:00 p.m., and two SWAT teams entered the school at 1:09 p.m., moving from classroom to classroom, discovering hidden students and faculty. All students, teachers, and school employees were taken away, questioned, and then offered medical care in small holding areas before being bussed to meet with family members at Leawood Elementary. Officials found the bodies in the library by 3:30 p.m.

  By 4:00 p.m., the sheriff made an initial estimate of twenty-five dead students and teachers. The estimate was ten over the true count, but close to the total count of wounded students. He stated that police officers were searching the bodies of Harris and Klebold. At 4:30 p.m., the school was declared safe. At 5:30 p.m., additional officers were called in, as more explosives were found in the parking lot and on the roof. By 6:15 p.m., officials had found a bomb in Klebold's car in the parking lot. The sheriff decided to mark the entire school as a crime scene. Thirteen of the dead, including the shooters, were still inside the school at the time. At 10:45 p.m., the bomb in the car detonated when an officer tried to defuse it. The car was damaged, but no one was injured. In the end, twelve students and one teacher were killed; twenty-four other students were injured. Three more were injured indirectly as they attempted to escape the school. Harris and Klebold are thought to have committed suicide about forty-five minutes after the massacre began.

  - 8 - Marc Lépine

  ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE MASSACRE

  Lepine was born Gamil Rodrigue Liass Gharbi on October 26th, 1964, in Montreal, Canada, to Rachid Liass Gharbi, an Algerian-born executive, and Monique Lépine, a Canadian nurse.

  His father was abusive and contemptuous of women. After his parents separated when he was seven, his mother returned to nursing to support her children. Lépine and his younger sister lived with other families, seeing their mother on weekends. Lépine was considered bright but withdrawn, and had difficulties with peer and family relationships.

  Instability and violence marked the family. They moved frequently, and much of Lépine's early childhood was spent in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico where his father was working for a Swiss mutual funds company. In 1968, the family returned to Montreal permanently, shortly before a stock market crash led to the loss of much of their assets. Gharbi was an authoritarian, possessive, and jealous man, frequently violent towards his wife and his children. He was also neglectful and abusive towards his children, particularly his son, and discouraged any tenderness as he considered it spoiling. In 1970, following an incident in which Gharbi struck his son so hard that the marks on his face were visible a week later, his mother decided to leave her husband.

  Their legal separation was finalized in 1971, and the divorce in 1976. Taunted as an Arab because of his name, at the age of fourteen young Gamil Gharbi legally changed it to "Marc Lépine," citing hatred of his father as his reason.

  Seeking a good male role model for her son, Lepine’s mother arranged for a Big Brother, and for two years the experience proved positive for Lépine as he, often with his best friend, enjoyed the time spent with his Big Brother, learning about photography and motorcycles. Lepine also enjoyed designing and building electronic gadgets, and watching action and horror movies, but developed an interest in World War II, and an admiration of Adolf Hitler. Lépine took considerable responsibility at home, cleaning and doing repairs while his mother worked.

  In 1979, the Big Brother meetings ceased abruptly when the Big Brother was detained on suspicion of molesting young boys. Both Lépine and his Big Brother denied that any molestation had occurred.

  Lepine moved out of his mother's home into his own apartment, and in 1986, applied to study engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal. He was admitted on the condition that he completed two compulsory courses, including one in solution chemistry.

  In 1987, Lépine took a job at a hospital but was fired for aggressive behaviour, disrespect of superiors, and carelessness in his work. He was enraged at his dismissal, and at the time described a plan in which he’d go on a murderous rampage and then commit suicide. His friends noted that he was unpredictable, flying into rages when frustrated.

  In April of 1989, he met with a university admissions officer, and complained about how women were taking over the job market from men.

  In August of 1989, Lépine picked up an application for a firearms-acquisition certificate, and received his permit in mid-October. On November 21st, 1989, Lépine purchased a Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle at a local sporting goods store. He told the clerk that he was going to use it to hunt small game.

  Sometime after 4 p.m. on December 6th, 1989, Marc Lépine arrived at the building housing the École Polytechnique, an engineering school affiliated with the University of Montréal, armed with a rifle and a hunting knife. Lépine was familiar with the layout of the building as he had been in and around the École Polytechnique at least seven times in the weeks leading up to the event.

  Lépine sat for a time in the office of the registrar on the second floor. He was seen rummaging through a green plastic bag, and did not speak to anyone, even when a staff member asked if she could help him. He appeared agitated, as if waiting for someone who had failed to arrive. He made eye contact with no one; his posture was stiff and his expression was grim. When an employee in the office asked if he needed assistance, he g
ot up, grabbed his bag without a word, and walked away. The employee did not think much about it. The end of the semester was a tough time for students, and many were tired.

  Lepine left the office. The halls had cleared and no one was about, no one who could raise an alarm. People in the offices were preparing to leave for the day. That would work in his favor. This was the moment. He had attached a high-capacity banana clip magazine so he could fire thirty rounds in quick succession, and he had plenty of ammunition. He was ready.

  At around 5:10 p.m., he went to the second floor mechanical engineering class of about sixty students. After approaching the student giving a presentation, he said, “Everyone stop everything.” Professor Bouchard looked at him, annoyed. He squinted as if trying to remember who this student was. In French, the young man asked the ten female students to get up and move across the room. He then told the men to leave. No one moved. A few people laughed, thinking it some kind of joke. That was the worst thing they could have done. Lepine had considered himself humiliated enough in his twenty-five years. On this day, of all days, he was not going to be treated in that way.

  Lifting his rifle, he shot twice into the ceiling. It was no joke. “You’re all a bunch of feminists!” he shouted angrily. “And I hate feminists!”

  One of the students, Nathalie Provost, said, "Look, we are just women studying engineering, not necessarily feminists ready to march on the streets to shout we are against men, just students intent on leading a normal life." Lépine responded that, "You're women, you're going to be engineers.” He then opened fire on the students from left to right, killing six, and wounding three others, including Provost, who he shot three times. Before leaving the room, he wrote the word “shit” twice on a student project.

 
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