Make your own free website on

The Lives That Were Lost
Tuesday, April 27,1999 - 01:18 PM ET

(CBS) The true cost of the April 20 bloody massacre at Columbine High School may never be fully known. Among the victims were young people who had aspirations ranging from the religious to the athletic.

Here is a look at those who died in the tragedy.

Cassie Bernall: Occasional Poet


Cassie Bernall, a junior, was an occasional poet and a Mel Gibson fan. Her favorite movie was Braveheart. Two years ago, she became a born-again Christian and became active in church youth programs and Bible study groups. She recently visited Great Britain.

The New York Times reports that, during the massacre on April 20, one of the gunmen cornered her in the school library and asked her if she believed in God. After a pause, Cassie answered deliberately: "Yes, I believe in God." She was then shot.

At her funeral, her minister hailed her as a martyr.


Matthew Kechter: Ace Football Player


Matthew Kechter, 16, a junior, was a straight-A student and a football standout. He had hoped to start for the football team. He also lifted weights.

Matt was shot in library after he tried to reach friends hiding in an adjacent video room.


Daniel Mauser: Just Back From Paris


Daniel Mauser, 15, was a sophomore who excelled in math and science, earning straight A's on his last report card.

Daniel ran cross-country and was a member of the debate team.

He recently returned from a two-week trip to Paris with his French club.


William 'Dave' Sanders: Teacher And Coach


William "Dave" Sanders, 47, was a popular business teacher and the coach of the girls' basketball team. Sanders was very popular with the girls with whom he worked. They say he was a wonderful person who taught them not only about sports, but about life as well.

Sanders, a grandfather of five, was shot twice in the chest and mortally wounded while hustling students to safety in the cafeteria. Though the students tried desperately to stop his bleeding with no medical supplies on hand, they were unable to do so.

Gently, they say, they pulled out his wallet and held it open so some of his last sights would be the picture of his wife and daughters. His dying request: "Tell my girls I love them."


Rachel Scott: Drama Student


Rachel Scott, 17, a junior, loved drama and was considering following in the footsteps of her grandfather, a minister. She was on the forensics team at Columbine High. She played lead in a student-written school play, Smoke in the Room. She was active in Celebration Christian Fellowship church. She liked photography.

"Rachel was vivacious, the center of attention wherever she was at," says her grieving father. "She was on the drama team. She had a starring role in her high school play. She … had a lot of aspirations to be a drama writer or an actress. And we're just going to miss her."

Rachel's stepbrother, Craig Scott, 16, was in the library and survived the massacre only because he played dead in a friend's pool of blood. He later helped lead blood-spattered and frightened classmates to safety.


Isaiah Shoels: Music Lover


Isaiah Shoels, 18, loved music and spending time in the outdoors.

Isaiah dreamed of becoming a music executive. He had suffered health problems as a child and had heart surgery twice. Due to graduate in May, Isaiah wanted to attend an arts college and become a music executive.

He was small in stature, but he lifted weights (he could bench-press twice his weight), played football and wrestled.

"My son, Isaiah, was a very outgoing student," said his father, Michael Shoels. "He was everybody's friend. He had no enemies … He was that kid that everybody wanted to be."


John Tomlin: 'A Great Kid'


John Robert Tomlin appeared to have life figured out at age 16. The sophomore was a focused but cheerful youth who managed to mix teen-age fun with a mature sense of purpose.

John liked to go four-wheeling in his beat-up Chevy pickup down roller coaster dirt roads in the nearby Rocky Mountains. But he also worked after school at a local tree nursery and belonged to a church youth group.

Last year, he went on a missionary trip to Mexico with family and built a house for poor people. Two years from now, Tomlin planned to enlist in the Army.

"He was a great kid, really happy, going to school, getting good grades," said his father, John Tomlin. "He knew what he wanted to do. He had everything planned."


Lauren Townsend: Volleyball Captain


Lauren Townsend, 18, was a senior, captain of the girls' varsity volleyball team. Other players said she was "consumed" by the sport. A member of the National Honor Society, she wanted to major in biology in college. Her mother is a teacher at Columbine High School.

Lauren was to have been the valedictorian in May at her class graduation ceremony.


Daniel Rohrbough: "A Good Guy"


Daniel Rohrbough was quiet and shy. His friends say he was a good guy.

In fact, he was such a good guy that he held the door open so his classmates could flee the scene of the massacre. He was shot in the back and died calling for his mother.


Corey DePooter: Sportsman


Corey DePooter, 17, was a former wrestler who loved to golf, hunt and fish. He recently took a maintenance job at a golf club to save up for a fishing boat with a friend. He was such a conscientious student that, when he had his wisdom teeth removed this year, he was frustrated that it forced him to miss school.


Kelly Fleming: Artist


Kelly wrote poetry, songs, and short stories. She was learning to play the guitar and was eager to get her driver's license.


Kyle Velasquez: Sincerity And Heart

Kyle Velasquez

Kyle, 16, was in Columbine High School's program for students with special needs. A neighbor said at his funeral, "Special was indeed the name for Kyle," calling him a boy of "simple sincerity and genuine heart."

He enjoyed helping his parents with the lawnwork and gardening, and he often helped his father with such other chores as washing the family car.

One of the last purchases Kyle made was a glass vase, to hold flowers for his mother.


Steven Curnow: Star Wars Fan

Steven Curnow

Steven, 14, was a freshman who was such a big fan of the Star Wars movies that he could recite their dialogue word for word.

And, like many other boys before him, he dreamed of becoming a U.S. Navy "top gun."


 back to top