On April 20th 1999 the world was shocked when 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 students and 1 teacher at their High School and injured 21 others. To this day their motive for one of the worst school shootings in American history is still disputed. The parents of the gunmen, who shot themselves after shooting 34 people, have rarely talked about the shooting.
However Sue and Tom Klebold sat down with the author of Far From the Tree
Andrew Solomon. According to Simon and Schuster
the book profiles families that have overcame adversity, such as children with severe disabilities, and in the case of the Klebold's a son responsible for mass murder.
According to Reuters Sue Klebold is quoted as saying: "And so while every other mother in Littleton was praying that her child was safe, I had to pray that mine would die before he hurt anyone else," in the book according to the Reuters report Sue Klebold feared her son would eventually receive the death penalty when tried and convicted.
It has been speculated that the attack was done on Hitler's birthday in honor of the Nazi leader. However on his mother's side
of the family Dylan Klebold was half Jewish although the family attended a Lutheran church. It is believed by researchers
that Eric Harris was reverent of the Nazi's, and eager to show his hatred of the human race by committing murder at his school, a charge friends of Klebold and Harris continue to deny.
Sue states in the book by Andrew Solomon that when the police told her of the shooting, and that her son was a suspect she began to have a vision of what he was doing.
Reuters emailed the excerpts to Dale Todd, father of Evan Todd who was injured by splinters from the desk he was hiding under, during the shooting. "All about her and her feelings about herself," says Dale Todd concerning his reaction to Sue Klebold's statements concerning the tragedy her son caused.
For his part Tom Klebold said his son felt like an outcast in school and this may have led to him joining in with Eric Harris to commit the massacre. Dylan's father also touched on an incident which many say demonstrate how the two teens fell through the cracks of the system. Arrested in 1998 both Dylan and Eric were charged with mischief, breaking and entering, trespassing, and theft after breaking into a van. The two were placed on probation rather then placed in a diversion program, and released early by their juvenile probation officer. When speaking of Eric Harris the probation officer said he was, "a very bright individual who is likely to succeed in life" and as for Dylan Klebold, that he "needs to understand that hard work is part of fulfilling a dream."
Tom Klebold says he went for a walk with his son a day after the arrest, finding his son immensely angry and thinking that his actions to be justified. "The morality of the whole thing escaped him," Tom said.
15-months later his son would commit mass murder, launching his name forever into the infamy of being one of the Columbine shooters, and in the end shooting himself in the head with a TEC-9 handgun. His mother's prayer was answered.