The Columbine High School massacre was a tragic school shooting which occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. In addition to shootings, the complex and highly planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices, and bombs rigged in cars. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered a total of 12 students and one teacher. They injured 21 additional students, with three other people being injured while attempting to escape the school.
Point of Divergence
On April 20, 1999, Harris encountered Brooks Brown, a classmate with whom he had recently patched up a longstanding series of disagreements. Brown was surprised to see Harris and noted that he had been absent from an important class test that morning. Harris seemed unconcerned, commenting, "It doesn't matter any more." Harris said, "Brooks, I like you now. Get out of here. Go home." Brown, feeling uneasy, walked away. In OTL, Brown didn't contact the police. However, this timeline postulates what would have happened if instead, he notified the police immediately.
The police, led by the school resource officer Neil Gardner, found Harris and Klebold just as they were walking away from their vehicles. They asked to search the vehicle. Harris reached for his weapon, but Klebold stopped him. Suspicious, the police officers drew their guns and demanded to examine their vehicle. Reluctantly, the two teenagers let them. The cops found their stash of weapons and explosives. Harris and Klebold were arrested immediately and taken away.
The two boys were in violation of many state and federal laws, including the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act of 1968. Their trial began on June 28th, 1999, where both high schoolers were tried as adults. They were each found guilty and sentenced to ten years in a federal prison. They received cells at the Florence Federal Correctional Complex just across the hall from each other.
Harris and Klebold grew tired and angry about their lives in prison and slowly formed an escape plan. Harris found a piece of twisted metal under the bed of his cell and managed to sharpen it into a functioning chisel. He hid it from the prison guards and chiseled away the walls at night to keep them from noticing. During what little time they had with each other, the two discussed what they were going to do. Harris would escape, then break out Klebold soon after. They settled on the date and returned to their regular lives.
Initiating the Escape
On November 5th at 11:34 PM CST, Harris and Klebold went through with the plan. Immediately after, the two charged to a 1997 white Sedan and hijacked it, intending to drive to Denver. En route, the police found out the next day on November 6th, 1999. A huge bounty was placed on the two, and police went searching everywhere.
14 hours after escaping, the two arrived in Denver, intending to, as Harris later said in an interview "make history". Eying the town, Klebold spotted a weapon store, and the two broke in. Stealing 2 AK-47s, the two then wandered around the city, until at 2:37 PM CST, police Sergeant Eric DelPar spotted the duo. Instantly, he notified the rest of the squad and they made their way over there.
To be continued....