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Entries in Columbine High School Shooting (7)

Friday
Apr202012

Columbine Anniversary: Student Film Aims to Help Still-Suffering Victims

MARK LEFFINGWELL/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thirteen years ago on Friday, Sam Granillo, a Littleton, Colo., high school junior, was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his school's cafeteria when two students unleashed a deadly attack that would go down in history as one of the country’s most horrific murder sprees.

Granillo and 17 others were trapped in Columbine High School's cafeteria for about three hours until a SWAT team arrived and rescued them.  By the time the April 20, 1999 attack was over, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had murdered 12 students and a teacher, and killed themselves.

Today, Granillo is a film school graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He's 30 years old and works on commercials, films and television shows like Rescue Renovation and American Idol.

Despite the passage of time since the Columbine attacks, Granillo says he is still haunted by nightmares, panic attacks and depression.  Many of his former fellow classmates, he found, are suffering similar symptoms but are finding affordable mental health services hard to come by.  He says some of his friends have gone into deep debt paying for counseling.

So now, on the 13th anniversary of the shooting, Granillo is putting his filmmaking skills to work, producing and directing the first documentary about Columbine by a student who was actually there.

“I started thinking about what I needed to do to create this documentary to raise awareness that we need help,” he said.

Granillo isn’t exactly sure yet what form that help should take -- perhaps a foundation or organization that offers free counseling for anyone suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Making the film, Granillo says, is also part of a journey to help Columbine survivors talk about their experiences.  He’s hoping to take advantage of a “thaw” he senses among some Columbine students who have rarely -- if ever -- spoken publicly about that day.  Some are now opening up to him for the first time.

Granillo says he’s already started recording interviews and has put together short trailers.  So far he’s raised less than $20,000 of the $250,000 he needs to complete the project.  One major expense: travel.  Many former Columbine students no longer live in Colorado, or even the United States.

Another expense is animators.  Rather than using the much-repeated Columbine footage shot from TV news helicopters, Granillo says he’s making a stylistic choice to rely heavily on animation to depict the events of April 20, 1999.

“There’s no reason to show the violent images,” he said.  ”The biggest thing about this is moving forward.  And everything in the past needs to be animated because it gives that feeling that it’s real, but you can’t touch it anymore.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Tampa School Massacre Thwarted

Tampa Police say they have thwarted Jared Cano's "catastrophic" plot to blow up a school on the first day of classes. (WFTS/ABC News)(TAMPA, Fla.) -- A Tampa teenager has been arrested and charged with plotting to kill two school officials and 30 students with bombs on the first day of school scheduled for next week in what would have been the most serious school attack since the Columbine massacre.

Jared Cano, 17, wrote a manifesto that detailed his plans for his attack starting at 5 a.m. next Tuesday, Police Chief Jane Castor said at a news conference Wednesday. The manifesto included information about the layout of Freedom High School in Tampa, Fla., and where exactly Cano was planning to place bombs in the school.

Castor also said they recovered bomb making material from his home including fuses, shrapnel, accelerant and plastic tubing. No firearms were found in his family's apartment, police said.

The arrest on Tuesday came just hours after someone alerted police about Cano's alleged plot, Castor said. The tipster's identity has been kept confidential but that person was praised Wednesday as a "hero."

Police said that Cano specified in his manifesto his goal of surpassing the number of students who were killed and injured during the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

On April 20, 1999, Columbine High School seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, wielding automatic weapons, slaughtered 12 students and one teacher. Another 24 were injured in the 45-minute rampage.

Cano is the latest student to express admiration for the Columbine killers. Seung-Hui Cho sent a tape praising Klebold and Harris before going on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech that left 33 people dead in 2007.

The teen's manifesto targeted two individuals "in the administration at Freedom High School," both of whom have been alerted that they were target, the chief said. Cano expressed feelings of "ill will" towards both of them in the manifesto.

He also targeted 30 students for death, the police said.

Police said they have no reason to believe that anyone else was involved in the bomb plot. They reported that the family, who has been cooperative, did not know that their son had materials to build a bomb in his room.

Cano has been charged with threatening to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device. He also faces charges for possession of bomb-making materials, cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

Lewis Brinson, assistant superintendent for administration of Freedom High School, said school will open on Tuesday as scheduled, with counselors available to students if necessary. Electronic messages have also been sent out to parents of students informing them that the school is working with the Tampa Police Department to keep the school safe.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr262011

Police Arrest Man Wanted in Colorado Mall Bombing Plot

Federal Bureau of Investigation(BOULDER, Colo.) -- Police have arrested the man who became the subject of a nationwide manhunt after he allegedly rigged two propane tanks and a pipe bomb to explode in a crowded Colorado shopping mall last week.

Records from the Federal Bureau of Prisons indicate Earl Albert Moore, 65, was released from federal prison days before planting the devices. He was serving a six-year sentence for bank robbery.

Moore was arrested Tuesday morning in Boulder.

Law enforcement officials have been tight-lipped about any motive Moore may have had in the attempted attack.

Police originally noted several similarities between this and the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, just over a mile away from the Southwest Plaza Mall, but the FBI now confirms that despite the coincidences the attacks shared in date and timing, there appears to be no connection.

Both attacks took place on the same date, April 20, and at approximately the same time of day. Both used propane tanks and pipe bombs placed in similar areas -- the high school cafeteria in 1999 and the mall food court last week.

The bombing attempt was discovered Wednesday afternoon when firefighters responded to a small fire at the Southwest Plaza Mall and found a pipe bomb and propane tanks in a hallway near the mall's food court. No one was injured and the devices did not explode.

The incident came on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, when two students opened fire and killed 12 students and one teacher on April 20, 1999.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

Manhunt Continues for Colorado Mall Bomb Suspect

Federal Bureau of Investigation(LITTLETON, Colo.) -- The man who is now the subject of a nationwide manhunt was released from federal prison just seven days before allegedly rigging two propane tanks and a pipe bomb to explode in a crowded Colorado shopping mall, ABC News has learned.

Records from the Federal Bureau of Prisons indicate Earl Albert Moore, 65, was released on April 13. It is not immediately clear where Moore had been held, but he was serving a six-year sentence for bank robbery.

Law enforcement officials are being tight-lipped about any motive Moore may have had for trying to explode the bombs in the mall.

Police noted several similarities between the mall attack and the 1999 Columbine massacre. Both attacks took place on the same date, April 20, and at approximately the same time. Both used propane tanks and pipe bombs placed in similar areas -- the high school cafeteria in 1999 and the mall food court last week.

Columbine High School is just over a mile from the Southwest Plaza Mall in Littleton.

Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink has indicated, however, that even though the incident took place on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, he does not believe it was meant to be a copycat crime.

"It's not pointing that way quite frankly, preliminarily," Mink told ABC News. "There's a lot of dissimilarities that would make this a unique incident."

The FBI announced Sunday that it has mounted a nationwide manhunt for Moore, who is considered armed and dangerous.

He is described as 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall, bald, with a gray mustache and multiple tattoos on his arms, including a rose, a dagger and a helmeted Viking.

The bombing attempt was discovered Wednesday afternoon when firefighters responded to a small blaze at the Southwest Plaza Mall and found a pipe bomb and propane tanks in a hallway near the mall's food court. No one was injured and the devices did not explode.

The incident came on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, when two students opened fire and killed 12 students and one teacher on April 20, 1999.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr222011

Police: 'Person of Interest' Now 'Suspect' in Attempted Mall Bombing

FBI Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force (DENVER) -- The FBI says the man seen near the site where bombs were left inside a Littleton, Colo., mall is a now considered a suspect.

The man appears to be in his 60s, and new photos released Friday show he fled on a city bus after allegedly leaving two propane tanks and a pipe bomb in a crowded shopping mall Wednesday.

The devices burned but did not explode.

It happened on the same day as the Columbine school shooting massacre 12 years ago and police are investigating whether there is a connection. The pipe bomb and propane tanks looked very similar to what the columbine killers tried to use during their attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr212011

Colorado Pipe Bomb: FBI Searches for Person of Interest

Federal Bureau of Investigation(LITTLETON, Colo.) -- Authorities have identified a person of interest in connection with the discovery of a pipe bomb and propane tanks after a fire at a Littleton, Colo., mall on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

The suspicious devices were found Wednesday afternoon at the Southwest Plaza Mall after firefighters responded to a small blaze in a hallway near the mall's food court. No one was injured and the devices did not explode.

Late Wednesday night, FBI and law enforcement officials released a photo of a person of interest who was spotted on mall security cameras. The person of interest is described as a white male with a grey hair with a silver mustache. He was last wearing a dark cap, stripped shirt, blue jeans and dark shoes. In the surveillance photos, the man is seen holding a white plastic shopping bag.

Jacki Kelley with the Jefferson County Sheriff's office said the man "is nothing more than a person of interest."

"We don't know whether he's somebody we need to look at as a suspect," Kelley said.

The incident comes on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, during which two students opened fire and killed 12 students and one teacher on April 20, 1999.

The two teens, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, committed suicide after the massacre. They had also left pipe bombs in the school but the majority of them did not explode.

It's unclear whether Wednesday's incident is connected to the shooting anniversary but the mall is located near the high school.

"We're not ignoring that. The date is significant to Colorado's history. But it's not something we're dismissing at this time," said FBI spokesman Dave Joly.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr212011

Pipe Bomb Found in Colorado Mall; FBI Seeks Person of Interest

FBI - Denver(LITTLETON, Colo.) -- Authorities are searching for a person of interest in connection with the discovery of a pipe bomb and propane tanks after a fire at a Littleton, Colorado mall broke out on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

The suspicious devices were found Wednesday afternoon at the Southwest Plaza Mall after firefighters responded to a small blaze in a hallway near the mall's food court.

An estimated 6,000 to 10,000 people were evacuated from the mall around noon.  No injuries were reported, but officials said the fire caused some minor damage.

The incident comes on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, where two of the school's students opened fire and killed 12 students and one teacher on April 20, 1999.  The two teens, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, committed suicide after the massacre.  They had also left pipe bombs in the school but the majority of them did not explode.

It's unclear whether Wednesday's incident is connected to the shooting anniversary but the mall is located near the high school.

Authorities said that if those devices had exploded, the damage and potential loss of life could have been catastrophic.

Late Wednesday night, FBI and law enforcement officials released a photo of a person of interest who was spotted on mall security cameras.

The person of interest is described as a white male with a grey hair with a silver mustache.  He was last wearing a dark cap, striped shirt, blue jeans and dark shoes.

In the surveillance photos, the man is seen holding a white plastic shopping bag.

"Surveillance tape gave a shot of an individual walking in with a bag, coming in a corridor that the public would not normally use.  And this individual possibly witnessed someone maybe coming in or out that area at the same time or he could possibly be involved," said FBI Spokesman Dave Joly.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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