Eight years ago on Friday two students at Columbine High School killed 13 in the largest school shooting in Colorado’s history. For many CHS graduates, the shooting at Virginia Tech on Monday was a harsh reminder of what their friends and family experienced, and brought up harsh memories of the day that forever changed their community.
“Any school shooting brings up emotion from the past,” said CHS graduate Andrew Stein, a sophomore landscape architecture major. But most people have made their peace with the events of April 20. They understand why it happened and are finally coming to terms on their own.
Stein’s older brother was a freshman at CHS at the time of the shooting, but had stayed home that day due to illness.
“The shooting really hit close to home,” he said. “It startled me because I worried about what would have happened if he was there. It hit close to the whole community.”
CHS graduate Josh Riviera, who moved to Littleton shortly after the shooting and had several friends and family in the area, believes Columbine’s massacre was distinct, and hard to compare to the shooting at Virginia Tech.
“I don’t think what happened at Virginia Tech was any sort of copy cat thing. Columbine was a situation of kids lashing out against a school that mistreated them. No one knows yet the motive of the shooter at Virginia Tech.”
Riviera said Monday’s events could bring up Columbine to all affected by it, and he sees the upcoming anniversary as a time to “look back, reflect on what went wrong and hope more mistakes aren’t being made.
Staff writer Margaret Canty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.