Columbine Crime Scene Evidence Released

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold lie next to each other in the Columbine High School library — Harris' shotgun sits beneath his boot and Klebold is found clutching a TEC-9 pistol.

Gruesome details of how the killers' bodies were found on April 20, 1999, are contained in 737 pages of crime scene notes and sketches released today by Jefferson County officials.

The documents, known as "lab books," include notes taken by the first officers and investigators to arrive at Columbine the day that Harris and Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide.

Sketches describe the precise locations of the 10 students slain in the library. The nature of their wounds are also detailed in the lab books, which were used to create final diagrams of the crime scene at the Littleton, Colo., school.

Families of victims hope the material helps answer questions about how the shooting unfolded.

'Be Careful What You Ask For'

"It's a double-edged sword," said Connie Michalik, whose son, Richard Castaldo, was wounded in the attack. "On one side, it's very painful and on the other, it helps our lawsuit. It's difficult."

Michalik and several other Columbine families are suing the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, claiming they mishandled the response to the assault and ignored threats made by Harris, one of the gunmen.

In April, Judge Brooke Jackson ordered the release of the lab books after CBS Broadcasting Inc. and several victims' families sought them. Jackson noted in his decision that "some of the contents might fall within the 'be careful what you ask for' category."

Jefferson County spokesman John Masson said today, "Under normal circumstances, the crime scene materials are not released. We are not releasing this voluntarily."

Some relatives of those killed and wounded in the assault believe the sheriff's department hasn't been completely forthcoming.

"It's very disturbing, but because we haven't been told the truth about anything it's going to be necessary to look at these," said Brian Rohrbough, whose son, Daniel, was killed outside the school.

Rohrbough alleges in a lawsuit that police, not the gunmen, killed his son during an exchange of gunfire with the attackers, Harris and Klebold.

Attorney James Rouse, who represents several Columbine families, said he expects yet more documents to surface after the release of the lab books.

"I don't have any reason to believe this is the last bit of evidence or documentation they have," he said.

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