Eric David Harris (April 9, 1981 – April 20, 1999) and Dylan Bennet Klebold (September 11, 1981 – April 20, 1999) were the two American high school seniors who committed the Columbine High School massacre. The pair killed 13 people and injured 24 others, three of whom were injured as they escaped the attack. The two then committed suicide in the library, where they had killed 10 of their victims.
BackgroundEric David Harris was born in Wichita, Kansas. The Harris family relocated often, as Eric's father, Wayne Harris, was a U.S. Air Force transport pilot. His mother, Katherine Ann Poole, was a homemaker. The family moved from Plattsburgh, New York, to Littleton, Colorado, in July 1993, when Wayne Harris retired from military service.
The Harris family lived in rented accommodations for the first three years that they lived in the Littleton area. During this time, Eric met Dylan Klebold. In 1996, the Harris family purchased a house south of Columbine High School. Eric's older brother, Kevin, attended college at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Dylan Bennet Klebold was born in Lakewood, Colorado, to Thomas and Susan Klebold (née Yassenoff). His parents attended a Lutheran church with their children, and Dylan and his older brother, Byron, attended confirmation classes in accordance with Lutheran tradition. At home, the family also observed some rituals in keeping with Klebold's maternal grandfather's Russian Jewish heritage. Klebold attended Normandy Elementary in Littleton, Colorado for the first two grades before transferring to Governor's Ranch Elementary and became part of the CHIPS program. He found the transition to Ken Caryl Middle School difficult.
At Columbine High, Harris and Klebold were active in school play productions, operated video productions and became computer assistants maintaining the school's computer server.
According to early accounts of the shooting, Harris and Klebold were very unpopular students and frequent targets of bullying at their high school. Harris and Klebold were reportedly members of a group that called themselves the "Trenchcoat Mafia", although they had no particular connection with the group, and did not appear in a group photo of the Trenchcoat Mafia in the 1998 Columbine yearbook. Harris's father stated that his son was "a member of what they call the Trenchcoat Mafia" in a 911 call he made on April 20, 1999. Klebold attended the high school prom three days before the shootings with a classmate named Robyn Anderson.
Harris and Klebold linked their personal computers on a network and both played many games over the Internet. Harris created a set of levels for the game Doom, which later became known as the Harris levels. Harris had a web presence under the handle "REB" (short for Rebel, a nod to the nickname of Columbine's sports teams) and other cyber aliases, including "Rebldomakr", "Rebdoomer", and "Rebdomine", while Klebold went by the names "VoDKa" and "VoDkA". Harris had various websites that hosted Doom and Quake files, as well as team information for those he gamed with online. The sites openly espoused hatred for the people of their neighborhood and the world in general. When the pair began experimenting with pipe bombs, they posted results of the explosions on the websites. The website was shut down by America Online after the shootings and was preserved for the FBI.
 Initial legal encountersIn March 1998, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office investigator Michael Guerra looked at Harris's website after the parents of Brooks Brown, a fellow student of Harris and Klebold, discovered Harris was making threats aimed at their son after a falling out between them. Guerra wrote a draft affidavit for a search warrant, but the affidavit was never filed. This information was not revealed to the public until September 2001 by 60 Minutes, though it was known by the police the entire time.
The two boys got into trouble with the law for breaking into a locked van and stealing computers. In January 1998, they were charged with mischief, breaking and entering, trespassing, and theft. They both left good impressions on the juvenile officers, who offered to expunge their criminal records if they agreed to attend a diversionary program to include community service, received psychiatric treatment, and obeyed the law. Harris was required to attend anger management classes where, again, he made a favorable impression. They were so well-behaved that their probation officer discharged them from the program a few months earlier than the due date. Of Harris, it was remarked that he was "a very bright individual who is likely to succeed in life", while Klebold was said to be intelligent, but "needs to understand that hard work is part of fulfilling a dream." On May 1998,