Dylan Klebold, along with Eric Harris, killed 13 people and injured dozens more at Columbine High School in April 1999. Once the massacre was completed, he and Harris committed suicide. The Columbine event is notorious in the history of American school shootings, and Dylan and Eric have become a type of “model” school shooter for a new generation of troubled youth.
Dylan grew up in an upper middle class family and was an intelligent young man, however his grades started slipping once he reached high school. Dylan felt as though he did not belong at Columbine - he didn’t fit in with what he considered the “jock culture.” Leading up to the shootings, Dylan started demonstrating behavior that was alarming to his parents - he was arrested for attempted theft, hacked into the school’s computer system, and wrote “hateful things” on another student’s locker. According to his mother, he showed a lack of sympathy for the things he had done. When required to attend counseling for his attempted theft, Klebold proved himself to be an upstanding patient and graduated early from the program. However, his parents were still worried about him and often searched his room for drugs, failing to find anything.
His mother has since realized that she overlooked signs of depression within her son. Had his mother looked in his journal, she would have discovered that her son had frequent suicidal thoughts, and had an unhealthy obsession with violence and Nazi Germany. His violent inner thoughts filtered into his schoolwork, in writings about men attacking the “popular kids,” as well as creating a video project where he and Eric Harris acted as vigilantes, pretending to kill the school jocks. Dylan and Eric began planning their attack in 1998, acquiring guns and pipe bombs. On April 20, 1999 - Hitler’s birthday - Klebold and Harris began their attack - killing 12 students and one teacher before turning their guns on themselves.