ABC News conducted a months-long investigation to identify attacks and alleged plots or serious threats against schools that were influenced by the assault on Columbine High School. Through their investigation, they found at least 17 attacks and 36 plots or serious threats that can be tied to the 1999 massacre.
MAY 20, 1999: CONYERS, GA. A 17-year-old student opened fire at Heritage High School, injuring six. In a three-page letter found in his bedroom and obtained by ABC News, Solomon described himself as part of “the Trenchcoat Mafia.” And after his arrest, he wrote that he “had just gotten the idea from the shooting at Columbine High School on April 20.” He pleaded guilty but mentally ill, and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison – a sentence that was later reduced to 20 years.
FEB. 9, 2004: EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y.A 16-year-old opened fire while walking into Columbia High School. One person was wounded. Before his attack, the shooter had watched the documentary “Bowling for Columbine,” and he made references to the film in a rambling note he left in his home, police confirmed to ABC News. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder and another charge, and he was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.
AUG. 30, 2006: HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. A 19-year-old wearing a shirt with the words “Remember Columbine” killed his father and then opened fire at Orange High School, using guns adorned with pictures of the Columbine shooters. Two students were injured. In videos and journals seized by police and obtained by ABC News, the 19-year-old spoke at length about his obsession with Columbine and admiration for those who carried it out. One of the videos captured the tour he and a relative took to Littleton, Colo., where the relative drove him to the site of the Columbine massacre and to locations where the shooters worked and lived. In other videos, he ranted about anger and love, sacrifice and sin, his alleged abusive upbringing, and his love for a girl who wouldn’t “notice me.” He was ultimately convicted of murder and other charges, and sentenced to life in prison.
APRIL 16, 2007: BLACKSBURG, VA. A Virginia Tech student opened fire on campus, killing 32 people and then himself. Before the massacre, he sent rambling videos and writings to the media in which he referenced the Columbine shooters by their first names. In addition, a subsequent investigation by the state of Virginia found that as early as eighth grade – shortly after Columbine – he would express “suicidal and homicidal ideations” and write about the Colorado massacre. In one instance, he wrote a paper in English class that said he wanted to repeat the Columbine attack, according to the state’s report.
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