Here's an e-mail message from Wayne Gould first sent to friends and family on Wednesday, April 21, 1999. This is published on LDS Today by his permission.
As you are aware, yesterday at least two youth celebrated Adolf Hitler's birthday by sowing destructive bombs and death in Columbine High School. In their wake are 15 dead, 15 hospitalized and at least one missing. It is a tragic example of misguided ideals put into wicked action.
Although Columbine is the closest high school to our home, our daughter was denied admission. Therefore, after ascertaining that my children were safe, I began accounting for the children for my neighbors and those for whom I share responsibility in my church activities. Ultimately all were accounted for, but for a while 3 really neat kids were listed as missing. Yesterday evening I visited with the parents and the survivors of this terrible event, there were about 200-400 gathered together at our Church. I was amazed at both the depth of the trauma as well as the incredible amount of hope and support that the survivors were receiving from one another. Further, the acts of selfless bravery and heroism that were exhibited by these young people was astounding. The following relates some of the stories which I heard.
Adam and Aaron are twin high school Juniors -- they are both Eagle Scouts. I know them well -- Adam is my hometeacher and comes to my home at least once a month to visit. When the shots rang out, Adam was in the Choir Room and Aaron was in Science Room #3. Adam and the kids with him, rather than fleeing, gathered in a small administrative office. In the office they stacked large desks against the door. Then Adam called his dad. Aaron was closer to the shooting. Near him, Mr. Sanders (sp?), a teacher, was shot in both shoulders and fell. In falling he knocked his front teeth out and began bleeding profusely. Aaron and those with him got the teacher and pulled him into Science Room #3. There, they cared for him as best as they could. Like his brother Adam, Aaron called his dad at work and carried on a conversation throughout the ordeal. Adam and Aaron remained in their respective rooms for three hours until SWAT teams freed them and sent them out of the school. When liberated, the kids were told to put their hands on their heads, be quiet and to leave the school in single file. The kids tell stories of having to step over bodies of their peers all the time walking through a bomb damaged school that the fire sprinklers had flooded with three inches of water.
John was in the library. One of the shooters ran up and put a gun in his face then said, "Oh John, its you! Get out of here John." John knew the shooters. They had worked on the Stage Crew together and were friends. John left and the shooters went about their destruction.
One of my friends is an emergency room doctor. He treated several of the kids. He called me early last night to get an accounting of the Church kids. Then he began to talk. He too had been affected by the ragged bomb wounds of the kids. The bombs were filled with hardware store parts such as washers, which turned into shrapnel upon detonation.
Last night before going to bed we turned on the news. Pre-set bombs were still going off. The television newscasters asked for help. Mr. Sanders (sp?) had been removed from the school conscious and placed into an ambulance. Everyone assumed that he had been sucessfully transported, but none of the hospitals in the area know where he is.
By this morning, the newscasters were begining to draw the conclusion that the number of bombs planted exceeded the ability of two shooters and were concluding that this attack was a sophisticated scheme which involved accomplices.
This truly was a tragedy, particularly given the wholesome Littleton environment. The community is stunned. All schools in the Jefferson County school system are closed in mourning.
I am grateful for the safety of my own family and that the damage was not far worse. Surely the sophistication of the attack suggests that it could have been. I am also praying for the physically and emotionally wounded and for the family and parents of those students which have not been accounted for, or recovered.