"It appears to be a suicide mission."

--John Stone, Jefferson County sheriff


"At first we just thought they were firecrackers until we saw the guns come out of the trench coats."

--Justin Woods, student


"Access to guns is a critical variable in this situation. You can't kill or wound 14 people with a knife."

--Kevin Dwyer, president-elect of the National Assn. of School Psychologists


"There is the perception that schools are terribly crime-ridden. The perception is unfounded."

--William Modzeleski, Education Department's safe-school chief


"It's Dec. 1, 1997, all over again. How many more times does this have to happen?"

--Sabrina Steger, mother of 15-year-old girl slain in Paducah, Ky., school shooting


"They are jerks.... They are really strange, but I've never seen them do anything violent."

--student Jason Greer, speaking of students known as Trench Coat Mafia


"They walked down the stairs and they started shooting people. We didn't think it was real and then we saw blood."

--student who gave her name as Janine


"You just instantly think back to what happened in your own life last year and you feel for the families and what they're about to go through."

--Mitchell Wright, whose wife, teacher Shannon Wright, was killed in March 1998 in Jonesboro, Ark., shooting


"We heard the gunshots and we were running."

--Kaley Boyle, a junior

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