With the second anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre less than two weeks away, documents released under a judge’s order show that deputies had proposed investigating one of the teen killers a year before the assault.
“We are surprised that it has taken two years to get this information out. We had heard about it. The sheriff’s department is actively involved in a cover-up,” said Judy Brown, whose son, Brooks, was a friend of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.
“No one wants to look into this and see what happened,” Brown said Saturday.
Harris and Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher before committing suicide on April 20, 1999. Brooks Brown was not injured in the shooting.
One of the issues in lawsuits filed by shooting victims and their families is whether deputies could have prevented the massacre if they had fully investigated warnings from the Browns as well as a violent essay Klebold wrote for his English class.
On Friday, Jefferson County District Judge Brooke Jackson ordered Sheriff John Stone to release drafts of affidavits deputies had prepared in hopes of getting a search warrant. They wanted to investigate online threats Harris had made against Brooks Brown and others.
Jackson had ordered Stone and the district attorney to release the entire case file last November. He issued the new order Friday after families of the victims and CBS News complained that some documents were missing from the 11,000 pages released last year.
Stone declined to comment, as he has on virtually all questions about Columbine. Because of the lawsuits, he also refused to testify before a state commission investigating Columbine.
It was unclear why the deputies never sought the search warrant. However, Jefferson County Dist. Atty. Dave Thomas told the Denver Post on Friday that the affidavits lacked the probable cause needed to get a judge’s approval.
An investigation could have prevented the massacre, said Brian Rohrbough, whose son, Daniel, was killed.
“If they had gone to Harris’ house, they would have found the bombs, the bomb-making materials and the planned attack on Columbine. Thirteen innocent people would still be living happy lives that they wanted to live,” Rohrbough told the Rocky Mountain News.