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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 06:30 GMT 07:30 UK
Columbine killers' video released
Still from video film
The film was shot six weeks before the killings
A homemade videotape showing two teenagers playing with guns six weeks before they shot dead 13 people at Columbine High School has been made public by authorities in Colorado.

The footage shows 17-year-old Dylan Klebold, and Eric Harris, 18, laughing as they fire illegally sawn-off shotguns and a semi-automatic pistol at targets in woodland south-west of Denver.

The video was released after some of the victims' families complained evidence from the investigation into the killings had been kept from them.

Klebold and Harris shot dead 12 fellow students and a teacher on 20 April 1999 before killing themselves.

'Bad things happen'

In the video, the teenagers are seen shooting at trees and bowling pins.

Still from video film
The teenagers had an array of weapons
Klebold, clad in a black trench coat he wore on the day of the killings, examines entry and exit holes in one of the pins.

"Imagine that in someone's [expletive] brain," he says.

In one scene, Klebold fires a sawn-off shotgun repeatedly from his hip; in another, Harris blows across the muzzle of a shotgun like a cowboy.

The teenagers laugh at wounds to their hands from the recoil from the high-power weapons.

A voice off camera is heard to say: "Guns are bad; when you saw them off and make them illegal, bad things happen."

Warning signs

A copy of the film was turned over to police by Mark Manes, a friend of the teenagers, who was one of five people on the tape.

It was released by the Jefferson County sheriff's office at the urging of the district attorney's office.

Brian Rohrbough, whose son, Daniel, was among those killed at Columbine High, had pushed for the tape's release.

"In all of the school shootings across the country, there have always been tremendous red flags, " he said.

"On this tape, what they [Klebold and Harris] said they were going to do, they did."

But Heather Wrabetz, a survivor of the shootings, said the film should not have been made public.

"Showing this video of what they're going to do to the school and to the students... I really just think it's giving them more publicity that they don't need," she said.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Daniella Relph
"Parents of those killed are split on its [the video's] release"



SEE ALSO:
School shootings film hits Cannes
18 May 03  |  Entertainment
Mixed reaction to Columbine film
21 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
Row over leaked Columbine photos
07 Mar 02  |  Americas
Columbine families sue computer game makers
27 Oct 03  |  Science/Nature
Columbine audio tapes released
06 Jul 00  |  Americas



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