Cops Asks Columbine Families About Killers' Tapes

Authorities are asking victims of the Columbine High School attack and their families whether recordings and journals made by the teenage gunmen should be made public.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office seized the videotapes, audiotapes and journals during its investigation of the April 20, 1999, shootings, in which 12 students and a teacher were killed before the two gunmen killed themselves. More than 20 students were wounded.

The state Supreme Court said Colorado law makes the sheriff responsible for deciding whether the material should be released. Spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said Wednesday that Sheriff Ted Mink was seeking families' opinions before deciding.

She said Mink would likely wait until after next month's anniversary of the shootings before announcing his decision.

The Denver Post went to court seeking release of the material, which includes a videotape made by gunmen Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, discussing their plan to attack the school.

Brian Rohrbough, whose son, Daniel, was killed in the attack, said all the records should be released.

"It could be painful, it could be upsetting, but no one is forced to watch it. The most important issue isn't the curiosity, it is that kids keep dying in school shootings and no one has taken the time to learn what is going on in our homes," said Rohrbough, who has seen the videotapes.

Randy Brown, who told deputies a year before the shootings that his son had been threatened by Eric Harris, said all the evidence in the case should be released. Brown's son was not hurt at Columbine.

"It is time to end the cowardice and cover-up that has been in effect in Jefferson County for seven years," said Brown, who along with others had accused the previous sheriff's administration of ignoring signs that Harris and Klebold planned violent acts.

Gary Lozow, a lawyer for Klebold's parents, Tom and Susan Klebold, said they oppose release of the video, believing it could lead to copycat acts.

Ben Colkitt, a lawyer for Harris' parents, Wayne and Katherine Harris, would not comment.