Prom date of Colo. killer bought 2 guns for him

One of youths applied to Marine Corps, had just been rejected

April 28, 1999|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

LITTLETON, Colo. -- An 18-year-old woman who attended the senior prom with one of the killers at Columbine High School bought at least two of the firearms used in the attack, authorities confirmed yesterday as they announced that 51 pipe bombs -- nearly twice as many as first mentioned -- had been found.

The woman, Robyn Anderson, who did not respond to requests for comment, was interviewed by the police Monday and released.

She bought two shotguns at a local gun show she attended recently with the two gunmen, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, her prom date, and is being considered a witness, not a suspect.

Anderson could face criminal charges if she knew how her friends intended to use the weapons, officials said.

Sgt. Jim Parr and Steve Davis, both with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, would not say how many of the pipe bombs had been detonated or which ones had been found in the school, the parking lot or Harris' home.

The disclosure of the additional bombs came one week after the rampage here, which left one teacher and 14 students -- including the two gunmen -- dead and a community in shock and mourning.

Littleton, and much of Colorado, came to a halt at 11: 21 a.m. yesterday to mark the moment the shooting began, with church bells tolling 15 times, one for each of the dead.

New details began to emerge yesterday about Harris, who appears to have been the mastermind of the attack.

Harris had hoped to join the Marines but was rejected because of a medical reason just days before he and Klebold stormed onto campus carrying guns and bombs, officials said yesterday.

The son of a retired Air Force pilot, Harris was recruited as part of a routine telephone canvass and did well at a preliminary interview, but was rejected after a meeting at his home April 15, when his "parents divulged a medical factor," according to Lt. Jeff Sammons, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Quantico, Va.

The Marines would not disclose the medical problem, but the parent of a friend of Harris said the young man had been on psychiatric medication, which can be disqualifying.

"In Eric's case, the system worked," Sammons said. "We caught someone who didn't qualify for the Marine Corps."

In addition to reliance on certain prescription drugs, reasons for a medical disqualification include asthma, flat feet and some allergies.

Victor Good, whose son Nathan Dykeman was a friend of both youths, said Harris had been seeing a psychiatrist.

"Eric did have a few problems; Eric was in counseling," Good said in an interview yesterday. "When we heard about it we were like, so, so he's seeing a psychiatrist? So the parents think he needs someone to talk to."

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