Incident Summary:

04/20/1999: Two armed high school students opened fire in Columbine High School, killing 12 students and one teacher, and wounding 24 before committing suicide. The school is located in Littleton, Colorado, U.S.A.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
Near Littleton in unincorporated Jefferson County

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Educational Institution
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Students and teachers at Columbine High School.
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 56
US Hostages 56
Hours of Kidnapping 4
Outcome Combination
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Handgun
Firearms Rifle/Shotgun (non-automatic)
Explosives Other Explosive Type
Weapon Details
The two perpetrators each had numerous guns, Molotov cocktails, knives, pipe bombs, and other types of explosive devices.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) No
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) Yes
Alternate Designation (more) Other Crime Type
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 2
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 15 Fatalities / 24 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 15
Number of U.S. Fatalities 15
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 2
Total Number of Injured 24
Number of U.S. Injured 24
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Robert Weller, “25 May Be Dead in School Shooting,” The Associated Press, April 21, 1999.
“Up to 25 die in shooting at Colorado high school; Sheriff says 2 gunmen on 'suicide mission',” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 21, 1999.
Ted Taylor, Chris Barker, Cox News Service, “COLORADO SCHOOL MASSACRE; Deadly suicide attack shatters Colorado school, stuns nation,” The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, April 21, 1999.