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Two Valentines Day School Massacres: Two Former Students, Two Connections to Columbine

Note: On July 27-28, 2018 the WVPI will present a workshop focusing on school shooting prevention in Broward County, Florida the location of this year's Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy.

The educational workshop"From Columbine to Noblesville" will include a presentation of common themes seen in school shootings which may have been influenced by the April 20, 1999 Columbine High School massacre and a module Beyond Code Red presented by school shooting prevention expert Chrystal Millan.

The July 27-28 workshop will also provide proposed solutions to the growing tragedy of school shootings. There is no cost for the event.

Valentine's Day 2018 - Florida

On February 14, 2018 , three faculty members and 14 students were shot dead in cold blood, and 17 other people were wounded at Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County, Florida. The scene of the massacre was the school's Freshman Building.

Yesterday the Sun Sentinel newspaper reported the former Douglas High student charged in connection with the murderous rampage had a "morbid interest in the Columbine High School Shooting."

Per the Sun Sentinel: "Investigators say Cruz researched the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School before his own deadly rampage. “The Columbine effect,” as experts call it, “continues to have a power and mythos."

On April 20, 1999, two Columbine High seniors brought an array of weapons to the school including approximately 99 homemade bombs and executed 13 people (12 students and one teacher) then committed suicide in the school's library.

Many regard Columbine as having ushered in the modern school shooter era and as providing a morbid gold star standard blueprint for several perpetrators who followed.

Valentine's Day 2008 - Illinois

Ten Valentine's Days prior to the Douglas tragedy on February 14, 2008:

Another lone gunman stormed into a school with murder on his mind. The scene was a Northern Illinois University (NIU) auditorium in DeKalb where a class was being conducted.

The perpetrator viciously shot and killed five people, and wounded 17 others. Then the mass killer, a 2006 NIU graduate, turned the gun on himself. Like the Columbine shooters, he also perished at the scene alongside his victims.

Photo: The five murdered NIU students.

Like the alleged Douglas shooter whose mother died in 2017, the NIU shooter's mother passed away in September 2006. He also had a history of mental illness.

The NIU shooter studied school shootings prior to carrying out his assault, particularly Columbine and the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre which left 32 students and faculty members dead. The Virginia Tech murderer who carried out his rampage 4 days before Columbine's 8th anniversary, admired the Columbine killers.

Photo: The 32 victims of the Virginia Tech massacre.

Additionally, it has been reported that the NIU shooter had been bullied in high school as many report the Columbine shooters were.

RVSP Now for the July 27-28 Workshop

The only solution to this continuing American tragedy is prevention.

Key to prevention is recognizing warning signs before things progress to the point of no return, i.e. stopping a potential attack before a security breach occurs.

For information on how to reserve your seat for the July 27-28 event, please email

Advanced registration is required to attend the workshop.


Friedman, Emily. "Who Was the Illinois School Shooter?" ABC News. February 15, 2008.

Vann, David. "Portrait of the School Shooter as a Young Man." Esquire. July 16, 2008.

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