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Eric Harris
Eric Harris.JPG
Senior year picture
Background information
Birth nameEric David Harris
OccupationStudent at Columbine High School and shift manager at Blackjack Pizza
BornApril 9, 1981(1981-04-09)
Wichita, Kansas, U.S.A.
DiedApril 20, 1999 (aged 18)
Columbine, Colorado, U.S.A.
Cause of deathSuicide
  • Wayne Harris
  • Katherine Poole
DateApril 20, 1999
11:19 a.m. – 12:08 p.m.
Target(s)Students and teachers
Location(s)Columbine High School, U.S.A.
MotiveBullying, Psychopathy

Eric David Harris (April 9, 1981 – April 20, 1999) was a senior at Columbine High School one of the two perpetrators of the massacre that took place there, along with best friend Dylan Klebold.

Youth Edit

Eric was born on April 9, 1981 in Wichita, Kansas. Eric also had a brother, Kevin Harris, who was three years older. Eric was born with Pectus Excavatum, a birth defect known as chest indent. He had surgery twice (in 1993 and 1995) to fix the birth defect. His father was Wayne Harris, a United States Air Force pilot whose job required him to move to different states from time to time. His mother was Kathy Harris, who spent most of her time at home raising her sons Eric and Kevin.

Eric's father, Wayne, worked in six different Air Force bases in the states Ohio, Michigan, and New York, moving around frequently.[1] In 1993, Wayne was forced to retire from the military due to cutbacks. In July 1993, the family moved from Plattsburgh, New York to Littleton, Colorado.[1] In Littleton, the Harrises began renting a house. Wayne was hired for a job at Flight Safety Services Corporation. Eric's mother, Kathy, got a job in Littleton as a caterer at Gourmet To Go[2].

The Harris family lived in rented accommodations for the first three years that they lived in the Littleton area. During this time, Eric met Dylan Klebold. In 1996 the Harris family purchased a house south of Columbine High School. Eric's older brother, Kevin, attended college at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He later noted that Eric's journal talked about hijacking planes and crashing them in New York City.

In Littleton, Eric attended Ken Caryl Middle School. It was at Ken Caryl, in seventh or eighth grade, that Eric met Dylan Klebold, who would become Eric's best friend throughout their years at Ken Caryl, and later, at Columbine. It was also at Ken Caryl that Eric met Nate Dykeman, whom he became good friends with. Eric introduced Dylan and Nate to each other, and the three became good friends and spent a lot of time together.

In 1996, three years after arriving in Littleton, the Harris family purchased and moved into a house near Columbine High School for $180,000.

High school Edit

Throughout his years in high school, Eric attended Columbine.

Freshman year Edit

Eric began attending Columbine in his freshman year, along with Dylan and Nate. During this year, Eric met Brooks Brown on the school bus and they became friends; Brooks had been very good friends with Dylan since the first grade. During his freshman year, Eric also met Tiffany Typher in his German class. He asked her to the homecoming dance, to which she said yes; however, she refused to go out with him again after that. To get back at her, Eric staged a fake suicide, by having Brooks distract Tiffany whilst, behind her, he drenched himself in fake blood before laying down on the ground holding a fake-blood-soaked rock and letting out a scream. Tiffany turned around and saw Eric laying on the ground just before Eric and Brooks burst out laughing. Tiffany called him "sick" and walked away.

Sophomore year Edit

In Eric's sophomore year, he began working at Blackjack Pizza, a local pizzeria. Dylan was also hired at Blackjack, and the two usually worked together. They both spent a lot of time at Blackjack, even off work, causing mischief together and with friends in the alley behind the restaurant at night. In that alley, they set off fireworks and detonated dry-ice bombs.

It was in sophomore year at Columbine that Eric and Brooks Brown had a falling-out. Since Kevin, Eric's brother, had graduated from Columbine the previous year, Eric could no longer get rides to school from him and would have to resort to the school bus: a mode of transportation Eric was unhappy with. Brooks began giving Eric rides to school, but Eric grew frustrated with Brooks frequently being late to pick him up. One day, Brooks finally told Eric to find his own way to get to school from then on; he was fed up with Eric's complaints and would stop driving him.

Brooks didn't intend for this to create a conflict between himself and Eric, but Eric stopped talking to Brooks immediately afterwards. After realizing that Eric was refusing to talk to him at all, Brooks then stopped trying to make conversation with Eric and avoided him. Eric, however, held a grudge against Brooks, talked about him behind his back, and even sought revenge. One day, when Brooks pulled up to a stop sign while he was driving home from school, he saw Eric participating in a snowball fight on the corner. Eric, noticing Brooks, grabbed a chunk of ice from the ground and threw it as hard as he could at Brooks' car, cracking his windshield.

It was also during his sophomore year that Eric and his friend Dylan Klebold became targets of bullying by the jocks.

Junior year Edit


January 30, 1998: Arrest for theft Edit

It was alleged that at age 16, Eric slept with 21 year old Brenda Parker twice. She didn't know he was 16. "When he said he was graduating, I thought he meant college," Parker reported. These reports were eventually found to be UN TRUE, and Eric Harris died a virgin.

See also: Eric Harris' van theft essay on his arrest and the aftermath

During Eric and Dylan's junior year, they both got in trouble with the police for theft. On the night of January 30, 1998, at about 21:00 (according to Eric in an essay he wrote during his Senior year)[3], the two drove in Eric's car to Chatfield Reservoir (just south of Littleton). Eric wrote that they pulled into a dirt parking lot off Deer Creek Canyon road to "hang out" and "kill some time" by lighting off fireworks and breaking bottles.

Eric wrote that there were two cars in the parking lot: a red truck and a white van that was "stuffed with electronic equipment". He continued to say "Then we began thinking about breaking into this van. No one was around, we had a clear line of sight to anything coming and going ... We thought there was no way we would get caught, and everything seemed so easy." Eric and Dylan came to a decision: they would break into the van.

"So we got a rather large rock, broke the window, and Dylan started removing items from the van while I waited in my car keeping a look out for incoming cars." Eric wrote that they spent about 10 minutes taking items from the van before Eric said "that's enough, let's go". The two drove to "an open space in the mountains" and "started reviewing what we had stolen". Eric wrote that "I got out of my car to put something in my trunk when a Jefferson County sheriff shined his rather bright flashlight into my eyes from the other side of my car".

Eric and Dylan were caught. They were arrested and had to wait at the police station for hours before being released. A court date was set for April, and Eric and Dylan "plead guilty to all charges". They were sentenced to a one-year diversionary program, including "about 350 dollars worth of fines, a total of 4 full days of classes such as anger management and mother [sic] against drunk driving, 45 hours of community service, 2 months grounding, 120 dollar fine for getting my car back (it was impounded), and I am seeing a psychologist to help me with my anger problems".

Much speculation occurred over the date chosen for their attack. The original intended date of the attack may have been April 19; Harris required more ammunition from Mark Manes, who did not deliver it until the evening of April 19.

The shooters also possessed a TEC-DC9 semi-automatic handgun, which had a long history. The manufacturer of the TEC-DC9 first sold it to Miami-based Navegar Incorporated. It was then sold to Zander's Sporting Goods in Baldwin, Illinois in 1994. The gun was later sold to Thornton, Colorado, firearms dealer Larry Russell. In violation of federal law, Russell failed to keep records of the sale, yet he determined that the purchaser of the gun was twenty-one years of age or older. He was unable to identify the pictures of Klebold, Anderson, or Harris shown to him by police after the shooting. Two men, Mark Manes and Philip Duran, were convicted of supplying weapons to the two.

The bombs used by the pair varied and were crudely made from carbon dioxide canisters, galvanized pipe, and metal propane bottles. The bombs were primed with matches placed at one end. Both had striker tips on their sleeves. When they rubbed against the bomb, the match head would instantly light the fuse. The weekend before the shootings, Harris and Klebold had purchased propane tanks and other supplies from a hardware store for a few hundred dollars. Several residents of the area claimed to have heard glass breaking and buzzing sounds from the Harris family's garage, which later was concluded to indicate they were constructing pipe bombs. Harris purchased more propane tanks on the morning of the attack.

More complex bombs, such as the one that detonated on the corner of South Wadsworth Boulevard and Ken Caryl Avenue, had timers. The two largest bombs built were found in the school cafeteria and were made from small propane tanks. Only one of these bombs went off, only partially detonating. It was estimated that if any of the bombs placed in the cafeteria had detonated properly, the blast could have caused extensive structural damage to the school and resulted in casualties in the hundreds.

Hitmen for HireEdit

The two made a video for a school project that showed them pretending to shoot fake guns and "snuffing" students in the hallway of their school as Hitmen for Hire. The video is known for its swearing scenes, in which they yelled at the camera and said violent things. They both displayed themes of violence in their creative writing projects for school; Harris' teacher said of a Doom-based tale, written on January 17, 1999, by Harris, "Yours is a unique approach and your writing works in a gruesome way—good details and mood setting."

While having a cigarette at the start of lunch break, Brooks Brown saw Harris arrive at school on the day of the massacre. Brown had severed the friendship a year earlier because Harris had thrown a chunk of ice at his car windshield. Brown scolded Harris for skipping the morning class, because Harris was always serious about his academics and being on time. Harris reportedly said, "Brooks, I like you now. Get out of here. Go home." Brown quickly left the school grounds. He heard the first gunshots after he had walked some distance away from the school, and he informed the police via a neighbor's cell phone.

Klebold and the Harris levelsEdit

It is speculated that Eric Harris created levels for the computer games Doom and Quake. Some of the Harris level packs have graphical modifications that 'enhance' the violent content of the game. Generous supplies of monsters, ammunition, and weapons are features of the levels created by Eric Harris. None of the levels depict Columbine High School, although many of these levels were made by Harris. Some speculation has occurred about Klebold creating a few levels himself, but this has not been proven. It has been proven that Klebold tested the levels on his computer, but not that he made level packs like Harris. Klebold may have been in "Deathmatch" levels with Harris. Contrary to early rumors after the shootings, most of the levels were made for death matching.

Writing Edit

Journals Edit

  • Eric's journal - Transcriptions and copies of Eric's personal journal. In his journal, Eric discussed many things, including various possible motives and plans for the attack on Columbine.

In his journal, Harris mentioned his admiration of what he imagined to be natural selection, and wrote that he would like to put everyone in a super Doom game and see to it that the weak die and the strong live. On the day of the massacre, Harris wore a white T-shirt with the words "NATURAL SELECTION" printed in black.

Bullying Edit

Eric harris dylan klebold

Harris (left) and Klebold (right) were constantly mocked and bullied until they decided to get revenge.

In his journal, Harris wrote about the bullying he received: "Everyone is always making fun of me because of how I look, and how fucking weak I am and shit. Well, I will get you all back: ultimate fucking revenge here. You people could have shown more respect, treated me better, asked for my knowledge or guidance more, treated me more like senior, and maybe I wouldn't have been as ready to tear your fucking heads off" and "Whatever I do people make fun of me, and sometimes directly to my face. I'll get revenge soon enough. Fuckers shouldn't have ripped on me so much, huh!"

Nathan Vanderau, a friend of Klebold, and Alisa Owen, Harris' eighth-grade science partner, reported that Harris and Klebold were constantly picked on. Vanderau noted that a "cup of fecal matter" was thrown at them.

School assignments Edit

  • I Am poem - A poem written by Eric describing himself. Dated October 30, 1995 (thus from Eric's freshman year).
  • Name poem - A poem written by Eric describing himself through adjectives for each letter of his full name. Undated.
  • 25 things that make me different - A class assignment in which Eric lists 25 things that make him "different". Dated August 24, 1998 (thus from Eric's senior year).
  • Van theft essay - An essay Eric wrote describing his and Dylan's arrest on the night of January 30, 1998 for breaking into a van. Dated November 19, 1998 (thus from Eric's senior year).
  • Hitmen for Hire - An outline of the video project which Eric and some friends went on to create for his video production class. The project received much attention from the media after the Columbine shooting. Dated December 10, 1998 (thus from Eric's senior year).

Miscellaneous Edit

  • Chat logs - Transcriptions of several AIM chat logs found on Eric's computer. The logs were released following the Columbine massacre.
  • Letter to id Software - A letter that Eric wrote to id Software (a game developer company who created Doom).
  • Miscellaneous writing - All other snippets of writing not long or significant enough to warrant their own page.

Pictures of Eric Edit

See: Category:Pictures of Eric Harris

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Eric David Harris - A Columbine Site
  2. Parents try to cope with killers' legacy - The Denver Post Online
  3. Columbine documents (946 pages, PDF) - Page 195

See also Edit

  • Dylan Klebold, the other Columbine shooter and Eric's best friend
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