Columbine Tragedy: 20 years later

'We fell into each other's arms and wept'

Rick Sallinger, CBS 4 reporter


There's one memory of Columbine that CBS 4 reporter Rick Sallinger says he'll never get out of his head.

“That afternoon, buses kept bringing students to be reunited with their parents,” Sallinger said. “And then, there were no more buses. But there was a group of parents still standing there. Their kids never came back.”

April 20, 1999 was “one of the worst days of my life,” Sallinger said. “Before I had my own children, I was pretty hard. Once I had kids, I became softer inside. This affected me greatly. Deeply.”

The day of the shooting, there wasn't much time to stop and think, Sallinger said. But the second day, “We had time to reflect. Me and another reporter, we just fell into each other's arms and wept.”

Sallinger wishes he could say the world has changed since 1999.

“Columbine should've been the school shooting to end all school shootings,” Sallinger said. “But we just keep seeing it, over and over and over.”


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