Cafeteria Team was led by FBI Special Agent Rich
Price and assisted by Denver Police Department Sergeant Calvin Hemphill.
The team was assigned the task of identifying and interviewing all
students, faculty and school employees that were in the school cafeteria before,
during and immediately following the shooting.
The purpose of the interviews was to specifically identify witness
locations and proximity to others within the cafeteria, identification of
students sitting with other students, identifying what they witnessed, and their
exit out of the cafeteria once the shootings began.
The cafeteria team consisted of 27 investigators for varying terms based
on availability. A total of 751 leads were assigned to the cafeteria team, which
included areas in close proximity to the cafeteria.
Evidence Response Teams (ERT) of the FBI, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s
Office and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office drafted detailed diagrams of
the cafeteria depicting and identifying cafeteria tables.
These diagrams assisted in identifying where students were located within
the cafeteria. Investigators used
the diagrams to have students mark their location and their escape from the
cafeteria once the incident began. This
method of identifying student location with diagrams and subsequent interviews
assisted in corroborating witness statements.
400 backpacks (shown below in the auditorium) were initially recovered in the cafeteria and helped the
investigators identify students believed to be present in the cafeteria when the
incident began. School records also
provided student and faculty information as to scheduled lunch periods and
class schedules. Witness interviews
resulted in identifying those students who did not leave their backpacks behind.
were 488 individuals inside the cafeteria when the shootings began. Fifty-one of
those were identified as critical witnesses.
Critical witnesses are those who actually saw a gunman, saw a victim get
injured or saw duffel bags inside the cafeteria which may have contained
explosive devices. The majority of
critical witnesses inside the cafeteria were positioned along the west side,
adjacent to the windows of the cafeteria which face the events occurring
of the suspects ranged from personal acquaintances to physical descriptions of
Harris and Klebold. Witnesses
observed Klebold and Harris with weapons, explosives or both.
No one other than Harris and Klebold were identified as being involved in
of the cafeteria witnesses observed events that were occurring outside and those
events are addressed in the Outside Events Summary.
Other critical witnesses in the cafeteria recall seeing a large blue
duffel bag in the cafeteria where the partial detonation subsequently occurred.
Other witnesses remained in the cafeteria and observed Harris and Klebold
enter from the upstairs library hallway and shoot at the duffel bag.
These witnesses ultimately left the cafeteria after the partial
was no one injured in the cafeteria as a direct result of Harris and Klebold’s