The Critical Incident Team

    Every incident in which a law enforcement officer uses “deadly force” while on duty must be investigated by a multi-jurisdictional team.  That policy is a consensus decision of law enforcement chief executives in Jefferson County.  On April 20, 1999, the First Judicial District Law Enforcement Critical Incident Team was activated at the request of Sheriff John Stone. 

    The critical incident team policy requires that a team “of highly trained and skilled investigators, comprised of personnel from each participating law enforcement agency and the District Attorney’s Office, be formed to investigate an incident in which any law enforcement officer within the judicial district uses deadly force, or attempts to use deadly force, against a human being while acting under the color of official law enforcement duties.”

    “Typically, the Critical Incident Team will be utilized when an officer uses or attempts to use deadly force through the discharge of a firearm,” it states.

    Members of the team called out on April 20 were 10 investigators from the area, including Arvada, Wheat Ridge, and Lakewood Police Departments; the Golden Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office. The team reported to Leawood Elementary School in the afternoon where they interviewed and collected the firearms of most officers who fired a weapon that day.

    A total of 141 shots were fired by law enforcement officers at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999.  No individual was hit or injured by “friendly fire.”

141 Law Enforcement Shots Fired

    Among the many law enforcement officers who responded to Columbine High School on April 20, 12 officers fired their weapons:

    Of all the bullet casings recovered from the high school, 141 were fired from law enforcement weapons.  

    The majority of the shots were fired from the parking lot on the southwest side of the school and the grass and sidewalk areas outside the west entrance. 

    There were also shots fired from the junior parking lot, a lower classroom hallway and the bottom of the stairs outside the cafeteria.

    In reviewing the ballistic evidence and the interviews with the officers, it was determined that the majority of the shots were fired toward the west entrance and the library windows.  This was done when shots were exchanged with the gunmen, and when law enforcement and medical personnel were evacuating students.

            There were no injuries or deaths as a result of shots fired by law enforcement officers.

Shots Fired by KLEBOLD and HARRIS




Klebold Total
Shotgun Rounds















9MM Rounds 96 55 151
Library 13 21  
Inside 36 31  
Outside 47 3  


121 67 188

188 Shots Fired by KLEBOLD and HARRIS