Police and prosecutors were strongly criticised today for pursuing the case against two teenagers who were cleared of plotting a Columbine-style massacre at their own school. Following the verdicts, the barrister who defended one of the youngsters said it was an "unnecessary, heavy-handed prosecution" and an expensive waste of public money. McKnight's father Ray, a serving police officer, said both his son and Swift had gone through "purgatory" and "absolute agony" after spending six months remanded in custody. The prosecution had claimed that the teenagers had been plotting a gun rampage similar to that carried out by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who murdered 12 students and a teacher at a school in Columbine in Much of the case was based on the pair's journals and diaries, which contained tirades against the school and society and included maps and plans of the school buildings. The police were so convinced of the pair's guilt that they decided to fly two detectives to Colorado ahead of the trial to question the homicide department that investigated the Columbine killings. The Columbine lead investigator, Kate Battan, was then flown to Manchester and was mooted as a possible prosecution witness, but she was never called to give evidence. Swift and McKnight were arrested in March, a month before prosecutors claimed they had planned to carry out the alleged attack. The prosecution said the plan, which the pair had codenamed Project Rainbow, was to have been carried out on 20 April — the 10th anniversary of the Columbine atrocity.
E xactly 10 years ago on Monday, the world woke up to learn that two more unhinged American teenage misfits had snapped after years of bullying at the hands of the "jocks", the sporting overlords of their universe, and gone on a murderous rampage with semi-automatic weapons through their suburban high school. The teenagers were called Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and their school was Columbine High, an idyllic sounding place nestled between the Denver metropolitan area and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. What is indisputable is that Columbine quickly became a byword for the nightmarish phenomenon - now seemingly a worldwide contagion - of school shootings. It was the bloodiest, creepiest, most vivid school attack anyone at the time could remember and remains, to this day, the episode the American popular imagination just can't seem to shake. Harris and Klebold did not just gun down their victims in cold blood. They laughed and hollered while they were doing it, as though they were having the time of their lives. In contrast to previous American school shootings, which had unfolded in hard-to-reach locales such as West Paducah, Kentucky, or Jonesboro, Arkansas, this one happened half an hour's drive from a major media hub. Denver television crews got there while the horrors were unfolding, and the cameras did not stop rolling for a week. That, in retrospect, may not have been an entirely good thing.
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As a Chinese-American, I read these words with nothing but empathy. Just seven months ago, I visited quite a few cities in China. The initial oblivion to the gravity of the virus, thanks to censorship, quickly turned into panic and chaos. Most of my relatives live in China, and I fear for them. My aunt barely opened the door when my grandma came to visit, because she had just been to the hospital pharmacy without a proper face mask. Their daily routines are interrupted and restricted.
On February 14, , a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland , Florida, killing 17 people [note 2] and injuring 17 others. The shooter fled the scene on foot by blending with other students. He was arrested without incident about an hour later in nearby Coral Springs. Police and prosecutors have not offered a motive and are investigating "a pattern of disciplinary issues and unnerving behavior". Cruz's killing spree is the deadliest high school shooting in United States history , surpassing the Columbine High School massacre that killed 15, including the perpetrators Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold , in Colorado in April