Angels Heroes

Cassie Burnell

by Nina from Rancho Santa Margarita

My hero is Cassie Burnell. She is my hero because she stood up for beliefs even when it was a life or death situation. I use the phrase life or death literally, because it is regarding the Columbine school shooting. She died April 20, 1999, along with14 students and 1 teacher. Another 22 were severely injured.

The shooters were named Eric Harris and Dylan Keybold. These boys had planned this attack for well over 6 months, and already had a list of people they had wished to shoot. Kids at the school knew that the boys belonged to a clique known as the "trench coat mofia." They were also labeled as the rebels, and they didn't get along with the other kids at the school. The boys had already been recongnized for having violent ideas, by their parents, school, and even the police. The other kids in the mafia claim that they had no idea of the shooting, and had no way of predicting it. Only one person could have had knowlege of this act, and that would be the girlfriend of one of the boys. She had been the one who had purchased the guns, and gave them to the boys. Soon after, the day approached when these two boys would end many lives, including their own.

The first shot was fired at exactly 11:19 am, and the last shot was fired at exactly 11:35, by noon, the shooters had already killed themselves. A total of exactly 114 shots were fired that day at the school. One of those shots was shot at Cassie. Cassie and some other kids were in the library. Some people came running, yelling that a shooting had begun, but due to people always joking around, the kids did not take them seriously. Unfortunately, it really was a shooting, and by 11:30 she would be gone. Everyone else was rushing hurriedly to get out and go to anywhere that was safe. Cassie was the only one who didn't leave. Instead, she stayed in the library to pray , under a table. In a few seconds the boys came to her and asked her if she believed in God. While she was crying, she answered "yes." Then, they shot her twice in the head, and she was gone. Her parants found her brother (who had left and went to a near by resident's house as soon as he heard shots) and by about 6:30 the list of students who had survived had gotten to her family. They didn't find Cassie. The next day she was found dead. It broke everyone's heart who had known her and even people who didn't.

I'm not sure who Cassie's hero is. If I could speak to her, I would tell her that I have so much respect for her, and that she was extremely brave to risk her life for her beliefs. It's actually odd of her being so religious; before she was actually more of a punker. Her parents got mad at her for having drugs in her posession and writting odd letters. After Cassie became more religious, her parents got her involved in a near by church group for troubled teens. As soon as she joined the group, her life had completely turned around. She turned to God for all her problems and had many friends with better morals. The only quote she has that represents her beliefs is simply, "yes."

Page created on 5/10/2002 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/10/2002 12:00:00 AM

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