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  • Writer's pictureRita Gleason

Resilience in the Face of Tragedy- Series 5

Shot in the spine and unable to use his legs, student Sean Graves tried to pull himself back into the cafeteria but was only able to get halfway in the doorway. A female dean attempted to bring him in but another worker warned her against it, as it could further damage his back. Sean reported that a woman tried to comfort him but had to leave as the gunmen were drawing closer. One of the school’s janitors also came over and held Sean’s hand, but Sean asked him to leave. He was afraid that if Eric and Dylan knew he was still alive, they would return and kill him.

Anne Marie Hochhalter was also shot in the back and immediately paralyzed. Jayson Authenreith and girlfriend, Kim Blair, who’d been with Hochhalter were able to make it inside the commons area. Jayson directed Kim to stay there and, despite the danger, he ran back outside to help Anne Marie. Blair followed him. Jayson dragged Hochhalter away from the gunfire and lay her by the outside wall of the school, all while Eric and Dylan continued to fire in their direction. A pipe bomb was thrown and exploded in the area where Anne Marie had been laying. Authenreith then found Blair and pushed her back into the commons area and out of harm’s way.

In the library, sophomore Josh Lapp began to crawl under a table with friends when he saw fellow sophomore, Brittany Bollerud, beneath a table alone. Lapp joined Bollerud and during the shooting held her face to his chest and covered her ears to keep her from having to witness too much of what was going on. Once Eric and Dylan left the library, Lapp helped push others out and led Bollerud to safety behind a police car. He helped load some of the injured students in that area into other vehicles so that they could be transported to the hospital. Lapp also took a shoelace and used it as a tourniquet for Austin Eubank’s bleeding finger. Austin asked Josh if he knew what he was doing and Lapp said yes, even though he wasn’t really sure. He later said that he just wanted to help.

Seth Huoy also held and comforted a friend and fellow student beneath a library table. When he realized the danger they were in, he pulled his sister, Sara and friend, Crystal Woodman down under the table. As the gunmen approached, he drew the girls close and directed them to begin to pray. Huoy held Woodman’s face into his chest and didn’t allow her to look up during the shooting. When it was safe to do so, Seth grabbed Sara and Crystal and ran with them out of the library, pulling them along because they were afraid to leave.

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