02/14/2012

Hammer used in latest Columbine attack

Monday's attack was the first assault with a weapon at the school since the 1999 shootings that left 12 students, a teacher and the two teen gunmen dead

Associated Press

DENVER — A 14-year-old girl charged with attacking two students with a hammer at Columbine High School this week probably found the hammer on the suburban Denver campus, authorities said Tuesday.

Monday's attack was the first assault with a weapon at the school since the 1999 shootings that left 12 students, a teacher and the two teen gunmen dead.

The girl was being held at a juvenile jail on suspicion of second-degree assault and felony menacing. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.

Her name hasn't been released because she is a juvenile

The victims were expected to recover fully from their injuries, sheriff's officials said. They were taken to a hospital and later released.

Investigators haven't ruled out the possibility that the hammer was brought into the school, but it doesn't appear it was, said Jefferson County sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley.

If the hammer was on campus, it's not clear whether it was taken from a classroom or from a maintenance shop, Kelley said. No one has reported a missing hammer, she said.

Authorities said earlier the 14-year-old targeted a 15-year-old girl in a hallway leading to bathrooms. Kelley said investigators are making progress toward determining a motive, but it won't be made public because the case involves a juveniles.

Aaron Flowers, 16, told Denver television stations that the 15-year-old girl was struck in the hand. He said he also was hit in the hand and ribs while trying to grab the hammer from the attacker, after another friend pushed the attacker down.

Judges have a range of options for sentencing juveniles who are convicted of crimes, including confinement, probation and placement in a residential treatment center, said Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County district attorney.

The longest a juvenile can be incarcerated is two years, she said.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press

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