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Gunman's family: 'What happened'?

Issue: "Columbine: Teenage martyr," May 8, 1999

Pastor Don Marxhausen of St. Philip's Lutheran Church officiated at a private service for Dylan Klebold attended by 13 relatives and friends at a funeral home 20 miles from Littleton. He told the Old Testament story about the death of King David's wayward son Absalom, and the grief his father experienced.

The Klebold family had attended St. Philip's about five years ago, he told reporters, and they asked for his help. He said he found Thomas and Susan Klebold "devastated," suffering "great despair" over the loss of their son and what he had done. "He was their son-but they don't know the kid who did this," he said.

"They keep asking themselves, 'What happened? Where did we miss the sign?'"

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Mrs. Klebold, he said, was dumbfounded by the anti-Semitism attributed to her son since he himself was half Jewish, and he took part in the family's Jewish observances.

In a sermon at his church the following day, Sunday, the pastor told his people the church must reach out and penetrate the darkness. Then he asked:

"How many of you could accept the Klebolds if they returned to our church for support?"

Most indicated they could, he said in an MSNBC interview. It is more likely the Klebolds and Harrises will move out of the area, observers said. Both families have issued statements expressing sorrow over the attack.

Edward E. Plowman
Edward E. Plowman


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