- The Washington Times - Friday, December 28, 2001

DENVER (AP) The family of slain Columbine student Daniel Rohrbough claims a Denver police officer killed the boy as he fled the massacre inside the school.
Sgt. Dan O'Shea, a member of the SWAT team during the April 20, 1999, shootings, told a school administrator he feared he may have shot an innocent student, according to a motion filed Wednesday in federal court.
The motion asks a judge to reconsider the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the Jefferson County school district and sheriff's office.
Brian Rohrbough has long claimed his son was shot by a lawman rather than by one of the student gunmen firing from inside the school because of the angle of his fatal chest wound. Twelve students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, a Denver suburb, were killed before attackers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed themselves.
According to the motion, Sgt. O'Shea's handwritten police report stated he shot a 9 mm machine gun from the base of a hill on which Daniel Rohrbough was shot and killed. Daniel Rohrbough's wounds were consistent with the student facing downhill and Sgt. O'Shea firing from below, the motion said.
The court papers said a school administrator, Celine Marquez, was visiting Westridge Elementary School two days after the Columbine shootings, when she encountered Sgt. O'Shea, whose daughter attended preschool at Westridge.
According to the motion, Miss Marquez thanked Sgt. O'Shea for responding to the Columbine attack. Sgt. O'Shea broke down crying, saying he had thought he might have mistakenly shot an innocent student, the motion said. He told her he was relieved to learn that ballistics tests showed no victims had been struck by police bullets, it said.
Lawyer Barry Arrington, who represents the Rohrboughs, said Wednesday that ballistics tests on the bullets had not been started when Sgt. O'Shea spoke to Miss Marquez. "Someone told Sgt. O'Shea a grievous lie," he said.
Sgt. O'Shea could not be reached for comment Wednesday, the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post reported. Denver Deputy Police Chief Dave Abrams said Wednesday that he was unaware of the accusation against Sgt. O'Shea.
The motion also accuses Sheriff John Stone and his department of making 29 "blatant, bald-faced lies" about the investigation, including initially identifying a bullet recovered from Daniel Rohrbough's body as one from Klebold's weapon.
Brian Rohrbough said he didn't know about Miss Marquez's story until a few days before a federal judge dismissed all but one of the Columbine wrongful-death suits last month.

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