Kelly Fleming was one of the 13 victims who died in the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. She was only 16 years old and had dreams of becoming a writer and a poet. She had moved to Littleton, Colorado, from Phoenix, Arizona, a year before the tragedy. She was shy and quiet, but had a kind heart and a creative mind. She loved reading, writing, drawing, and listening to music. She had a close bond with her family and a few friends. She was a gentle soul who did not deserve to die so young and so violently. This article will explore Kelly Fleming’s cause of death and the impact of her loss on her loved ones and the community.
The Shooting and Kelly’s Death
On the morning of April 20, 1999, Kelly went to school as usual. She was wearing a black T-shirt with a pink rose on it and a black skirt. She had a backpack with her favorite books and a journal with her poems. She had no idea that it would be the last day of her life.
That day, two seniors, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, carried out a planned attack on their school. They were armed with guns, knives, and homemade bombs. They intended to kill as many people as possible and then commit suicide. They started by shooting at students and staff outside the school, then entered the building and continued their rampage.
Kelly was in the library with several other students and a teacher when the shooters arrived. She hid under a table with two other girls, Lauren Townsend and Lisa Kreutz. She was terrified and prayed for her safety. She hoped that her parents and her sister would know that she loved them.
Coming up from behind, Eric shot Kelly in the back with his sawed-off shotgun. Her body was found on the floor near that of Lauren Townsend, who was also killed. Lisa Kreutz survived, but was severely injured. Kelly was the youngest victim of the shooting.
The Aftermath and Kelly’s Legacy
Kelly’s death devastated her family and friends. Her parents, Dee and Don Fleming, and her sister, Amanda, were in shock and grief. They had to identify Kelly’s body at the morgue and arrange her funeral. They received an outpouring of support and sympathy from the community and the nation. They also received letters and poems from Kelly’s classmates and teachers, who expressed their sorrow and admiration for Kelly.
Kelly’s funeral was held on April 26, 1999, at the Trinity Christian Center. More than 1,000 people attended the service, which was broadcast live on local television. Kelly’s coffin was covered with pink roses, her favorite flower. Her family and friends shared their memories and tributes to Kelly. They described her as a sweet, smart, and talented girl who had a bright future ahead of her. They read some of her poems, which revealed her depth and sensitivity. They played some of her favorite songs, which reflected her taste and personality. They said goodbye to Kelly, but promised to keep her in their hearts.
Kelly’s family and friends also honored her legacy by creating scholarships, foundations, and memorials in her name. They established the Kelly Fleming Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to students who excel in creative writing and literature. They also founded the Kelly Fleming Rose Foundation, which supports causes that Kelly cared about, such as animal welfare, environmental protection, and human rights. They also participated in the creation of the Columbine Memorial, which is a park and a monument that honors the victims and survivors of the shooting. Kelly’s name and a quote from one of her poems are engraved on the memorial wall.
The Lessons and the Hope
Kelly’s cause of death was a senseless act of violence that shocked and saddened the world. Her death raised questions and concerns about the issues of bullying, mental health, gun control, and school safety. Her death also inspired movements and campaigns to prevent and stop school shootings and other forms of violence. Her death also challenged people to live with compassion, kindness, and courage.
Kelly’s life was a precious gift that was cut short by a tragic event. But her life was not in vain. She touched many lives with her words and her spirit. She left behind a legacy of love and creativity. She gave hope and inspiration to others who face difficulties and hardships. She showed that even in the darkest times, there is light and beauty. She showed that even in death, there is life and meaning.