After Boulder King Sooper’s Shooting, Columbine’s Former Principal Becomes A Community Resource

March 25, 2021
former Columbine principal Frank DeAngelisformer Columbine principal Frank DeAngelisThomas Peipert/AP
In this March 23, 2019, file photo, former Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis reflects on the upcoming 20th anniversary of the mass shooting at the suburban Denver high school.

It’s been nearly two years since we released an episode of Since Columbine. But this week 10 people died in a shooting just 30 miles from Columbine High School, at a grocery store in Boulder. It’s been a really difficult week.

As we learn more about what happened — and especially more about the victims — we also checked in with Columbine survivors like former principal Frank DeAngelis. He’s become a resource for survivors of mass shootings across the world in the last 22 years. 

DeAngelis spoke with Ryan Warner of Colorado Matters about how new mass shootings like the one in Boulder bring him straight back to April 1999. We wanted to share this conversation with you because it really shows what a community, and victims’ families, go through after a mass shooting like the one in Boulder. 

It’s hard listening to a lot of what Frank DeAngelis said. But there’s comfort in some of the real advice he gave about seeking help and not trying to power through on your own.

I spoke with some other survivors this week who said anyone who feels grief and trauma — even if you weren’t directly affected by this week’s shooting — should own that. Don’t compare it to others. It’s yours, and it’s real. 

We’re continuing to follow this story, including profiles of the victims and survivors. Check out our work. And I’ve gone back and listened to some of the episodes in this feed too. They are unfortunately still quite relevant. 

Thanks to Ryan Warner and Michelle Fulcher for producing the interview with Frank DeAngelis.