School shootings' effects on police officers understudied
Posted On: Apr 17, 2019
LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — The first SWAT team members to see the horror in the Columbine High School library had to step around bodies and ignore a wounded student's plea for help as they searched for shooters they didn't know had already died by their own hands.
As member Grant Whitus put it, officers carried something home with them that day, a level of trauma and a sense of futility that stayed with them for years and may have contributed to the team's demise.
"It was just beyond anything I'd ever thought I'd see in my career," he said of the 1999 shooting that left 12 students and a teacher dead and remains locked in the nation's memory. "So many children were dead."