Columbine hammer probably found at school

2012-02-15 13:00
Denver - A 14-year-old girl charged with attacking two students with a hammer at Columbine High School this week probably found the hammer on the school grounds, authorities said on Tuesday.

Monday's attack was the first assault with a weapon at the school since the 1999 shootings that left 12 students, a teacher and the two teen gunmen dead.

The girl was being held at a juvenile jail on suspicion of second-degree assault and felony menacing.

She appeared in court with her parents and a public defender where she will be held without bail until her next hearing on Friday, Jefferson County district attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell said.

Prosecutors have until then to decide what charges to file.

Her name hasn't been released because she is a juvenile.

The victims were expected to recover fully from their injuries, sheriff's officials said. They were taken to a hospital and later released.

Investigators haven't ruled out the possibility that the hammer was brought into the school, but it doesn't appear it was, Jefferson County sheriff's spokesperson Jacki Kelley said.

If the hammer was on school grounds, it's not clear whether it was taken from a classroom or from a maintenance shop, Kelley said. No one has reported a missing hammer, she said.

The attack

Authorities said earlier that the 14-year-old targeted a 15-year-old girl in a hallway leading to bathrooms. Kelley said investigators are making progress toward determining a motive, but it won't be made public because the case involves a juvenile.

Aaron Flowers, aged 16, told Denver television stations that the 15-year-old girl was struck in the hand. He said he also was hit in the hand and ribs while trying to grab the hammer from the attacker, after another friend pushed the attacker down.

Judges have a range of options for sentencing juveniles who are convicted of crimes, including confinement, probation and placement in a residential treatment center, Russell said.

The longest a juvenile can be imprisoned is two years, she said.

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