Denver, Colorado – Video footage aired yesterday showed Australian twins Kristin and Candice Hermeler smiling and walking casually into a shooting range, moments before turning guns on themselves.
At the same time more links with the Columbine massacre, which occurred nearby 11 years ago, were also revealed, including a letter found in the sisters’ luggage from the family of one of the 1999 rampage killers.
The surveillance camera footage, obtained by a local TV station under freedom of information law, showed the 29-year-olds strolling into the Family Shooting Center in Cherry Creek State Park last Monday.
Because they were inexperienced they could only rent small-calibre weapons, which they practised with for some 80 minutes, before switching shooting stalls to move away from a group of men with bigger guns next to them.
The footage stopped just after they both walked forward into the new stall, and did not show the moment they fell backwards, almost simultaneously, having shot themselves in the head, said TV station CBS 4 Denver.
Kristin Hermeler died, while her sister Candice survived.
Meanwhile the TV station, citing the police report of the incident, said more evidence has emerged that links the suicide pact with the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in which 13 people were killed in nearby Littleton.
A copy of a magazine cover about Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold was found in the sisters’ hotel room, while it emerged at the weekend that Kristin Hermeler had written to a Columbine pupil bullied by Harris.
Yesterday, the TV station cited the police report as saying that letters from Klebold’s family had been found with the luggage, as well as a letter from the family of a Columbine murder victim, Corey DePooter.
Police have said the case is closed, since suicide is not a crime in Colarado. Candice Hermeler remains in serious condition in a Denver hospital. Her parents arrived from Australia last week and have asked for privacy.