Anne-Marie Hochhalter was a survivor of the Columbine High School Massacre. She was outside, eating lunch with two friends when the shooting began. She was shot twice which left her paralyzed from the waist down.
During the shooting
Hochhalter was outside, eating lunch with her two friends Kim Blair and Jason Autenrieth, when the shooting began. They were seated at a grassy area between the senior parking lot and the cafeteria.
Her and her friends were sitting at the sidewalk for approximately 2 minutes when they witnessed Harris and Klebold standing at the top of the school's west exterior steps, which was where the very first shots that day were fired. She saw them start shooting towards the grassy area and the parking lot but thought of it as a prank until she saw students being shot in the legs.
As soon as that happened she stood up to run towards the cafeteria but was shot in an instant. Eric Harris hit her with two bullets, once in the chest and once in the back. She collapsed and was unable to move. Her friends made it to the cafeteria and hid there for a short while. Jason returned to drag Hochhalters body closer to the building in order to keep her out of the fireline. He stated that they were being fired at while he was helping her, he mentioned a pipe bomb going off close to their location as well. After he accomplished getting her to a safer location, he went back into the commons area. Together with Kim Blair he waited behind a table until the fire stopped and then ran to the parking lot to hide behind a van.
Hochhalter stayed in the position she was left in for the whole time, lying on the ground and playing dead, until she was rescued. During this period she witnessed one gunman yell orders to the other, without being able to recall the exact words. She also stated hearing several bombs go off as well as gunfire from the library, which was where the shooters were at when she was rescued.
After the Shooting
One of the bullets she was hit with ripped through her lungs and diaphragm, the other severed her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed for life. She went through four hours of surgery at the Swedish Hospital but was later transferred to the Craig Hospital, where she spent a total of four months for spinal cord injury rehabilitation. She resumed school September 9, 1999.
On the 22nd of October 1999, almost six months after the shooting, her mother Carla Hochhalter commited suicide. Anne Marie stated that her mother had been struggling with depression for several years, and that the Columbine tragedy was not the sole cause of her suicide.
Anne Marie earned her business degree from the University of Colorado and bought a townhouse in Westminster. In 2002 she was working as a manager for the Westminster Bath & Body Works.