Daniel Conner Mauser (June 25, 1983 – April 20, 1999) was an American student and the twelfth murder victim of the Columbine High School Massacre. He died in the library during the worst part of the shooting.
Daniel Mauser was born on June 25, 1983 to Tom and Linda Mauser. He has one sister named Christine. He was a Sophomore who excelled in math and science, and got straight 'A's on his last report card. His dad, Tom Mauser, remembered his son as a smart young man who wasn't afraid of challenges and who wasn't ashamed to hug his parents. He attended Ken Caryl Middle School, the same school the shooters went to, but there's no record of them knowing each other.
Daniel was shy but he didn't let that stop him from joining the debate team and though he wasn't a natural athlete, he still joined the cross-country team. He liked to ski, camp and recently returned from a two-week trip to Paris with the French club. He had received straight 'A's in his classes for the last two grading periods and won the "Stretch for Excellence" award for being named the top biology student of the Sophomore class at Columbine High School. Sadly, he died before he could learn that he'd been selected for that honor. Daniel was also posthumously accepted for membership into the National Honor Society in September of 1999. He had applied for membership weeks before the shootings.
Daniel is described by his family as a shy, gentle soul; lovable and loving. He was close friends with his sister Christine. Daniel liked pepperoni pizza, playing video and computer games, and watching shows like The Simpsons and the X-Files. Daniel was fond of trivia and knowledge games, as well as swimming and hiking. His father had hoped that in the summer of 1999 to take Daniel on his first 14,000 mountain hike.
Daniel volunteered at the Swedish Hospital and he was preparing for Confirmation in the Catholic Church. He would have been Confirmed at St. Frances Cabrini Church two weeks after the date of his death. His class put a plaque in the teen program room in Daniel's honor. Daniel was hoping to get his driver's license in 2000. He was concerned with gun safety in America -- just two weeks before he was killed Daniel had asked his father if he knew that there were loopholes in the Brady Bill. Tom Mauser was motivated by what he interpreted as a sign for action: Daniel was shot with a gun that was purchased through one of the very loopholes he had pointed out. Tom is now an active protester of the NRA and continues to campaign for stricter gun laws in the wake of his son's tragic death.
Daniel was in the library at the time the shootings occurred just a floor below where he was. He did not think it suspicious. When substitute teacher Patti Nielson entered the library, she told everyone to hide under the tables and Mauser was one of the 56 students who listened. When Eric Harris was approaching his table, Mauser pushed a chair in front of him as a possible attempt to knock him over. Outraged, he was shot in the face by Harris while hiding under one of the tables. Mauser died under the table where he had hidden. The transcript from the 911 call shows that Harris taunted Daniel before killing him, saying "nice glasses." Daniel's funeral was held jointly with Kelly Fleming's at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church. He was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
Not long after the shootings, Daniel's family along with several other families of the shooting victims learned that the school district was planning to reopen the library where Daniel and the others had died. The plan was to make cosmetic changes such as removing the carpet, repainting, replacing bullet-riddled shelves. Upset by the notion, the Mausers along with several other parents and volunteers founded HOPE (Healing of People Everywhere) and together they convinced the district to tear out the old library and replace it. The new library is now located adjacent to the school.
- This article uses its sources from A Columbine Site