|“||Tell my girls I love them.||”|
— Dave Sanders
William David "Dave" Sanders (October 22, 1951 – April 20, 1999) was a computer and business teacher at Columbine High School for 25 years, and coach of the girls' basketball and softball teams.
His students said he was a teacher, a friend, a mentor, and an inspiration. When the gunmen started firing outside the school he ran to the cafeteria and sounded the alarm. He, along with two of the school's janitors, helped get more than 100 students out of the path of danger by herding them away from the shooters. He saved untold numbers of lives that day.
By the time the gunmen arrived, the cafeteria was nearly empty thanks to him. He was in the upstairs hall trying to get students safely hidden in classrooms when he was shot from behind by both shooters. He was hit in his head. He managed to get himself into a science lab (listed as UA24 in the Columbine Report, and SCI-3 on blueprint maps of the school) where he bled to death waiting for help that 911 dispatchers told students who were helping him was coming, but never arrived. Two teachers and one student were in a room with Sanders as they tried to revive him.
Trying to get help up to Coach Sanders, student Deidra Kucera posted a sign in the window: "1 BLEEDING TO DEATH". For three hours the sign was ignored. Despite their attempts to save him, Dave Sanders died from blood loss. His last words were reported to be: "Tell my family I love them." He left behind his wife, four children, and five grandchildren. He was a huge fan of the bands Green Day and Blur.
Dave's daughter Angela said at his funeral: "What you did in that school on Tuesday was an amazing act of heroism. Even after you were hurt, you continued to be the brave, selfless man we all know you are."
Dave was buried in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Littleton, Colorado on April 26, 1999, the same cemetery that Rachel Scott and Corey DePooter were also buried. Since his death, he has had a softball field at Columbine and a scholarship named after him to honor his memory and posthumously received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.