During "A" lunch at Columbine, John Savage was deciding where he should prepare for his test, a course he was getting low grades in at the time. Ultimately he chose the library, where the worst of the massacre would occur.
At 11:19 am, he heard gunshots from the windows, but he didn't know what was really going on (he assumed, just like everybody else, it was a senior prank). Then when teacher Patti Nielson came in, she told everyone to get under the tables and John Savage was one of the many students that listened. He still didn't understand what was going on.
By the time the shooters came in the library, he could hear one of them (Eric Harris) yell he was gonna blow up the school. Savage thought he was joking and then heard the other gunman (Klebold) yell everybody wearing white hats to stand up. Savage was about to stand up but looked around at the other students hiding under the tables and decided to stay beneath it. He heard the first shot being fired (Harris pointed his gun at a desk, injuring Evan Todd) and several more, including the racist remark Klebold made towards Isaiah Shoels.
The whole time while hiding, Savage did not see the shots both gunmen pulled. Then, Harris approached his table and asked him to identify himself. Savage did as he was told and Dylan Klebold recognized him. Then he said "Dylan, what are you doing?" Klebold said "Oh, just killing people." Then John asked if he was going to kill him. Due to the loud fire alarm, Klebold didn't hear him, and the question was repeated. Klebold told Savage "No man, just get out of here." Then he told him to run, and Savage left the library as fast as he could and away from the gunmen.
He made it out of the school without being harmed by either gunman. Police would later question him once he was outside. Savage graduated in May 1999.
John Savage appeared in the documentary Zero Hour: Massacre at Columbine High School.