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Valeen Schnurr is one of the many injured victims of the Columbine High School Massacre that survived. She was at the library during the worst part of the massacre.

Her experience is known for being the actual person who was asked if she believed in God and got shot for defending her belief, a rumor that claimed it was Cassie Bernall and Rachel Scott's causes of death.

Massacre At Columbine High School

Valeen was in the library during the shootings. She had been sitting on a chair near a table that was close to the main entrance and a window that looked out into the hallway. At the table were seated her friends Jessica Holliday (who left the table shortly after Val's arrival), Lisa Kreutz, Diwata Perez, Lauren Townsend, and Jeanna Park. Another girl [Kelly Fleming] was seated at the table as well. Valeen had chosen to sit near, not at, the table due to the fact that she had arrived late and the table was full. While Val was reading she heard a shot and shortly after, teacher Patti Nielson came in, telling everyone to get down. Val hid moved to the table where Jessica had been and hid beneath it, along with the other girls who had been sitting there. She found herself sitting next to Lauren, who pulled her closer and told her that everything would be okay. At that time many of the students thought it was all just a senior prank.

When the shooters entered the library, all she could see was their legs. She heard them yell at Isaiah Shoels and then shoot a couple of people before one of the shooters [Dylan Klebold] moved over to her table. He shot beneath it, injuring her and Lisa Kreutz. He fired again, as fast as his gun would shoot, this time killing Lauren. Val fell out from under the table, realizing only then that her stomach and abdomen were hurt. Panicking, Val repeatedly cried out: "Oh, my God! Help me!"

There was some controversy for a while about "who said 'yes'?" - for a long while news contended Cassie Bernall was a martyr who was shot for answering 'yes' when one of the shooters asked her if she believed in God. Joshua Lapp, one of the students who was in the library but uninjured stated that the killers spoke to many students, and asked more than one if they believed in God. What their answer was didn't seem to dictate whether they got shot or not.

Attracted by Val's cries, the shooters both came over to where she was. One of the shooters, who was reloading his weapon at the time, then asked her if she believed in God. She floundered in her answer, saying no at first and then yes, trying to get the answer 'right'. He asked her 'Why?' and she said it was because it was what her family believed. Valeen then crawled back under the table where she lay down and played dead until the shooters left the library. She tried then to wake Lauren but when she couldn't, Val fled the library. She was one of the last to leave the library, of those that could.

Val suffered nine soft tissue wounds to her left arm, chest, and abdomen from shrapnel and through-and-through bullet wounds. she was released from Swedish April 27. She graduated from Columbine May 23, 1999 despite her injuries.

Trivia

  • In the 911 call, You can hear Val screaming and crying for help.
  • She was asked by Dylan if she believed in God, after he heard her screaming for him. When she said yes, Dylan remarked he didn't understand why, because "God's gay", and he walked away. This situation is often confused with the death of another student, who was actually killed by Eric.
  • She was close friends with Lauren Townsend.
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