Grieving dad still wears son’s shoes 20 years later, “shy 15-year-old” killed at Columbine

Local News

Saturday marks 20 years since one of the most shocking killing sprees in American history; The massacre at Columbine High School

One of the victims was a shy, 15-year-old boy scout, who played the piano and joined the debate team.

The boy’s father says he’ll never get over what happened.

Tom Mauser’s life is about the before and after, he syas.

Those years before Columbine was family life and normal.

His son, Daniel was one of 12 students and a teacher who were killed in the mass shooting.

“You know when you have a tragedy like this happen, it’s like an earthquake and you have those waves going out. We were there in the epicenter.”

“I do think it has defined me. It has been the key event of my life.”

Just two weeks before the massacre, Daniel had brought up the issue of loopholes in gun control.

His death and that conversation drove his father to a new mission in life.

“How could I not react to that,” he said. “How could I not respond and do something to honor him?”

Mauser has worked for two decades to strengthen gun laws and institute stricter background checks.

“I feel we still have a lot of people who are in denial, who think it wouldn’t happen to them, just like I thought it wouldn’t happen to me. Well it hasn’t and it won’t.

The work has helped him move forward. A year after Daniel’s death, the Mausers adopted a baby girl from China.

On special occasions, he wears the shoes his son wore the day he died.

“I do [feel his presence],” He said. “I feel that it gives me strength to take on anything.”

Daniel’s gentle spirit and shy grin are memorialized near the high school, where mourners still remember the senseless violence that changed the community forever.

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