Born August 4, 1980
18 years old
Isaiah Shoels wanted to be a comedian, dreamed of becoming a music executive. After graduating he wanted to attend an arts college. Friends nicknamed him "Bushwick". Born with a heart defect, his parents said he was a fighter who overcame his disability and went on to play football and wrestle. He had played cornerback the previous year on the football team but his father claimed he quit "possibly because of racial intimidation". Isaiah also played keyboards and wanted to become a record producer, like his father Michael who was the president of Notorious Records and Ft. Knox Entertainment - a firm Michael started to promote black musicians in the Denver area. After graduation Isaiah had planned to attend the Denver Institute of the Arts.
Isaiah was a popular boy; Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis said his classmates would compete to work on school projects with him. "Isaiah Shoels, thank you for having such a positive impact on our school and on our family. You will be greatly missed, and I love you, my dear child," he said at Isaiah's funeral.
"He's smiling down on us," classmate and friend Nick Foss said. "I know he is."
Isaiah was studying in the library with his friends Matt Kechter
and Craig Scott when the shooters entered the room. The three boys hid under the same table, listening to the sounds of the gunmen destroying the library and shooting other people. Isaiah was a well-known athlete and someone whom the shooters had problems with before. When Dylan Klebold saw him hiding beneath the table, he called Eric Harris over. They flanked the table on either side then Klebold made a racist comment toward Isaiah, and tried to pull him out from under the table. When that failed, Harris opened fire
, killing Isaiah. Klebold then shot and killed Matt. Craig was amazingly left uninjured though he played dead, covered in the blood of his dying friends.
Isaiah died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Witness reports of the shooters' racist remarks led Isaiah's parents to later claim that the whole massacre was race-motivated, however Isaiah was the only black person killed during the shootings. In fact, no other black people were even injured during the assault.
The last of the Columbine victims to be buried, Isaiah was laid to rest in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colorado. Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke at Isaiah's funeral at the Heritage Christian Center.
Photos of Isaiah Shoels and Family:
- Parents Michael and Vonda Shoels
putting flowers on Isaiah's grave
- Isaiah Shoels Autopsy Summary
- Full autopsy report: 1
- CNN remembers Isaiah Shoels
- Denver Post Online remembers Isaiah Shoels
- Rocky Mountain News remembers Isaiah Shoels