Columbine Massacre remembered 17 years later; North Carolina high school offers shooting range at school

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SMITHFIELD, NC - It was 17 years ago on April 20, 1999 that two teens calmly walked into Columbine High School in Colorado and began an unthinkable rampage.

They opened fire on students and faculty and when the gunfire ended -- 12 students and one teacher were dead, another 23 were injured and the shooters had taken their own lives.

The "Columbine Massacre" is still ranked as one of the worst mass shootings in US history and remains one of the nation's deadliest school shootings.

Now in the wake of that tragedy, a high school in North Carolina has taken the unusual step of opening a shooting range inside the school!

It's true, but instead of bullets, the students shoot pellets.

The range has been developed to train ROTC students how to shoot, and they are armed with only pellet guns.

ROTC instructor Commander David Wegman of Smithfield-Selma High School said before students are armed, "they have to sign a safety pledge, get permission from home and then finally demonstrate on the range that they know how to handle one of these air rifles safely."

"You have to have the trust in others that they are handling a weapon, and they are not going to harm you and you're not going to harm them," student Timothy Jones declared.

But as we all reflect on Columbine's somber anniversary, one can only wonder if arming students with any kind of weapon is really a good idea?

"The procedures that we have in place ensure that we do the same thing, the same way, every single time," Wegman insisted.

Some think it may be time for school administrators to go back to school-- and back to the drawing board.