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Columbine Basketball Star Mourned

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LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — In an all-too-familiar ritual for this community, more than 2,000 people attended the funeral Tuesday of a Columbine High School basketball star who hanged himself last week.

Greg Barnes was the fourth Columbine student or relative to die since last year's deadly shooting rampage.

``A community that is used to shock is in shock once again,'' said the Rev. Don Marxhausen of St. Philip Lutheran Church. ``A principal, a faculty, a student body has to again open up the deep hearts of themselves to find resources.''

Barnes, 17, was remembered during the 90-minute service at St. Frances Babrini Roman Catholic Parish for his kindness, generosity and infectious laugh and smile.

``He was always really kind to people he didn't know. Even though he was a star athlete, he didn't act like it,'' said Dan Opher, a senior at nearby Chatfield High School. Opher had to leave the service early because it was too painful.

Barnes saw a teacher critically wounded and lost one of his best friends in the April 20, 1999, shooting at Columbine High School. Twelve students and a teacher were killed. The student gunmen than turned the weapons on themselves.

Barnes hanged himself in his garage Thursday.

At the church, mourners passed by a tribute of flowers, photographs and Barnes' framed basketball jersey.

Sara Filipiak, a Columbine junior, said the service was both sad and hopeful. ``Every time I saw him he was smiling,'' Filipiak said.

Since the attack, the Columbine community has been beset by tragedy.

The mother of Anne-Marie Hochhalter, a student paralyzed in the shooting, walked into a pawnshop in October, asked to see a gun, loaded it and shot herself to death. And on Valentine's day, two Columbine sweethearts were shot to death in a sandwich shop.
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