"I hope the 13 who died at Columbine High School did not die in vain, that there would not be another shooting," DeAngelis said, principal at Columbine for the last 34 years.
His wish did not come true. And, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut serves as another grim reminder.
"It hits close to home and just makes us realize how vulnerable we are as a society and it's unfortunate this continues to happen," DeAngelis said.
DeAngelis offers his support to folks in Newtown, just as he did in the school shootings that followed Columbine. The reality is these communities will never be the same. He knows from experience.
"It'll never get back to normal, that what happened today, just like what happened at Columbine High School, what happened up at Platte Canyon High School, what happened at Virginia Tech, what happened at Chardon (Ohio) last February, you have to redefine what normal is," DeAngelis said.
When he's asked what can prevent school shootings? What can save the lives of children at places like Sandy Hook or teenagers at Columbine? DeAngelis says it is not necessarily gun control or tighter school security.
"I think funds need to be spent on how do we help these people that are crying out for help," DeAngelis said.
He says America needs to focus on doing a better job of helping people with mental issues. He says it is something that haunts him about Columbine to this day.
"My question and I will take this question to my grave with me, what caused so much hatred in the hearts of the two murderers that were willing to walk into a building and kill hundreds and hundreds of kids," DeAngelis said.
DeAngelis has already been asked to travel to the East Coast to help with the grieving process at Sandy Hook Elementary. Jefferson County School officials say it is too early to tell if and when DeAngelis will go.
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)