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Deputy fired for Columbine statement

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LITTLETON, Colo. — Citing "unacceptable conduct," a sheriff fired a deputy accused of giving conflicting statements about the shooting of a student whose parents say was accidentally killed by an officer during the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

Relatives of slain student Daniel Rohrbough said Lt. Jim Taylor told them he saw a boy fall to the ground after apparently being shot and realized it was Rohrbough after seeing newspaper photos of him.

But in a Dec. 31 statement, Taylor said he didn't see the shooting and told the family only what he had seen on television and read in newspapers.

Taylor was fired for his actions Wednesday.

"I am extremely disappointed that false information regarding the tragedy of Columbine High School was provided to the families of the victims of Columbine by a member of my staff," said Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan. "I sincerely apologize for the unacceptable conduct of one former member of my organization."

Sullivan said radio tapes and interviews prove Taylor was not in a position to see gunfire or Rohrbough during the shooting.