Andre Kriegman was born on July 17th, 1982, in Köln, Germany. His parents immigrated to the United States in 1983. His family lived in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, until 1993, when they moved to New Stratford. Kriegman was on the track team, and he contributed to the school paper on an infrequent basis. He was also an active member of the science club. He had been accepted at the University of Connecticut School of Engineering. He is survived by his parents and his older brother.

Calvin Gabriel was born on February 5, 1983, in New Stratford, Connecticut. He lived his entire life in New Stratford. Gabriel was prescribed Ritalin as a third grader to correct a diagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder. He stopped taking Ritalin in his freshman year of high school. He played the sitar and the guitar in the school's six-piece band. He is survived by his parents and his younger brother and sister.

Kriegman and Gabriel met in sixth grade, and were close friends ever since. Kriegman and Gabriel's parents were on friendly terms, and approved of the friendship, which they considered healthy and mutually beneficial. Neither Kriegman's nor Gabriel's record reflect any significant interaction with the judicial system.

The only exception to this is a marijuana possession charge Gabriel incurred in the January of 1999. Being a minor at the time, Gabriel pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 6 months pre-trial probation. Gabriel did not in any way attract the attention of law enforcement during that period, and the charges were subsequently dropped per the stipulations of his plea.

As a result of his ADD, Gabriel was also the only one to receive any clinical psychiatric evaluation. There is no mention by any of his doctors of the slightest violent or sociopathic tendencies. Both Kriegman and Gabriel gave the impression of being reasonably well-adjusted, normal teenagers. They seemed to be actively preparing for life after high school.

Kriegman in particular was very active in school sports and clubs, and made an effort to maintain a high level of academic performance. His teachers did not observe any decline in his grades or the quality of his schoolwork in the weeks leading up to the event. After the incident, many students professed a feeling of unease around Kriegman. Many others admitted they were on friendly terms with him and Gabriel.

Neither Kriegman nor Gabriel was singled out for teasing. They both seemed to have a fairly large group of friends and acquaintances. Most people who knew them pointed out that they had very few close friends, and none with the level of rapport that they had with each other.