By Keith Coffman

DENVER, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The mother of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold prayed for him to commit suicide when she was told he was a suspect during the shooting spree at a Colorado school that killed 13 people, the woman said in a new book.

Klebold, 17, and classmate Eric Harris, 18, went on a rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, near Denver, in April 1999. They were heavily armed and took the lives of 12 students and a teacher, before turning their guns on themselves.

Sue and Tom Klebold, who have rarely commented publicly about their son, were interviewed extensively for a book released this week, "Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity."

The massacre was the most deadly mass shooting ever to occur at a U.S. high school, and it led schools across the country to adopt tighter security measures and institute lockdown drills. It generated debate over gun laws and put a spotlight on bullying and cliques in schools.

Sue Klebold told "Far From the Tree" author Andrew Solomon that police informed her during the shooting that her son was a suspect and she had a "sudden vision of what he might be doing."

"And so while every other mother in Littleton was praying that her child was safe, I had to pray that mine would die before he hurt anyone else," the book quotes her as saying.

Sue Klebold also said she feared her son would eventually be sentenced to death if he was captured and tried.

Dale Todd's son Evan was a sophomore when he was hit with a shotgun blast, leaving him among over 20 people wounded that day. Dale Todd said he was incredulous when he read Sue Klebold's comments, which Reuters emailed to him, because he found them to be "all about her and her feelings about herself."

Sue Klebold wrote a piece about her son that was published in 2009 by Oprah Winfrey's magazine "O," but she and her husband have largely avoided the media since the massacre.

In the book, Tom Klebold said that his son, Dylan, suffered from being an outcast at his school, and that might have led to his participation in the massacre.

The book also describes an arrest of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold that took place the year before they went on a rampage. In that incident, previously reported in the media, the two teenagers were caught stealing equipment from a van, but authorities released the boys to their parents' custody, instead of keeping them in jail, and put them in a diversion program.

Tom Klebold said that on the day after the arrest, he went for a walk with his son and found the boy to be angry and feeling his actions was somehow justified. "The morality of the whole thing escaped him," Tom Klebold said in the book.

"Far From the Tree" is about parents of unusual children, such as those who commit crimes or have mental illnesses, but also those who are gifted. (Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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  • Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold In Columbine HS

    Eric Harris, left, and Dylan Klebold, students involved in the killings at Columbine High School, are shown in this image made from video released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's department on Feb. 26, 2004, as they walked the hallway at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colo., wearing trenchcoats. The video was made as part of a school project at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colo.. by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. This video was made prior to the killings at Columbine High School. (AP Photo/HO)

  • Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold During Massacre

    FILE - In this April 20, 1999 file photo Eric Harris, left, and Dylan Klebold, carrying a TEC-9 semi-automatic pistol, are seen in a photo made from a security camera image in the cafeteria at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colo., during their shooting rampage. Classes are canceled Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at Columbine High School on the anniversary of the 1999 shootings. Twelve students and a teacher died in the shootings before two teenage gunmen committed suicide. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, File)

  • Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold

    Columbine gunman Dylan Klebold, left, watches as Eric Harris sets to fire a pistol in this frame grab of a video tape released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday, Oct.22, 2003. According to authorities the tape was made six weeks prior to pair's attack at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, which ended with 12 classmates and a teach dead.. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriff Dept. )

  • Eric Harris

    Columbine gunman Eric Harris is shown firing a pistol in this frame grab of a video tape released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday, Oct.22, 2003. According to authorities the tape was made six weeks prior to Harris and Dylan Klebold's attack at the Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, which 12 schoolmates and a teacher dead. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriff's Department )

  • Eric Harris

    Eric Harris, right, is shown aiming a pistol at a schoolmate in this image made from a video released on tape by the Jefferson County Sheriff's department on Feb. 26, 2004. The video was made as part of a school project at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colo.. by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. This video was made prior to the killings at Columbine High School. (AP Photo/HO)

  • Dylan Klebold

    Columbine gunman Dylan Klebold is shown firing a sawed-off shotgun in this frame grab of a video tape released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday, Oct.22, 2003. According to authorities the tape was made six weeks prior to Klebold and Eric Harris attack at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. (AP Photo/HO)

  • Dylan Klebold

    Columbine High School student Dylan Klebold, involved in the killings of 12 students and a teacher at the high school, yells into the camera in this image made from video released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's department Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004. The video was made as part of a school project at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colo.. by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. This video was made prior to the killings at Columbine High School. (AP Photo/HO)

  • Eric Harris

    Columbine High School student Eric Harris, involved in the killings of 12 students and a teacher at the high school, yells into the camera in this image made from video released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's department Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004. The video was made as part of a school project at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colo.. by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. This video was made to prior to the killings at Columbine High School. (AP Photo/HO)

  • Damage From Columbine HS Massacre

    This still frame from a video tape release on Wednesday, April 26, 2000, by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department shows a destroyed computer, left, and broken windows, right, in the library at Columbine High School after the April 20, 1999 shooting. Ten students of the twelve students killed in the shooting were killed in the library. (AP Photo/HO)

  • Evidence Tags From Columbine HS

    **FILE**This still frame from a video tape shows yellow evidence tags in the library at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., after the April 20, 1999, shooting that killed 12 students. A high school senior in Columbia, S.C., collected enough supplies to carry out a bomb attack on his school and detailed the plot in a hate-filled diary that included maps of the building and admiring notations about the Columbine killers, authorities said Sunday. (AP Photo/HO, File)

  • Damage From Columbine HS Massacre

    While plywood covers the window to the library at right, bullet holes are marked on the wall outside the library in Columbine High School during the first media tour through the school Tuesday, June 15, 1999, in the southwest Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo., since it was the scene of the worst school shooting in the history of the United States on April 20. Fourteen students and a teacher died in the shooting spree. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Evidence Tags In Columbine HS

    This still frame from a video tape release on Wednesday, April 26, 2000, shows yellow evidence tags in the library at Columbine High School after the April 20, 1999 shooting. Ten of the twelve students killed in the shooting were killed in the library. (AP Photo/HO)

  • Evidence Tags From Columbine HS

    This still frame from a video tape released on Wednesday, April 26, 2000, shows yellow evidence tags on a desk with books and a calculator in the library at Columbine High School after the April 20, 1999 shooting. Ten of the twelve students killed in the shooting were killed in the library. (AP Photo/HO)

  • Eric Harris & Dylan Kebold's Drawings

    This image released by the Jefferson County, Colo., sheriff's office Thursday, July 6, 2006 shows one of the nearly 1,000 pages of documents released by authorities Thursday from the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. The documents include essays, school work and computer files from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two suicidal killers. No further information is available about the contents of the individual documents. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sherriff)

  • Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold Documents

    This image released by the Jefferson County, Colo., sheriff's office Thursday, July 6, 2006 shows one of the nearly 1,000 pages of documents released by authorities Thursday from the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. The documents include essays, school work and computer files from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two suicidal killers. No further information is available about the contents of the individual documents. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sherriff)

  • Eric Harris & Dylan Kebold's Drawings

    This image released by the Jefferson County, Colo., sheriff's office Thursday, July 6, 2006 shows one of the nearly 1,000 pages of documents released by authorities Thursday from the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. The documents include essays, school work and computer files from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two suicidal killers. No further information is available about the contents of the individual documents. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sherriff)

  • Eric Harris & Dylan Kebold's Drawings

    This image released by the Jefferson County, Colo., sheriff's office Thursday, July 6, 2006 shows one of the nearly 1,000 pages of documents released by authorities Thursday from the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. The documents include essays, school work and computer files from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two suicidal killers. No further information is available about the contents of the individual documents. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sherriff)

  • Mark Manes

    Mark Manes, 22, is shown in these May 3, 1999, booking mug shots after he was arrested by the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff's Department on felony charges of providing a handgun to a minor in connection with the Columbine High School shooting deaths on April 20. Manes was released on bond. He admitted selling a TEC-DC9 semi-automatic pistol to Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris for $500 in January. In Nov., Manes was sentenced to six years in jail. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriff's Department)

  • Columbine HS Masacre Remembered

    FILE- This Wednesday, April 19, 2006 file photo shows a student as he arrives for classes at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on the eve of the 7th anniversary of the shooting massacre at the school. Columbine opted not to install metal detectors or turn itself into a fortress after the 1999 tragedy. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, FILE)

  • Columbine HS Sign

    A sign at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., Monday, April 19, 2004, with the words: "A Time to Remember, A Time to Hope" is the only hint that it is the eve of the fifth anniversary of the massacre of 12 students and one teacher at the school. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Columbine HS Principal Frank De Angelis

    Columbine High School Principal Frank De Angelis stands at the top of the school's logo at its main entrance in Littleton, Colo., Wednesday, April 14, 2004. De Angelis had vowed to stay on at Columbine until everyone at the school during the massacre graduated. Two years later he is still at the helm. The fifth anniversary of the massacre at the school is April 20. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Columbine HS Principal's Office

    Columbine High School Principal Frank DeAngelis keeps a wall in his office to remember the massacre at the school seven years ago, during an interview, Friday, March 31, 2006. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: The U.S. and Colorado flags fly at half-mast in honor of the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings at the Columbine Memorial Park April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Relatives and community members gather to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings at the Columbine Memorial Park April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Asher Lankow (L), 4, and Lexi Lankow, 5, of Denver walk along the outside edge of the Columbine Memorial on the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings at the Columbine Memorial Park April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: School officials talk in the front entryway to Columbine High School as the U.S. and Colorado flags fly at half-mast to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Columbine High School freshman Austin Pawelka, 14, commemorates the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings at the Columbine Memorial Park April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: A Jefferson County Schools security officer stands guard at the entrance to Columbine High School on the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: A yellow rose lies on the Columbine Memorial on the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings at the Columbine Memorial Park April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Youth pastor Julie Outzen, 23, of Denver commemorates the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings at the Columbine Memorial Park April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Relatives and community members gather to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings at the Columbine Memorial Park April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Columbine HS Massacre Remembered

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Jake Schreck, 25, of Littleton sits atop Rebel Hill reflecting on the ten-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings at the Columbine Memorial Park April 20, 2009 in Littleton, Colorado. Schreck was a freshman at the school the day of the shootings and said he could hear gunshots as he was trapped in the auditorium that day with other students. He was also friends with shooting victim Cassie Bernall's brother, Chris. Columbine was the site of the then deadliest school shooting in modern United States history when, on April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 23 others, before taking their own lives. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

  • Memorial Marks Anniversary Of Columbine Shootings Days After Va. Shootings

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Marilyn Bell, of Littleton, CO, leaves a flower each for the victims of the Columbine High School shootings in 1999, at a memorial at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens April 20, 2007 in Littleton, Colorado. Today marks the eighth anniversary of the Columbine shootings, which were surpassed in magnitude earlier in the week at Virginia Tech when Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old South Korean undergraduate student, killed 33 people including himself. (Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)

  • Memorial Marks Anniversary Of Columbine Shootings Days After Va. Shootings

    LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: A memorial for 13 victims stands around the graves of three of the Columbine High School shooting victims at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens April 20, 2007 in Littleton, Colorado. Today marks the eighth anniversary of the Columbine shootings, which were surpassed in magnitude earlier in the week at Virginia Tech when Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old South Korean undergraduate student, killed 33 people including himself. (Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)