& Conclusion of Study - 2012
When I started researching school shootings back
in 1998, Kip Kinkel was the first shooter I remember reading
about, I already began to detect some intriguing common factors
that motivated me to start a long-term study collecting more
examples. Now, after 14 years of research, the trends that have
emerged make school shootings predictable enough that further
research on my part is no longer justified.
It didn't all turn out the way I expected, but it isn't too far
School shootings can be stopped.
Individuals, society and the government can
solve the problem.
School shootings have nothing to do with
“immorality”, lack of God, or some kind of similar spiritual
failure of family or society.
shootings are not an intractable dilemma, and are actually
rooted in a few core problems. If individuals, families, and
government actors seriously address these issues the prevalence
of school shootings will be drastically reduced.
and even children, that are “normal” or mentally balanced
don’t spontaneously commit mass murder.
Every school shooter has a mental health problem that existed
prior to their attack.
Interviewees may describe the culprit as “quiet” or “normal”
but these descriptions are practically meaningless because
mental illness is often not apparent through casual
interactions, let alone what’s really going on in their family
of the school shooter kids either had psychotropic drugs in
their system during the attack, or had used them prior.
These commercially-manufactured psychotropic drugs (Prozac,
Ritalin, Paxil, Luvox, etc.) are probably triggering psychotic
behavior in already unstable individuals, and this potential
connection needs to be officially investigated immediately.
easiest way for an individual to commit mass murder is with a
laws in the United States have been steadily eliminated for
decades and no restrictions are in place to purchase
ammunition – you can buy and possess unlimited quantities of
guns and ammunition!
and ammunition are so prevalent in the U.S. that stealing one
is like taking an apple from a tree.
murder could still occur even with restrictions on gun
ownership, but without an automatic firearm there’s no
comparable way to easily kill large numbers of people.
Toxic mental environment inevitably produces toxic personal
necessity of clean air and water, a healthy physical
environment, are commonly recognized, but the need for a
healthy mental environment is even greater and is
mentally ill and mentally weak are especially vulnerable to
being harmfully influenced by images and words. For instance,
school shooters frequently believe they’re acting out their
favorite (violent) movie or first-person shooter video game.
Parent’s call this effect ‘monkey see, monkey do’.
Living in an omnipresent environment of violence (real
or fictional) massively increases the chances of violent
inability to have positive social interactions with other
people generates a downwards spiral into isolation. And
the more isolated the (potential) school shooter becomes the
more they perceive all of humanity to be a monolithic entity
that they hate (misanthropy).
America has a mental health care crisis and it’s getting
worse as care funding at the local, state and federal level is
continually being cut in the foolish belief that this saves
money. In fact, the social and economic costs of untreated
mental health problems are enormous – practically every day
there’s another news story about a crazy person killing or
attacking someone else. And mentally ill kids grow up to be
mentally ill adults.
Instability leads to interpersonal and social turmoil.
Economic instability, fear of losing a job or the loss of a
job, increases stress on all family members; fights increase,
divorces occur, and so on. These negative effects don’t stay
within the family house; they spill out to the rest of
nearly no social safety net in the United States, Americans
are just one job-loss away from losing their house, car and
everything else they need to survive.
In a harsh and punitive society that gives people no reason to
live it's inevitable that desperate people will lash out in violent and
This is a research report about school shootings
and it covers a time period from around 1997 to the present,
focusing on shooting incidents, particularly deadly ones,
carried out on school grounds both in the United States and
around the world. Of course, school violence is a continually
occurring problem in various degrees throughout the world but
shootings are consistently reported on precisely because they
are unusual and extreme events. Violence, particularly gun
violence, is almost always picked up by the mass media and
reported upon and thus school shooting incidents serve as a
useful indicator for research purposes of the more dangerous
forms of campus violence. These extreme incidents raise many
questions about society, culture and the individual immersed
within it all. What cultural factors do these incidents have in
common? What common characteristics in personal backgrounds do
the school shooters share? What motivates them to act out,
physically injuring and even killing people around them?
intent behind this research report is to discover the consistent
elements within these seemingly disparate incidents of school
violence by comparing and contrasting the people, places and
events within them. In that regard the accuracy of the reporting
for school shootings, as it is for most any other contentious
and emotionally charged event, is both unreliable and
inconsistent. However, through the construction of a composite
consisting of multiple news sources it is possible to get the
key facts pinned down to a reasonable degree of accuracy. I have
not been able to capture every single incident that fits the
main criteria but I have made an effort to collect as many as
possible within the limits of the reporting that reaches the
world through the Internet and before the event is collectively
forgotten, because with the exception of Columbine incident,
most all of these school shootings drop out of the range of
public awareness as soon as the reporting stops. So, reaching
rational and objective conclusions concerning the causes and
solutions to school shootings is especially difficult without a
substantive chronology of the key people and events related to
school shootings, hence this report you are reading now.
Every psychologist, every news anchor or opinion
columnists, and every politician has an idea of
what must be done to stop school shootings. Yet few of these ideas
have any element of common sense and even fewer
offer any strategic solutions. In a nation nearly
devoid of critical thought viable
solutions manifest as banning trench coats,
backpacks, black clothing and expelling students
for nail clipper weapons (Pensacola,
Florida June 1999) or jailing 7th
graders that write Halloween essays with violent
overtones (Ponder, Texas October 1999). In this
reactionary environment panic, paranoia and
irrational thought pour down like monsoon season.
Much of these
reactionary plans are quickly implemented because
legal issues within public schools have always
been fraught with uncertainty, indecision and a
liberal dose of authoritarianism. Locker
searches, clothing codes, and exorcising
everything questionable or objectionable pretty
much defines the legal standards and acceptable
limits on school powers of authority and
supported by Supreme Court decisions. But what
may seem surprising is that despite the already
authoritarian atmosphere in public schools, the
cameras and the security guards, shootings and
violent actions continue.
Department of Education reports that
during 1997, nearly 6,300 students were
expelled from American schools for
carrying firearms. Fifty-eight percent of
the expulsions were for handguns and 17%
for shotguns. As evidenced in many of the
recent reports about school violence,
many students have chosen to express
their anger in destructive ways. Renate
Caine, former educational psychology
professor at California State University
at San Bernardino, states that when
students feel threatened, their brains
shift into primitive, instinctive states
for defending themselves (Easterbrook,
way some schools have responded to the
threats for greater violence has been
tighter security. A few of the violence
prevention measures include spiked
fences, motorized gates, bulletproof
metal-covered doors, metal detectors, and
security guards who search student desks
and lockers. Some complain that this only
makes prisons out of the schools. Other
schools have hired more counselors and
violence prevention coordinators.¹
Public schools can be very
violent places, much in the same way that prisons are violent
and dangerous places despite the omnipresence of authority.
Intimidation, extortion, sexual harassment, assaults, drugs, and
guns are just the tip of the iceberg for unapproved
extracurricular activities that happen on campus every day
across the country. This is not unusual, even the teachers get
implicated in it. Parents must be totally oblivious of this
because every time this hits the news they act like it was
totally unknown to them before! Are they just covering their
glaring inadequacies with ignorance or are they really that
tuned-out? These must be the same parents that are unaware of
their cute kid building pipe bombs in the garage or using the
backyard as a firing range.
Part of the problem
arises from the fallacy that since kids do these
things, it must be inherently less harmful, less
serious, its just play. But now
that deadly force is involved, whoa its
a different story. I guess assault and robbery is
ok every now and then but a shooting isnt,
or perhaps its just because the news media
has picked up on it in a thinly veiled effort to
extenuate a gun control agenda? The last one
seems the most likely because gang violence using
guns, knives and clubs is so common in urban
areas that it doesnt even illicit news
coverage, but it is certainly no less deadly.
drugs no preventative effort is being made to
help students with psychological and emotional
needs before they blow up into crisis and the
teens see no alternative but violence to solve
their accumulating internal and external problems.
Unless you include metal detectors and ID cards
as preventative solution, and if thats the
case you obviously havent learned anything
on the issue yet. The United States has no public
social services available to middle class
families and only limited support for the poor.
Parents rely increasingly on the public schools
as educator, doctor and caregiver. Paradoxically
school funding and training are woefully
inadequate to deal with these additional roles,
hell they have enough problems just trying to
teach! Declining funds per student has also
forced many schools to integrate challenged
kids i.e. the mentally retarded and even the
autistic in with regular classes compounding the
tasks of a traditional teacher but saving dollars
for the school district. The school nurse is not
a psychologist; likewise few parents can afford
to have their child psychologically evaluated,
even if they have the foresight to identify
problems early on. Consequently, to say that
Ritalin and other psychotropic medications are
over-prescribed would be a serious understatement.
Parents are a big
problem in this issue; some dont care what
their kids do and the rest are just oblivious.
Parents are all too often just self-centered
babies that never grew up themselves. They dont
want to discipline the brats or even appear as
the bad-guy by saying NO or denying
them toys or food or not doing homework for them.
Maybe it shouldnt be too surprising that
these 1960s losers turn to drugs as the
panacea for every childhood problem. The kids
depressed, theyre too excited, theyre
not paying attention, theyre not following
teachers instructions, they dont look right
or act right, easy just dope em up! And
then were supposed to act surprised when
they start shooting up the schools. Every school
shooting has had one or more suspects mentally
imbalanced due to psychotropic medications at the
time of the shooting. The Jonesboro kids were on
Ritalin, Kip Kinkel was fried too, and Eric
Harris had Luvox (a powerful drug often
prescribed for obsessive-compulsive disorder) in
his brain, according to the autopsy. Harris,
after lying on his Marine Corps application (wanted
to fight in Kosovo) was rejected April 15 when
the Marine recruiter interviewed his family and
found out about the prescription drugs.
This was a significant blow to his self-image and
probably did more than anything else to push him
over the edge and into a shooting rampage shortly
Between 1990 and
1995, use of methylphenidate more than doubled,
according to a 1996 study at Johns Hopkins
University. By mid-1995, it found, nearly 3
percent of American children and youths, or about
2.5 million, were taking it. And that number
appears to have kept rising, so that by now, it
may have hit 3.75 million, according to a rough
estimate by Dr. Lawrence Diller, author of "Running
on Ritalin" (Bantam, 1998).
"I think they
give out more psychotropic medication than a
psych hospital did when I did psych," she
said. "Not just Ritalin but heavy-duty
From NYT Jan. 28, 1999
"We do know,
for example, that the 13-year-old in Jonesboro
was being treated. Apparently they were saying he
had been sexually abused as a child. They were
saying he was now a sexual abuser. He had a
hyperactivity type label put on him as well -- or
'attention deficit disorder.' So we had several
different things working with him. There is no
chance under the sun, moon, or stars that this
kid was not on drugs," described Clarke.
Many of these kids
have been on prescription medications from the
day they first enter school and even earlier,
literally their entire lives. Not only that but
the schools and doctors alter and increases the
drugs as they get older and more tolerant
switching from Ritalin to Prozac to Luvox etc.
Incidentally Prozac is not approved by the FDA
for pediatric use but evidently that hasn't
stopped any prescriptions. The use of these drugs
is a relatively recent event, especially on the
widespread almost universal scale that has been
reached. The increase in suburban and rural
school violence is directly related to the
increase in psychotropic drug prescriptions to
students in the public schools over the past 10
years. And tragically as long as the news media
and many analysts focus on the side effects and
accessories like guns or Goth clothing
nothing will be done about it. The use of these
dangerous chemicals will increase as will school
shootings. No one really knows what long term
effects these drugs will have on brain chemistry
and future adult behavior. The kids going
through school now are the first generation fried
on State administered mind altering chemicals and
as they reach adolescence and the emotional and
physical difficulties associated with it,
unanticipated and unpleasant reactions are
inevitable. Many things have been used as safe
and effective but after several years they find
out the long term costs of such chemicals;
dioxins, DDT, asbestos the list is endless. And
if that wasnt bad enough the behavioral
symptoms these drugs are supposed to cure are so
vague that nearly any kid can qualify, its
largely up to parental approval. Lazy parents
have a troublesome kid (and what kid isnt
at times?), the school recommends this wonder
drug, the parents say why not and
little Johnny gets his fix from the school nurse
every day until he graduates. Any chemical that
alters behavior will have have after-effects that
will magnify mental imbalances - even after the
prescription is discontinued. These reactions are
difficult to predict but the fluctuations from
extreme emotional peaks to troughs can be
magnified by sudden and significant personal
events like the Marine's rejection of Harris.
These extreme points are when violent outbreaks
are most likely to occur.
Too many people who
should no better fall into the trap of believing
oh its the media, violent culture, TV and
video games and guns that drive these perfectly
sane, normal happy kids to do bad things.
Thats total bullshit, uh I mean specious
reasoning because many more children play ultra-violent
video games or watch R rated movies and even use
guns but they dont shoot up schools
or kill their parents. These factors certainly
may contribute to violence but they are not sole
causes. A genuine cause is the fact they are so
fried and parentally unguided from day one that
they dont know what the hell theyre
doing and its not even theyre fault because
the people who should be looking out for them are
lazy and want a quick easy out so they just dope
'em up and then wonder what went wrong later..
A great deal has
been written about all of these [school shooting]
cases. There have, however, been no indications
that all of these children watched the same TV
programs or listened to the same music. Nor has
it been established that they all used illegal
drugs, suffered from alcohol abuse or had common
difficulties with their families or peers. They
did not share identical home lives, dress alike
or participate in similar extracurricular
activities. But all of the above were labeled as
suffering from a mental illness and were being
treated with psychotropic drugs that for years
have been known to cause serious adverse effects
when given to children.
Magazine June 28, 1999.
Students are in a
crucible 24/7, under stress academically to get
good grades and enormous social pressures,
especially the ones that are ostracized or
unpopular. Top that off with the usual litany of
biological stresses then mix in a cornucopia of
drugs to their brain and what do you get? Maybe
now we're beginning to see the long-term
consequences of a young life hooked up to a black
rainbow of behavior altering drugs.
But weve shed
enough tears for little Johnny, turns out hes
actually one sick case. Any psychologist will
tell you that about the only sure sign of a
future serial killer / psychotic is when they
torture animals. Many of these cases do exactly
that; anyone that tortures animals is about the
lowest form of life I can think of, and
from what Ive found on the biographies of
these school shooters that seems a pretty
accurate description. If they hadnt killed
a few classmates they would be on death row in 10
or 20 years anyway.
Little Johnny was
not a nice kid despite what his parents may say
of him; and this is clearly borne out by
classmate testimonials, psychological evaluations
and court proceedings.
Conklin, a junior who took the same school bus
with Kinkel, said after the shooting, "He
said on the bus that he was mad and he was going
to do something stupid. He's a mean kid. He'd
said some horrible things to me before."
Several students said Kinkel had been upset over
teasing from older students, and that he had a
temper and a troubled past. The police said that
the boy had once been questioned by officers in a
neighboring county for throwing rocks at cars
from a freeway overpass."
Not to mention that he was caught with a stolen
pistol in his locker or that he bragged about
Lucas and Mills [his
friends] said Wurst had a troubled home life.
They said he had recently argued with his parents
over his poor grades.
From the trial of
the Pearl High School shooting:
his closing arguments, Assistant District
Attorney Tim Jones described Woodham as "mean"
and "hateful." CNN
also read portions of a manuscript, ostensibly
written by the Woodham youth and labeled a
manifesto by prosecutors, that described the
gruesome torture of his dog, Sparkle, by Woodham
and an accomplice. Eklund said he believed that
the accomplice was Boyette. Last April, according
to the document, the two teen-agers repeatedly
beat the dog with a club, wrapped it in garbage
bags, torched it with a lighter and flammable
fluid, listened to it whimper and tossed it in a
Oct. 15, 1997 NYT
And from Paducah
said, "He acted just like he had been caught
with some minor offense." ...He [the
Principal] said the teen-ager calmly inserted
earplugs, then drew the pistol from a backpack
and opened fire.
From the AP
heros of Columbine:
In February they
completed a "diversion program" for
first-time juvenile offenders, after their arrest
for breaking into a van and stealing electronic
equipment, the Jefferson County District Attorney
said. April 22, 1999 NYT
Kid's say the
belief is that if I say something, it goes. I am
the law. If you don't like it, you die. If I
don't like you or I don't like what you want me
to do, you die."
He added, "Dead people can't do many things,
like argue." And "Don't let me catch
you making fun of someone just because they are a
May 1, 1999 NYT
'Everyone that hates me, everyone that I don't
like, is going to die,' " recalled Dustin
Campbell, also 13, who considered himself a
"sometimes friend" of Mitchell.
NYT March 26, 1998.
kind of had a natural high, pulling the trigger,
like it was some kind of game to him, like he was
having a good time." ABC
One student who said
he took a class with the suspect said he was
disruptive, often forcing the teacher to repeat
instructions. Another student, Chris Dunn, said
he had seen guns at the students home but
never heard him mention plans to shoot anyone at
school. He did notice the boys grades had
been falling. "He wasnt even trying
anymore, which I was kind of concerned about,"
MSNBC but credited to AP & Reuters
Alienation is not
the sole cause either, many of these students use
their separateness and alienation as a badge of
honor. By wearing strange clothing and saying
weird things they gain a solidarity amongst their
clique and delineate themselves from the rest of
the school, its as simple as we are
better than they all are. "They
were just a little weird," said Dara
Ferguson, a 17-year-old junior and a cheerleader.
"They wanted to be different." As was
said of the Columbine High teens."
What we have here is
a common theme of revenge against school,
authority figures, parents, jocks and basically
anyone that utters something the shooter doesnt
like. Just go back and read what Eric Harris
wrote or Kip Kinkel. These teens have a stunted
mentality that has been debased to the point
where nothing else matters except what "I"
want, I should have absolutely everything I
want right now and anyone that says otherwise or
gets in my way I kill'. Are these teens
nihilistic revenge seekers without remorse or
awareness of good and evil? Or just schizoid,
pharmacological basket cases waiting like time
bombs to go off when sufficient provocation
coincides with their drug induced emotional
How does someone
reach that point, a level of total selfishness
and self-interest where they care nothing about
other people, society, church or country? It
certainly starts with their parents, the original
role models for ethics and morality. But everyone
is influenced by collective social standards and
expectations too. If you think about it America
doesnt really have too many expectations as
far as civic duties go, no compulsory military
service, no compulsory community service no
compulsory anything except paying taxes and doing
time from K-12. You dont have to believe in
a specific State religion, the Queens not
going to give you a morality lecture, you dont
have to be part of the official Party for
promotions, its an environment totally
devoid of values like an undefined field without
beginning or end, future or past, purpose or
reason; welcome to America. All the traditional
institutions of authority from Nixons White
House to Janet Renos Justice Department to
Jim and Tammy Bakers Church have been
discredited and Im sure you can think of
many more examples. The things that used to have
value and significance no longer do, today little
if anything has value besides the basics or
survival like money, food, friends, clothing, or
housing. Teens just like adults realize this and
they realize the nature of the social order they
live in. Adults have certain faculties and common
sense that adolescents and juveniles just have
not developed yet; they react to the same
situation in less predictable and less mature
ways. As they float in the sea of nothingness
that is everyday American life they react in ways
that are dangerous and foolish to themselves and
others. They lose fear of authority because
everywhere they look its either hollow or
has been discredited. The public school teacher
isnt going to do anything to stop them, the
Principal can only give them detention or perhaps
suspension which is almost a gift to some kids.
The Parents dont care or dont know
what the kid does thats the schools
responsibility , the police at worst send
them to juvenile hall for a night and usually
just release em back to Mommy and Daddy for
punishment (yeah right). A significant portion of
growing up is learning that actions have
consequences, but in this type of an environment
what are kids really learning? Knowing nothing
but ineffectual and inept authority they will say
I can do whatever I want, they cant
stop me, they cant hurt me.
important factors contributing to school
shootings and other deadly violence often
large schools have more problems
than small one due to the alienation
factor and because of the greater
personal distance between faculty
drugs (like Ritalin) factor into
most of the junior and senior
high school cases but medical
records are notoriously difficult
to obtain to link all of them one
way or the other.
school shooters nearly always
have an inability to grasp the
gravity of their drastic actions,
that of their own situation or
the repercussions that follow.
games and a 'violent culture'
(lack of God and religion)
of security (metal detectors,
security guards etc.)
The guns in these cases are almost always
stolen anyway. The schools are
increasingly heavily guarded but no
connection can be found that this
decreases violence; on the contrary it
increases the sense of alienation and
oppression which actually increases
school violence. And finally if video
games and a 'violent culture' are really
to blame then someone has to answer why
the vast majority of kids that are
immersed in this don't act out.
It used to be
reasoning would never even progress that far
because of childhood discipline; enforcement of
the rules and boundaries of conduct would keep
unruly kids from crossing the line. And even if
that didnt work guilt was the next speed
bump. Kids felt remorse when they stole or broke
the rules because it was a sin or it
discredited the family or something along those
lines. Guilt just like Church no longer works to
force kids to do the right thing,
largely because both the parents and the kids dont
really know what that right thing is
THE EVENT MATRIX
Dates of school shootings listed in this report
January 13, 2004
January 15, 2002
January 16, 2002
February 23, 2006
March 22, 2005
April 14, 2003
April 20, 1999
April 24, 2003
May 19, 1998
May 20-21, 1998
May 20, 1999
August 30, 2006
October 22, 2002
October 29, 2002
September 13, 2006
September 24, 2003
September 27, 2006
September 29, 2006
November 8, 2005
December 1, 1997
When does the
These are all
the start times for the school shootings I’ve been tracking.
In some cases I don’t have a time recorded, so those cases
are not included.
these dates are sorted by season we can see that 9 out of 22 cases occurred in the spring around the end of the school year
(March to May), while 13 out of 22 cases occurred during the
first five months of the calendar year (January to May).
Out of 14
instances 7 occurred roughly between 11 and 1 pm. The time
to be extra vigilant against school shootings is around the
noon lunch hour.
The New Cultural Symbol
School shootings have become so common that these events have
achieved a level of cultural symbolism all their own. And it
isn’t very surprising that they do continue to occur since the
source of the problem has not gone away – a society that
generates large scale economic redundancy as well as personal
isolation and alienation amidst an artificial and extremely
hostile environment towards mental health. All of this is
occurring amidst a mainstream culture that has its language and
symbols defined by a commercial mass-media that perpetuates
false expectations to motivate rampant consumerism. Fear,
insecurity, and inadequacy are powerful marketing forces that
have unintended psychological consequences on the unsuspecting
The homogenization of culture means that it doesn’t matter
whether the school shooting occurs in Canada, Australia or the
United States because it is the same mental-cultural environment
with similar symbols and expectations being perpetuated by the
same profit-motivated commercial forces.
The Revenge Motivation
Revenge seems to be a common thread that runs through all of
these events. School shootings are primarily acts of revenge.
Revenge is rooted in a sense of real or perceived injustice
towards the perpetrator of the shooting and injustice is the
feeling that ‘I should have something that I don’t'. Many school
shootings are fomented by a desire for revenge against society
and a simmering anger over being denied an entitlement such as
respect or personal recognition.
Extensive research has shown that the teenage brain is not
nearly as developed as an adult brain and because of this
emotion, reason, and a proper sense of self and others are often
in an acute state of imbalance. A sense of personal injustice to
a teenager may stem from what an adult would consider to be a
minor or inconsequential event, yet to a teenager this situation
could be of extreme significance. Similarly, the way teenagers
respond to violence is also of notable difference to the way
adults respond to it. Put these two things together and mix them
with the ever present general state of confusion and angst as
the young person struggles to construct and define their sense
of personal identity, and a very volatile cocktail is formed.
Teenagers are more selfish than adults because they use a
different part of their brain to make decisions compared to
adults, new research suggests.
The work has implications for the types of responsibility
given to adolescents, Blakemore says: “Teenager’s brains are a
work in progress and profoundly different from adults. If
you’re making decisions about how to treat teenagers in terms
of the law, you need to take this new research into account.”
The psychological motivation for acting out in a violent way,
such as through a shooting at school, is rooted in more than
just the struggle to form an identity amidst a hostile culture
of commercialized consumerism and social atomization. The reason
it requires more is because even when these young people achieve
a sense of acceptance and belonging in a clique it’s still not
enough to stop them, as in the Montreal case in September 2006.
If they already have a group to belong to and a semblance of
unique personal identity then does this new separate identity
exaggerate their opposition mentality and drive them to attack a
society seen as hostile towards them? Or is it all just a
selfish and desperate attempt to sate a bruised ego by gaining
attention and personal recognition even if they have to die to
get it? Or maybe they are just so apathetic about existence and
future prospects that they lack interest and concern for life in
general and those around them. Lacking any sense of continuity
and historical context, cut adrift and alienated, this seems a
All of the teenage school shooters have been deeply influenced
by mass media, usually in the form of video games and movies –
and both media forms tend to be very vivid, intense and
increasingly photo-realistic. As the artificial media
increasingly comes to define the public’s sense of natural
reality the negative consequences of this will only become more
apparent and deadly. Teenagers growing up in the late 20th
century and today in the 21st are immersed in an extremely
hostile environment for the mind. This mental environment is
especially hazardous for the young mind that is not fully
developed and also lacking in the experience needed for balance
and proportional decision-making. 16.09.06
Why adolescents put themselves first, New
Scientist, September 8, 2006.
Two categories of school
shootings: Class A / Class B
At this point I think it is important to distinguish between two
categories of school shootings. The first class of school
shootings are the ones perpetrated by students at their own
school and against other students or faculty. I’m going to call
these events ‘Class A’ school shootings. Class A events are
the primary focus of research in this ongoing report.
The second category are the school shootings done by outsiders
(non-students or faculty) who come to a school ground, for
various reasons, with the intent of perpetrate a crime. I’m
going to call these ‘Class B’. In the future if these events
become too numerous I may have to remove them from the report,
or put them in a separate location.
interviews of students and faculty regularly express stunned
surprise that a shooting occurred at their school with typical
statements like ‘we thought it was a joke’ or, ‘it didn’t seem
real’. Yet as the reader can see here school shooting events cut
across most all social boundaries transcending race, class,
religion and age, and have occurred across the globe from
Australia to Finland. A student shooting can occur at
your school - don’t expect that it won’t and don’t wait for it
Although Class A
school shootings have many elements in common several critical
factors significantly increase the likelihood of a violent
outburst at school. After studying
numerous examples of these events I, Freydis,
have developed these ten primary risk
factors useful in identifying a potential school shooter:
2. Age 14-20
3. Troubled Home
4. Mental Health
6. Bullied by
7. Poor Academic
8. Social Fringe/
Rejected by Peers
What’s going on here and what do we do about it?!
The past month has had the most school shootings
for as long as I’ve been tracking them. Clearly something in the
effort to stop them is not working. Even though every school
administrator has to be aware of the chances of a school
shooting or similar violent attack occurring on their school
grounds, these events continue to happen with increasing
Many schools have enacted ‘gun free zones’ on,
and around, campus but signs and rules are not going to stop
anyone determined to use a gun in a school. It’s quite possible
that these kinds of superficial responses to school violence
actually make things worse because they just create a false
sense of security. The ‘drug free zones’ around schools don’t
really stop drug dealing but they do give judges the capacity to
grant more severe penalties when the case goes to court. Yet a
legal penalty is useless against a gunman that kills himself, or
is killed, in the attack. Similarly, security cameras when and
if they are in the right position to record events, are great
for just that but they can’t stop any crime. Security cameras
are only useful in prosecuting the crime after it has occurred.
If an effort isn’t delivering results it usually
means it’s time to start doing something different. For
instance, what if the teachers carried a firearm and were
trained in how to use it? Other methods of self-defense
desperately need to be explored and implemented. Personal
self-defense classes should be offered in every school for all
the students, teachers and administrators. Some kind of mental
and physical training is definitely needed here so teachers and
students can fight back, or at least increase their chances of
surviving a school shooting or other violent event by knowing
how to react. It’s especially tragic to see students in a class
of questionable life-utility totally helpless when attacked and
even murdered, when they could have been taking a self-defense course
that would have given them the right frame of mind to deal with
a violent attack while giving them a useful skill for the
rest of their lives. Now that's a
novel notion for a modern school.
Education Methods Deserve Enormous Blame For School Violence
I know this is a
stunning news flash for most of you (that's sarcasm) but women
and men are not the same and they aren’t interchangeable units -
the have different ways of learning that are particularly
pronounced at young ages. You can’t just toss out some books and
lecture for eight hours a day and not expect the boys to go
crazy from boredom.
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is just a slightly exaggerated
symptom of normal male behavior. When an increasingly large
percentage of the boys have to be drugged-up just to get them to
sit through an average school day without causing disruptions
then it should be obvious to even a half-wit that something is
not right with that educational equation. Boys cannot be
expected to sit in an uncomfortable chair for eight hours every
school day and listen to droning lectures from teachers without
reacting in a negative fashion. Mix in drugs to keep them sedated, violent
pop-cultural imagery, plus chronic social pressures, and it’s no
surprise that kids like Pekka-Eric in Finland flip out lusting for
revolution in the classroom.
The girls aren’t
getting much out of contemporary education methods either but
crudely speaking women can be programmed, read this book
and listen to this lecture then take this test, but men have
to be trained, show then do then test. Yet it’s just so
much cheaper and quicker to teach the female way than it is to
do it the male way because the school system can buy a few books
and hire some hack to talk to the kids all day and they don’t
have to do any of the necessary but slightly more expensive
hands-on, out of the classroom type experience-based education.
Consequently school becomes a prison sentence for the boys who
just get increasingly angry and agitated as it goes on and a
gossip session for the girls waiting for the bell to ring.
Psychology of School Shootings
Every Class A school
shooting is basically about two things: power and revenge – the
gun grants power to those that feel powerless, while pulling the
trigger on someone confers revenge.
When kids suffer
abuse at home from parents and siblings, then they go to school
and suffer bullying from peers and an endless series of dictates
from teachers, they begin to feel trapped because no matter
where they are they can’t avoid abuse. And when they see that
the authority at home is part of the problem and authority at
school is either unconcerned or inept at helping them they
gradually realize that authority is fundamentally hypocritical
since it is not based on benevolent guidance as officially
stated but is instead is based on controlling and exploiting the
less powerful. Consequently these kids begin to perceive the
world as the ‘strong’ towering over and abusing the ‘weak’.
Feeling trapped and
powerless they naturally search for a way out. The easiest and
most effective way to acquire power is to get a gun. Kids easily
believe that using a gun is an effective method for resolving
their problems because every movie and television show they
watch depicts the world through this foolish one-dimensional
lens of power expression and problem resolution via deadly
violence. And these kids believe that it’s acceptable to act-out
their drama as a school shooting because that’s what other
students have done before.
This is the
psychological basis for a school shooting. The only piece
remaining is a sufficient triggering event to push them over the
Same Violence, Different Weapon
The British government has announced plans to search every
student for weapons in order to stop a knife-violence
Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, will put the battle against
illegal weapons at the top of her agenda when she unveils her
Tackling Violence Action Plan tomorrow. The blueprint for
tackling knife-related violence will include a radical move to
give police hundreds of metal detectors to catch young people
carrying hidden weapons in schools, clubs and pubs.
It has now emerged that the number of
people sentenced for having an article with a blade or point on
school premises has risen from just 12 in 1996 to 45 in 2005 –
peaking at 106 in 2004. From:
Body search plan to fight knife crime in schools, by
Brian Brady, The Independent, February 17, 2008.
So instead of making any attempt to find out why kids are
acting out in violent ways, or funding any program to prevent
violence in the first place, the British government, already
having banned pointy objects with obvious success (that's
sarcasm), is going to buy thousands of metal detectors and hire
more police instead! Well, I'm sure this plan will have just as
much effectiveness at stopping violence with knives as it has
been at stopping violence with guns, and every other weapon,
MAJOR SCHOOL SHOOTING
Oikos University, April 2, 2012 – Class
One L. Goh, age 43
Where: Oikos University Oakland California, a small Christian
school founded in 2004 by a Presbyterian minister from Korea
that specializes in nursing and Christian ministry,
particularly for immigrants, with less than 100 students
When: Monday April 2, 2012 at about 10:30 AM
Weapon: one .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and four loaded
clips of ammunition
Killed: Katleen Ping (24), Judith
O. Seymour (53), Lydia H Sim (21), Sonam Choedon (33), Grace Kim
(23), Doris Chibuko (40), Tshering Rinzing Bhutia (38)
Injured: Dawinder Kaur (19),
Ahmad Javid Sayeed and Grace Kirika
Event & Background
A naturalized US citizen, Goh’s personal life had
become increasingly troubled recently after moving from Virginia
to the Oakland area while divorcing his wife and leaving his
12-year old daughter. He experienced several tragic deaths in
his family and struggled with substantial debts, he reportedly
owed over $23,000 to the IRS and more to banks and apartment
owners, but he had no previous criminal record. After leaving
Oikos University Goh purchased a handgun in February, then later
went back to his school, held a
female administrator hostage and forced her into a classroom
were he threatened to kill everyone in the
room, according to witnesses. After shooting several students
pandemonium ensued and Goh reportedly
fled in a stolen car; he was subsequently apprehended in a
nearby grocery store.
One Goh was a nursing student at Oikos but he
wasn't expelled, rather he left on his own in November 2011
claiming that other students teased him over his English
language skills, while his father told reporters that his son
witnessed other students cheating on a test and told the
professor but was ignored. Others say that Goh’s English was
fine and he had no reason to be criticized over it. The real
reason appears to be that Goh couldn’t get a refund on his
$6,000 in tuition and was trying to make excuses to justify his
This case is a textbook example of a middle-aged
revenge-seeker lashing out at the perceived source of their
troubles after breaking under social and economic pressures,
unable to achieve the things advertised to them, or that they
believed they should gain in their own minds. The Oikos
University shooting is very similar to
Robert Flores Jr. (41) at the University of Arizona School
of Nursing, and
Peter Odighizuma (43) at the Appalachian School of Law.
Chardon High School, February 27, 2012 – Class
Charged: T.J. Lane, age 17
Where: Cafeteria at Chardon High School
When: Monday at about 7:30 AM, February 27, 2012
Weapons: one .22 caliber pistol (ten shots fired), one knife
Killed: Demetrius Hewlin (17), Russell Kling Jr. (17), Daniel
Injured: Nickolas Walczak (16), Joy Rickers (18)
T.J. Lane is reported to have brought a pistol and a knife to
school, and while waiting for a bus to transfer him to Lake
Academy, fired ten rounds into a group sitting at a cafeteria
table early Monday morning. Apparently, after he ran out of
ammunition, Lane was restrained by an assistant coach at
the High School.
Chardon High School has about 1,100 students and Chardon Ohio is
described as an affluent, semi-rural town in suburban Cleveland
with a population of about 5,000. Although Chardon High was
Lane’s former school, at the time of the incident he was waiting
in the cafeteria to catch a bus to the Lake Academy, a
specialized school for kids with troubled academic (and probably
personal) backgrounds and a student body of only 55. Lane is
reported to have gone from failing in his grades to getting
straight A’s after transferring to Lake Academy.
true motive is unclear, but reports indicate that one of the
students shot was dating Lane's former girlfriend.
Although T.J. Lane appeared to be a typical teenager to adults
who knew him casually, and he wasn’t an outsider, loner, or
friendless, he did not have a stable home life and was living
with grandparents. Lane's father had multiple arrests for
domestic abuse and attacks on women.  Guns were numerous and
easily accessible for Lane; the pistol he used came from his
uncle. In fact, the FBI found two dozen legally-owned weapons
in Lane's relatives' homes. 
It’s seems likely that this shooting was not extensively
planned, but was rather an impulsive action fueled by a violent
and unstable family life, and made possible by easy access to
guns and the ammunition to go with them.
Report: TJ Lane, alleged school shooter, grew up with family
violence, CBS News, February 28, 2012
Ohio school shooting suspect "not well", CBS News,
February 29, 2012
Tasso da Silveira school in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil, April 17, 2011 – Class A Event
Who: Wellington de Oliveira, 23 (or 24,
according to the New York Times) – Class A Event
Where: Tasso da Silveira school in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, with about
When: Thursday April 17, 2011 between 8:15 and 8:30am
Weapons: .32-caliber handgun and .38-caliber revolver
Killed and Injured: Ten girls and two boys aged 12-14, as well
as the shooter, while 12 other children and teenagers were
injured and hospitalized
Oliveira was well-dressed when he entered his former school in a
working class neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro on April 7, 2011
and targeted mostly girls, firing 66 rounds, often at
point-blank range and to the head. After being injured by a
police bullet, he shot himself, concluding the worst school
massacre in Brazil's history.
Despite the reputation for a culture of violence, school
shootings are reportedly rare, if not unheard of in Brazil. In
the aftermath of the attack, no one has come to identify and
claim de Oliveira's body.  The shooter, who had no criminal
record, mentions in notes that he was alone, and he requested
that his house, which was reportedly under police surveillance
after vandals defaced it, be turned into an animal shelter
"because the animals are being very
despised and need much more protection and care than human
beings." The planned attack seems to have been a
statement against bullying he suffered while at the school years
earlier; Wellington used a video to claim it was part of a
struggle against 'cruel, cowardly people.' However, Wellington’s
mental state was probably unstable, judging from reports like
Oliveira left a rambling and mostly
incoherent letter at the scene indicating he wanted to kill
himself and that he had the AIDS virus. He also wrote that he
wanted to be buried in a white sheet he had left in a bag at the
school. "The impure cannot touch me without gloves," Oliveira
Oliveira was a
Jehovah's Witness, like his adoptive parents and their five
other children, writing:
possible I want to be buried next to my mother. A follower of
God must visit my grave at least once. He must pray before my
grave and ask God to forgive me for what I have done," read the
letter, which was posted on the Globo television network's
Wellington de Oliveira wanted revenge and was probably desperate
for recognition; school-age bullying incidents may have simply
been something locked in his mind that he fixated upon. Children
in school, being young and with large numbers in a crowded
space, make for easy targets and big headlines.
In Brazil, public arguments in the media’s spotlight have been
entirely focused on legally restricting gun possession in the
wake of the shooting.
Arrests made in connection with Brazil school shooting, CNN,
April 11, 2011.
Brazilian gunman executes 12 kids at his former school, AP
via Today Online (Singapore), April 9, 2011.
12 kids die as gunman stalks halls of former school, AP via
Google news, April 7, 2011
Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn
Michigan, April 10, 2009 – Class A Event
Who: Anthony Powell (28) of Detroit shot and
killed Asia McGowan (20) of Ecorse Michigan, and then
immediately committed suicide with his shotgun.
Room F-111 in the MacKenzie
Fine Arts Building, Henry Ford Community College,
a 17,000-student commuter school in Dearborn
When: Between 12:30pm and 1pm on Friday April
Anthony Powell walked into Room F-111 and shot
Asia McGowan, then turned the gun on himself.
Powell had a long history of depression and mental illness. His
mother stated that she considered him a suicide risk, but not a
potential murderer. He had few friends and difficulty with basic
face-to-face social interactions but was prolific in his online
communications where he posted misogynistic profanity-laced
rants on YouTube railing against black women for their supposed
immoral behavior and use of abortion, hatred for atheists, and
ridicule of evolution.  Like many school shooters Anthony
exhibited a very toxic personality and had numerous online
Powell’s mother stated that Anthony was deeply
religious and that he had
worked at a variety of jobs, including at
restaurants and a grocery store. Further, the family didn’t keep
guns in their house and didn’t know where Anthony got his
Reportedly Asia McGowan, an
actress and dancer, was not romantically involved
with Powell, but he had made several advances and was rejected
each time, and may have even stalked her via Facebook and
YouTube.  The two shared a theater course at the community
college that was held earlier on the day of the shooting.
Campus Killer Speaks Out On YouTube, ClickOnDetroit
News, April 13, 2009.
Dearborn murder-suicide suspect had hate videos on YouTube,
by Paul Egan, The Detroit News, April 13, 2009.
Alleged shooter spread hatred, rants about atheists in online
videos, by Amber Hunt, Detroit Free Press, April 13,
Albertville-Realschule in Germany, March 11,
2009 - Class A Event
Who: Tim Kretschmer, age 17
Three classrooms in Albertville-Realschule
with about 1,000 students, a
clinic for the mentally ill,
and a car-dealership, near
When: Wednesday March 11, 2009 about 9:30 a.m.
9mm Beretta automatic pistol
Killed and Injured: Nine students (eight girls
and one boy), three female teachers, and three adults at a
mental health clinic and a car dealership. The total yields 16
killed including Tim via suicide. Also, seven female students
were injured at the school.
After stealing a pistol from his father,
Kretschmer went to his former school and shot nine students and
three teachers, then he left, ran into downtown
Winnenden, a town of 28,000, shot two people at a clinic for the
mentally ill where he used to receive treatment, killing one,
then hijacked a car and went to a Volkswagen dealership in a
nearby town of Wendlingen where he shot and killed a salesman
and a man shopping for a car, then he shot himself.
Kretschmer was the son of a wealthy businessman whose father was
a gun-club member, thereby granting him license to own multiple
firearms (15 guns reported) and ammunition. Tim’s father had all
his weapons locked-away except the pistol that Tim used. Tim
also was a gun-club enthusiast, having won shooting competition
awards, explaining the head-shot wounds to many of the victims.
Peer descriptions of Tim imply that he enjoyed
shooting games, played table-tennis, and had
"thousands of horror videos at home".
as being in a trance during the school shooting. He was probably
acting out his favorite shooting games affected by psychotropic
medication, or withdrawal from it, based on his past experience
with medical treatment for unspecified psychological trouble.
Although Tim had
he apparently didn't gain peer-acceptance or
“He was simply not accepted by anyone and just sat all day in
front of his computer,"
according to one schoolmate. It’s not clear why he wasn’t
accepted. Reports from family paint an unremarkable picture of a
normal teen. Nonetheless, something was definitely wrong and the
family and friends around Tim either made little effort to
engage him directly about it, or they aren’t talking about it to
His academic performance was between average and
below-average, and he graduated from
in 2008. His sister still attends the school.
was lower than average, and he wasn’t engaged in school events,”
Mr Michelfelder said. Fabienne said the shooter claimed fellow
students at the high school had mocked him, and that teachers
there ignored him.
At the time of the shooting he was training to work as a
salesman and eventually would have taken over his father’s
factory. From April to September 2008 he was under psychiatric
He attended a psychiatric clinic in Weissenhoff five times
between April and September last year before his care was
transferred to the centre in Winnenden and he broke off
 Tim later returned and shot two people at the clinic, but
it’s not stated in reporting whether they were people he knew or
who just served as a symbol for his revenge.
‘It’s all fun and games until someone gets shot’
When Tim Kretschmer entered 9C's classroom, his
expression was so normal that Fatin Darwiche thought his
combat gear was a joke and the pistol in his hand was a fake.
It was when he began to use it, firing straight
into the heads of her classmates, that she realised with
horror that nothing could be more serious.
Why do they say this? Almost every incident it’s
the same sort of statement, witnesses say they thought it was a
joke and it didn’t seem real -- and then bullets start flying!
Maybe that’s part of the problem here: these kids are ignored
and marginalized so frequently by their peers that they turn
into school shooters out of desperate frustration for lack of
positive peer attention? Partly a case of revenge, partly a
misguided effort to gain attention, either way the bottom line
is that ignoring people that need help, or failing to grant them
the basic human recognition of their existence, can be a fatal
Police-State: False Sense of Security
Tim's killing-spree was certainly ambitious; it’s
very rare for a school shooting to proceed far beyond the
campus. The range of Tim’s violence is particularly ironic
considering that Germany is police-state in everything but name.
At one point between 700 and 1,000 police officers were
chasing Tim! Although Tim only had one 9mm pistol the German
police are armed to the teeth and the state is armed with an
ever-expanding array of heavy-handed laws and banned
expressions, actions and objects -- none of which did anything
to stop this massacre. No matter how many security cameras and
guns the police have they can never be everywhere at once, they
can’t prevent a shooting, they can only mop up afterwards or
maybe shoot the gunman in the process.
So what motivated Tim to go beyond just
shooting-up his school? Immediately before Kretschmer
perpetrated his shooting spree Michael Kenneth McLendon (28),
described by authorities as an angry failed Marine and
policeman, perpetrated his own shooting spree and suicide in
Samson Alabama on Tuesday March 10. Considering that Kenneth
McLendon’s violence has been classified as the worst massacre in
Alabama history the widespread news coverage likely influenced
Tim Kretschmer into spreading his violence beyond school and
into town, probably as an effort to gain wider recognition for
War on Women
Tim’s school shooting was a planned event but
only in vague outline – he knew he wanted to take revenge but
there’s no evidence, so far, that he went to any great
preparatory lengths, ala Columbine. Notable is the fact that
almost all of the people he killed were women. Everyone he shot
at his former school was female, except for
Ibrahim Yeniay, an Albanian. One
have confirmed that Kretschmer was a misogynist with a
particular grudge against one of his former female teachers, who
had told him he would "end up on the rubbish heap". He had also
become infatuated with a local girl who had snubbed his
Looking at it from the standpoint of the cultural
landscape, basically all standard school shooting incidents are
indirectly, or directly as in the case of Kretschmer, attacks on
women. This violence is aimed at women as emblems of cultural
development and a modern environment that favors the skills and
aptitudes of women over those of men, while making male
attitudes and traditional roles increasingly redundant. The
words ‘male’ and ‘school shooter’ are synonymous, and whether
the shooters recognize their greater meaning of their actions or
not, the message, as males that are unable, or unwilling
to adapt to inexorable forces around them, remains the same.
German teen targeted females, say police, BreakingNews
Ireland, March 12, 2009.
Students mourn as they recall a killer in black who brought
death to their school,
Lizzy Davies, The Guardian, March 13, 2009.
Germany school shootings: investigation rocked by Tim
Kretschmer chat room 'hoax',
John Bingham, Telegraph (UK), March 13, 2009.
Kauhajoki School of Hospitality, September 23,
2008 - Class A Event
Who: Matti Juhani Saari, age 22, AKA “Mr Saari”
Where: Classroom No. 3, Kauhajoki School of
Hospitality, a vocational and catering school of 150 students
and 40 teachers located in Kauhajoki western Finland northwest
of Helsinki. Shootings took place in classrooms with testing
When: The shooting began just before 11 a.m.
local time, Tuesday September 23, 2008.
Weapon: Walther P22 .22 caliber handgun, Matti
set fire to the dead bodies and the school with 'petrol-bombs'.
Killed: eight female students, one male student,
one teacher, and the shooter (self-inflicted).
Matti arrived for his business skills exam 90 minutes into the
test, opened fire on the classroom killing several students and
a teacher, then set fire to the classroom and eventually shot
himself, when police found him an hour after the shooting began.
Matti Juhani Saari is considered a copycat killer because he
imitated previous school shooters, particularly Pekka-Eric
Auvinen also from Finland, who he had contacts with. Police
searches of his computer and accommodation indicate that he
harbored fantasies of killing other students as far back as
2002. Police interviewed Saari on Monday the day before the
shooting about his YouTube videos suggesting violent actions,
and where Matti is seen firing his handgun. The police took no
Reportedly Saari was
frequently bullied during his time at secondary school, and he
had seen a psychologist and been prescribed anti-depressants.
For his military service Saari was transferred to the ‘E
category’, one common cause for this designation is mental
health issues. The YouTube posting under profile Wumpscut86 by 'Mr
Saari' stated that his interests and hobbies include
"computers, weapons, sex and beer".
His username is a reference to the German music group Wumpscut
that Matti was enamored with, “whose songs
refer to child murder, burned corpses and bloodshed and have
titles including Slave to Evil, Death for the Masses and Line of
Matti Juhani Saari
has most all the typical elements of school shooter. He’s a
school age male, he had a psychiatric history including the use
of psychotropic drugs, had a chronic difficulty interfacing with
those around him in healthy ways, and he was obsessed with guns,
killing and death. Details of his home life are absent from the
reporting I’ve been able to find, so we don’t know about that
factor. His academic performance doesn’t seem to be particularly
notable, apparently he was successfully passing his classes, but
the specifics aren’t clear.
One obvious question is, why Finland? For such a
small country two major school shootings within a year seems
surprising. A gun culture and social pressure are two reasons
offered by the media.
Finland has the most guns per persons in Europe,
nearly one gun for every three people, due to the popularity of
For Finland-expert Tarja Laine this "low
self-confidence" is due to "national low self-esteem"
connected to Finland's rule by Sweden, then Russia and then
its heavy compliance with the Soviets, as well as the
influence of pietist religious groups.
Many researchers in Finland agree that
education is crucially important to your place in Finnish
society, putting young people under intense pressure and
especially men (as women are becoming more educated than men).
University is very hard to get into with some students trying
four times before giving up and maybe studying abroad.
pity for Matti as a victim of society. In his own words and
self-expression Matti was your standard dirtbag with an inflated
infantile ego to match - an extremely arrogant, elitist, and
fascistic attitude that
valued himself far superior to everyone else in
the world. He
viewed events through a skewed lens and then failed to
connect cause and effect through the reciprocal treatment he
received in return.
Claiming that the vast majority of people were
merely “robots” and “vegetables,” he asserted that only three
percent of society was suited to rule by virtue of their
“natural” superiority. Upon raiding Saari’s flat shortly after
the latest shooting, police discovered two suicide notes he
had handwritten before leaving for the college. In one he
describes his outlook on the world as “misanthropic,” stating,
“I hate the human race, I hate mankind, I hate the whole world
and I want to kill as many people as possible.”
This kind of arrogant attitude reveals the
entirely masculine problem of school shootings. Matti, like
many other school shooters, hates humanity for not conforming to
his own standards and expectations; convinced they deserve to be
gods and dictators and then when society fails to fulfill their demands
they seek revenge. This kind of anti-social mentality might be permissible
in a 15 year-old boy but by 22 it
just doesn’t cut it. Being unable to adapt Matti sought a final
solution through the perspective of power and violence, the only
way he could comprehend forces and events. 12.10.08
Finland: Second school shooting in less than a year,
by Jordan Shilton, WSWS, September 29, 2008.
Violent male culture may be at root of Finnish school massacre,
by Edward Dutton, The Guardian (UK), September 23, 2008.
Finland school shooting: Gunman opened fire during exam,
The Telegraph (UK), September 25 2008.
Northern Illinois University, February 14, 2008 - Class A Event
Steven Kazmierczak, 27, a dean’s award winning sociology
graduate from Northern Illinois University.
Where: Cole Hall,
Northern Illinois University, 25,000 student population.
When: 3:06 p.m.
Thursday February 14 (Valentine’s Day) 2008.
12-gauge shotgun, .22-caliber pistol, 9 mm Glock pistol,
Hi-Point .380 pistol, and possibly a 45-caliber Glock
semi-automatic handgun. 48 pistol casings and six expended
shotgun cartridges reportedly found at scene.
Killed: Ryanne Mace,
19; Gayle Dubowski, Catalina Garcia, and Daniel Parmenter, all
of whom were aged 20; and Julianna Gehant, 32, (five killed and
wearing black clothing, jeans, t-shirt, and carrying his weapons
in a guitar case and hidden under his jacket a tall, thin Steven
Kazmierczak entered Cole Hall auditorium at Northern Illinois
University where class was being held and, armed with one
shotgun and at least three handguns, opened fire on the audience
from the stage, injuring 16 random people, killing five, and
then himself. "It didn't seem like he was
aiming. He just raised a gun and shot immediately," said Paul
Sundstrom, a student who was sitting in the class with his
brother Kevin when the gunman opened fire. 
Kazmierczak rented a
motel room for three nights before the shooting at a Travelodge
in DeKalb. He paid in cash and signed his name only as "Steven",
according to the hotel manager. Items found in his room included
empty cartons of cigarettes, containers of energy drinks, and
cold medicine. More energy drinks were found in the
refrigerator.  Kazmierczak likely planned his shooting-spree
at least five days in advance. He left no
known notes behind, said Donald Grady, the police chief at the
university. He had no known relationships with any students or
teachers inside the class. He had no previous run-ins with the
Kazmierczak seems to have had a fairly normal childhood but a
few events are of note. Mr. Kazmierczak
grew up on a tree-lined street of ranch-style homes in the
suburbs of Chicago with a sister and parents who retired to
Lakeland, Fla., in recent years, records show. His mother, Gail,
died in 2006, at age 58.  His mother died from ALS, a
form of motor neuron disease.
At one point
Kazmierczak was in a mental health center.
A former employee at a Chicago psychiatric treatment center said
Kazmierczak had been placed there after high school by his
parents. He used to cut himself and had resisted taking his
medications … Kazmierczak spent more than a year at the
Thresholds-Mary Hill House in the late 1990s, former house
manager Louise Gbadamashi told The Associated Press. His parents
placed him there after high school because he had become
"unruly" at home, she said. ... He
also had a short-lived stint as a prison guard that ended
abruptly when he didn't show up for work. He was in the Army for
about six months in 2001-02, but he told a friend he'd gotten a
psychological discharge. 
Judging from the
interviews Steve made a positive impression on those around him.
He had been pursuing a masters degree in sociology at the
University of Illinois in nearby Urbana-Champaign and
self-described his academic interests as
“corrections, political violence, and peace and social justice”.
Also, Kazmierczak had served as a member
of the NIU Academic Criminal Justice Association, was a teaching
aid during his undergraduate years and in 2006 even received a
Dean's Award from the sociology department. 
was meeting cultural standards of behavior, getting good grades,
was academically involved, had a girlfriend and employment at
least intermittently. Nonetheless he had some underlying trouble
that was being repressed. He liked violent gore-horror themes
and films; he had some elaborate tattoos to show it. One
interview claimed that he “was abusive,
had a temper," she said. "He didn't actually hit her; he would
push her [his girlfriend] around."  Steven’s
family stated that his behavior had become erratic recently
after he stopped taking medication used to regulate an
unspecified psychological disorder. No other overt indicators of
impending violence have been reported besides that and his
recent weapons purchases. Kazmierczak said nothing when he fired
on the class and left behind no known written material or
statements of any kind.
Survival is easy.
Success is impossible.
It’s worth mention
that the shooting occurred on Valentine’s Day and that
Kazmierczak recently broke-up with his longtime girlfriend,
although he was still sharing an apartment with her. This
shooting could have been triggered by relationship trouble
combined with preexisting psychological problems. Nonetheless
Steven didn’t fit the stereotype as an ‘angry loner’ and his
recent life did not appear to be particularly rough, certainly
not to enough to initiate a sudden leap into mass-murder and
violent suicide. So, why resort to such drastic actions, and so
suddenly without even any effort to fix the things going wrong?
This question can be asked of many other school shooting events.
Are some people just too sensitive and too weak to deal with
social difficulty and life trouble? Is it easier to pick the
quick solution just like in the movies? In modern life survival
is easy but success is impossible because of the skewed
standards and expectations imposed upon us through an incessant
avalanche of advertising pushing commercial values that profit
from imparting a false sense of inadequacy.
For millions of people modern life is increasingly like a waking
dream. The stereotypical school shooting event has permeated
cultural consciousness to such an extent that it has become a
symbolic act, a reflexive action even that plays out in the
subconscious mind of millions -- the school shooting dream --
and if the connection to waking reality is broken such an event
can be acted out for real by the mentally unstable. 18.02.08
Gunman Showed Few Hints of Trouble, by Monica Davey, New
York Times, February 16, 2008.
Who Was the Illinois School Shooter?, by Emily Friedman,
ABC News, Feb. 15, 2008.
Gunman's Contradictions Confound Police, by Ashley M.
Heher and Caryn Rousseau, AP, February 17, 2008.
Jokela High School, Tuusula Finland, November 7, 2007 - Class A
Auvinen (18), dubbed the You-Tube killer by mass-media for his
videos posted on that website under multiple aliases such as
Sturmgeist89 and naturalselector89 (account banned).
Where: Jokela High
School in Tuusula with 400 students between ages 12 and 18, located
in a small town 30-40 miles from Helsinki.
November 7, 2007 at approximately 11:45 am. The shooting was
probably timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Bolshevik
Semi-automatic .22 Sig Sauer Mosquito pistol named Catherine by
Auvinen, 69 bullets fired,
police reportedly found 320 more bullets with him, also he had
an flammable liquid that he tried set fire to a second floor
principal Helena Kalmi (61), nurse (42), five boys aged between
16 and 18, and a 25-year-old single mother. Twelve others
injured. Except for the principal, the targets appear to be
random. Eyewitness claims Auvinen forced Kalmi onto her knees
and then shot her. “Helsingin Sanomat
has been told that there had been an argument between Auvinen
and the principal before Wednesday.” 
Event: Much of the
event timeline remains undisclosed at this time. We know that
Pekka-Eric Auvinen used his .22 caliber pistol to shoot multiple
people and after about twenty minutes he shot himself in the
head in a toilet stall beside the school cafeteria. About 90
minutes later police found him and took him to the hospital
where he died eight hours later.
little has been published on Pekka-Eric Auvinen's background but
we have been told that he has a younger brother and that
Auvinen's father worked on the Finnish railways for decades, is
also a guitarist, and his wife is a vocalist.
Depressed in Finland
Auvinen was taking anti-depressant medications.
a video that he placed on YouTube, Sturmgeist89 displays
packages of Cipralex, Zoloft, Luvox, and Prozac pills.”
The drugs were prescribed for depression.
“The National Agency for Medicines
recommends against prescribing SSRIs for people under the age of
18, because of the self-destructive or hostile emotions that
they have been known to provoke.”
 Fellow student Tuomas Hulkkonen states the he
knew the gunman well and that he had been acting strange lately,
"He withdrew into
his shell. I had noticed a change in him just recently, and I
thought that perhaps he was a bit depressed, or something. But I
couldn't imagine that in reality he would do anything like
His 18 year-old (or 20
depending on source)
girlfriend Tana Scheel recently left him,
"He was my boyfriend. I have received many emails and phone
calls claiming it is my fault and that I am a murderer because I
rejected him. But many people are rejected without going out and
murdering.” She also claims that banning his YouTube
accounts, "... would have done nothing but
take away his ability to express himself through his videos, one
thing which made him happy and curbed his homicidal tendencies."
“People using guns are hunters. They
live in rural areas. It’s part of the life over there.”
 Auvinen had no previous criminal record and had no
difficulty legally obtaining his handgun. He was a member of
a hunting club and was practiced enough to direct most of his
shots at the head and upper body of his victims during his
20-minute rampage. "With 1.6 million
firearms in private hands, the Nordic nation is an anomaly in
Europe, lagging behind only the US and Yemen in civilian gun
ownership. According to a government study in 2002, only 14% of
homicides in Finland are gun-related.
 Finland has a strong history of armed self-defense,
most notable in the collective Finnish effort to repel the
invading Soviet Army over 60 years ago.
"Name: Pekka-Eric Auvinen Age: 18 Male
from Finland. I am a cynical existentialist, antihuman humanist,
antisocial socialdarwinist, realistic idealist and godlike
atheist." Pekka-Eric's own
words were decidedly aggressive yet equally unfocused. He wrote
of his rampage in advance, "Targets:
Jokelan Lukio (High School Of Jokela), students and faculty,
society, humanity, human race.”  It seems that, online
at least, Pekka-Eric was a hyper-aggressive and often bullying
person that made more enemies than friends. He fixated upon
weakness and believed that they should be killed by the strong.
“This is my war: one man war against
humanity, governments and weak-minded masses of the world! No
mercy for the scum of the earth! HUMANITY IS OVERRATED! It's
time to put NATURAL SELECTION & SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST back on
tracks!” – Pekka from his ‘Manifesto.doc'  Pekka is
clearly angry but why is less clear particularly because
his expression doesn't explain the problems he rails against nor
do they explain how killing students and faculty at his High
School will resolve the issues he is most concerned about. He
reportedly admired Stalin and Hitler indicating limited
Ideological and historical understanding but rather a craving for
power and desire to be a dictator. And now we are beginning to
see the source of Pekka’s discontent, he felt powerless and/or
controlled by others and his sudden, violent outburst was a
desperate, and probably delusional, effort to express himself as
a potent authority, hence his personal statement,
"I am the law, judge and executioner.
There is no higher authority than me." 
This is your teenage brain on drugs,
him as running through the school hallways shouting
"Revolution!" and shooting people. Indeed, despite his
pleas to the contrary Pekka-Eric is convincing as being
mentally unstable. He did take anti-depressant drugs, probably
more than one kind, but we don't know the quantities or the
Unfortunately many key details on
this event remain unknown, for instance, how well was the
shooter doing at his school work? What kind of home-life did he
have? What did friends and other students see and think of him?
Was he really bullied by other students and if so, why? Lacking
these important pieces of information drawing any substantive
conclusions remains difficult for this school shooting event.
YouTube massacre: Schoolboy gunman posts threat on the
internet then kills eight, by David Williams, Daily
Mail (UK), 8 November 2007.
School massacre makes Finns defensive about gun culture,
uncredited, Breaking News.ie, November 9, 2007.
[Copies of Pekka’s videos and documents maintained by an
Finnish School Shooter Was Bullied, by Peter Dejong,
AP, November 8, 2007.
Jokela gunman said he used antidepressants, uncredited,
Helsingin Sanomat, November 9, 2007.
School massacre: Ninth graders saw killing of school
principal, uncredited, Helsingin Sanomat, November 9,
Ex defends school killer online, by Chloe Lake,
news.au.com, November 13, 2007.
SuccessTech Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, October 11, 2007 - Class
Who: Asa H. Coon,
SuccessTech Academy (High School) in Cleveland, Ohio. With an
academic emphasis on technology and entrepreneurship, the school
is a five-story converted office building with about 240
students, 85 percent are black, the remainder mostly Hispanic or
white, and all are considered poor according to federal poverty
guidelines. Although the school is equipped with metal detectors
and 26 cameras, security was intermittent and, apparently,
Afternoon, October 10, 2007
Weapons: One .22
caliber revolver, one .38 caliber revolver, one box of
ammunition for each pistol, and three folding knives.
Killed: Asa H. Coon
Injured: The first person shot by Coon was Michael Peek, age 14,
who had punched Coon in the face right before the shootings
began. Darnell Rodgers, 18, black, was grazed by a bullet on the right
elbow. David Kachadourian, age 57, white, math teacher, was shot in the
back. Michael Grassie, 42, a multicultural studies teacher, was
the most seriously injured victim having been shot in the chest.
Event: Coon had been
suspended for fighting on Monday and the same day his older
brother, Stephen Coon, age 19, was arrested in
connection with an armed robbery. The week before Asa had made
threats to blow up the school and stab students but no one paid
Coon began on the
ground floor after changing clothes in a bathroom. The first shooting
happened immediately after Coon left the bathroom when another
student punched him in the face and he shot back. Coon went up
through the first two floors of administrative offices to the
third and fourth floor of classrooms. Coon proceeded to shoot
one other student, grazing his elbow, and two teachers but only
the teacher Michael Grassie seems to have been sought out by Coon. Coon
fired eight shots, and shot himself in the head when the police
arrived at the school.
Even though the school was small it was nonetheless overcrowded
and the teaching was impersonal. "I had
him since the start of the school year. So that's been about a
month and a half. So not a real long time. And the class is real
large, so it's hard to know students individually very well or
interact with them very much one-on-one.”
– David Kachadourian, math teacher
shot by Coon.
Asa Coon is a poster
child for the dysfunctional family, coming from a single parent
household with troubled siblings and a father that is nowhere to
“His probation officer described the
relationship between Coon and his mother as extremely poor, with
both using foul and abusive language toward each other.”
Mr. Coon’s troubles started early. In
1997, he was 3 and living with his family in Cortland, N.Y., in
a house strewn with garbage, according to a report by a
caseworker for the Cortland County Social Services Department.
His older brothers, Stephen and Daniel,
threatened neighbors with weapons, including rocks, knives and a
fake bomb, the caseworker reported.
Mr. Coon’s mother, Lori Looney, was
found guilty of neglect by the county juvenile court. His
father, Thomas Coon, was not involved with the family, the
caseworker reported. 
Coon was new at SuccessTech
Academy and was constantly being
bullied and harassed by other students, often for his unkempt
and disheveled appearance. In an attempt to belong and develop
his personal identity he adopted the ‘goth’ look and told others
that he worshipped musician Marilyn Manson as God. He was
reportedly wearing black clothing, black-painted fingernails,
and a Marilyn Manson t-shirt at the time of the shooting.
“He was chubby and short, and he was
the only kid in school who dressed like a Goth,” said LaToya
Sparks, 15, a sophomore.
Asa appeared to have
potential for academic success but struggled to focus on his
work. At one point he was prescribed medication for his
psychological stress/mental health problems, suspected to be
bipolar disorder, but one source
reported that he refused to take them, at least at that time.
Why: If anybody was
going to crack and go on a shooting spree it was Asa. How many
warning signs and telegraphed signals does a kid have to make to
get help and attention?! In this case one really has to put much
of the blame on the school administration for allowing so much
bullying to occur and failing to recognize so many obvious signs
of trouble in one of their students. It’s remarkable the lack of
accountability and responsibility in these situations. I don’t
remember ever reading of a school administrator being fired
after a school shooting; well, Columbine HS had some turmoil
afterwards, but that’s the exception really. If a Navy submarine
captain has a sailor get killed, even in a training accident,
the commander will probably not just lose their job but their
career too. Yet if students get beat-up and assaulted on a daily
basis, and even killed at a public school, it’s still just the
usual paycheck for the Principal and the rest of the
administration who are supposed to be providing a safe and
educational environment. This kind of situation means that
public school administrators have little personal incentive to
really do something of substance to address the root of the
problem and prevent school shootings before they happen, and so
they keep happening.
“Coon was a new student at the school,
but the district has a dossier on past problems. He had mental
health problems, spent time in two juvenile facilities and was
suspended from school last year for attempting to harm a
student, according to juvenile court records.” 
It’s interesting to note that most of
the people Asa shot were not hurt very badly except for the
multicultural studies teacher Michael Grassie. In
a school that was almost entirely
black it’s doubtful that the multicultural lessons being taught
did anything to improve the self-image and self-esteem of the
white Asa and it’s quite plausible that they magnified his sense
of alienation and persecution.
"That child was tormented from his
classmates every single day. Everybody's making him out to be
a devil, a demon, but nobody knows what was going on with this
kid." - Christina Burns, a volunteered at one of the
schools Coon attended.
Although the attack
was planned in advance, sometime between Monday’s suspension and
Wednesday’s shooting, Coon left no suicide note at the scene and
reporting has not indicted the existence of any similar
statements elsewhere from Asa.
School shooting spurs security review, by Joe Milicia,
AP via Cincinnati.com, October 12, 2007.
Short but Troubled Life Ended in Shooting and Suicide,
by Christopher Maag, New York Times, October 12, 2007.
School Gunman Had Access Despite Threats, by Joe
Milicia, AP, October 11, 2007.
Mount Vernon Elementary, Newark New Jersey, August 4, 2007 -
Class B Event
Who: Jose Carranza,
28, from Peru; Rodolfo Godinez, 24, and his half-brother,
Alexander Alfaro, 16, both from Nicaragua; Melvin Jovel, 18,
from Honduras; and two unnamed 15-year-old boys, all under
arrest for murder. “Six people, including
three juveniles, have been arrested and charged with multiple
counts of murder and robbery in the shootings that horrified
Newark and fueled national debate on illegal immigration. One of
the suspects was in the country illegally, prompting New Jersey
Attorney General Anne Milgram last week to order local police
officers to check the immigration status of all suspects charged
with serious crimes.” 
Where: Mount Vernon
Elementary School, Newark New Jersey
When: August 4, 2007
Hightower, 19; Terrance Aeriel, 18; and Dashon Harvey, 20.
Injured: Natasha Aerial, 19.
All four of them were current or soon-to-be students at Delaware
Event: The shooting
victims were lined up against a wall behind the elementary
school and shot 'execution-style' in the back of the head.
Why: Likely gang
related, the victims were black and the attackers Hispanic and
probably members of the MS-13 gang judging from the style of the
crime. Reasons beyond that are under investigation by the
Note: Although it
did involve students the school in this case was merely the
venue for a criminal event. The persons involved did not attend
the school where the shooting occurred and the crime doesn’t
appear to have anything to do with school work, academic trouble
or social pressures, and therefore this is categorized as a
Class B event.
Newark shooting survivor's voice inspires crowd at DSU,
by Kasi Addison and Claire Heininger, New Jersey On-Line,
August 28, 2007.
Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, April 15, 2007 -
Class A event
Who: Cho Seung-Hui,
23, English major.
Where / When /
Event: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
(Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg southwestern Virginia, student
population 25,000; event occurred on Monday April 16, 2007.
Around 7 a.m. in
West Ambler Johnston Hall, a coed dormitory housing 895
and described as being for students with health or related
problems, on the fourth floor Cho Seung-Hui shoots
resident assistant Emily Jane Hilscher and Ryan Clark with
Officials say they know of no
connection between Mr. Cho and Ms. Hilscher, and remain
baffled about why he began there and why he chose not to
end there. 
Cho then went
back to his room where he used his computer to assemble an
1800 word statement, videos, and photographs of himself
that he then packaged up and mailed for overnight delivery
to NBC news in New York at the small post office near the
main gates of campus, package time-stamped 9:01 a.m.
He then went back to his dorm room and collected his
a.m. in Norris Hall Room 207 professor Christopher James
Bishop is teaching Elementary German when Cho bursts into
the room and shoots the professor and the students in the
first row of the classroom. Cho leaves the room and heads
down the hall. The students barricade the door, Cho
returns and fires through the door trying to get back in
to the room with about 12 people killed.
stairwell Cho fires at Janitor Gene Cole and misses five
times, according to the janitor.
In Room 206
professor G.V. Loganathan is teaching advanced hydrology
when he is shot and killed by Cho along with two students:
Julia Pryde and Jarrett Lee Lane.
In Room 204
Cho enters the room (resistance reported) and proceeds to
shoot and kill Professor Liviu Librescu while he lectures
on solid mechanics. Nicole Regina White is
killed while Matt Webster is injured, both students.
into Room 211 where professor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak is
teaching Intermediate French. Again people attempt to
block the door but without success. Cho randomly shoots
people in the second row, seriously injuring Colin
Goddard. Cho temporarily leaves Room 211 then returns to
fire again, probably on himself. The police enter the
scene to find Cho dead and in possession a 9mm and a .22
caliber handgun as well as multiple rounds of ammunition
and several knives. Among the items found in Cho's
backpack are prescription medication for treatment of
psychological problems and a note denouncing 'rich kids'.
spree is over by about 9:50 am. Confusion over events and
persons ensues and the police do not arrive to search
Cho’s dorm room until 7 pm that night.
Weapons: A Walther
.22-caliber pistol purchased from an Internet gun site and
picked it up at a pawnshop near campus on February 9th. Later on
March 13 Cho bought a 9-millimeter Glock pistol at Roanoke
Firearms using the required three pieces of identification with
his Virginia driver’s license, his green card, and a personal
check, also purchasing 50 rounds of ammunition. . Cho
also had knives, and chains that he used to seal the main door
to Norris Hall.
Killed: 27 students,
5 teachers, and the shooter for 33 people total.
Alameddine, 20, sophomore
Bishop, 35, foreign-languages instructor, joined faculty in
Brian Roy Bluhm,
25, civil engineering graduate student
Seung-Hui Cho, 23,
Clark, 22, senior majoring in psychology
Cloyd, 18, sophomore international studies, member of
the honors program
Couture-Nowak, adjunct foreign languages instructor, joined
faculty in August 2001
Perez Cueva, 21, of Peru, sophomore majoring in international
Kevin P. Granata,
45, engineering science and mechanics professor, joined
faculty in January 2003
Gwaltney, 24, graduate student in civil and environmental
Hammaren, 19, sophomore majoring in international studies
Herbstritt, 27, civil engineering graduate student
Hill, 18, freshman
Hilscher, 19, freshman majoring in animal and poultry sciences
Jarrett Lee Lane,
22, senior majoring in civil engineering
Matthew Joseph La
Porte, 20, sophomore
Henry J. Lee, also
known as Henh Ly, 20, first-year student majoring in computer
76, engineering science and mechanics professor, joined
faculty in 1985. A self-described Holocaust survivor, he was
killed on the same day as Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day.
51, civil and environmental engineering professor, joined
faculty in 1981
Halomoan Lumbantoruan, 34, of Indonesia, civil engineering
McCain, 20, freshman international studies major
O'Neil, 22, first-year graduate student in environmental
Juan Ramon Ortiz,
26, graduate student in civil engineering from Bayamon, Puerto
Panchal, 26, of Mumbai, India, graduate student in
Peterson, 18, freshman international studies major
Pohle Jr., 23, senior majoring in biology.
Pryde, 23, graduate student in biological systems engineering
Mary Karen Read,
Samaha, 18, freshman
Shaalan, 32, of Zagazig, Egypt, doctoral student in civil
Sherman, sophomore history major and member of the honors
Turner, 22, senior majoring in chemical engineering, member of
Nicole White, 20,
international studies major, listed by the school as a
Injured: At least a
dozen more people were injured in the attack.
Seung-Hui was a permanent legal resident from South
Korea that came to Virginia in 1992 at the age of 8
with his family.
In 1992, they arrived in Detroit and then moved on
to Centreville, Va., home to a bustling Korean
community on the fringe of Washington. They found
jobs in the dry-cleaning business and worked the
longest of hours. Dry cleaning is a favored
profession among Koreans — some 1,800 of the 2,000
dry cleaners in the greater Washington area are run
by Koreans — because it means Sundays off for church
and sparse need for proficient English, exchanges
with customers being brief and redundant.
High school did not help Seung-Hui Cho surmount his
miseries. He went to Westfield High School, one of
the largest schools in Fairfax County. He was
scrawny and looked younger than his age. He was
unresponsive in class, and unwilling to speak.
trouble in school
Long before he boiled over, Virginia Tech gunman Cho
Seung-Hui was pushed around and laughed at as a
schoolboy in suburban Washington because of his
shyness and the strange, mumbly way he talked,
former classmates say. Once, in English class, the
teacher had the students read aloud, and when it was
Cho's turn, he just looked down in silence. "As soon
as he started reading, the whole class started
laughing and pointing and saying, `Go back to
China,'" according to Chris Davids, a Virginia Tech
senior who graduated from Westfield High School in
Chantilly, Va., with Cho in 2003.
Stephanie Roberts, 22, a member of Cho's graduating
class at Westfield High, said she never witnessed
anyone picking on Cho in high school. "I just
remember he was a shy kid who didn't really want to
talk to anybody," she said. "I guess a lot of people
felt like maybe there was a language barrier." But
she said friends of hers who went to middle school
with Cho told her they recalled him getting picked
on there. "There were just some people who were
really mean to him and they would push him down and
laugh at him," Roberts said. "He didn't speak
English really well and they would really make fun
& Reading Material
reveal state of mind
Last semester, he took a playwriting class in which
he submitted two one-act plays, “Richard McBeef” and
“Mr. Brownstone,” both foulmouthed rants. In
“Richard McBeef,” a 13-year-old threatens to kill
his stepfather. Steven Davis, a senior in the class,
said he finished reading the play one night, turned
to his roommate and said, “This is the kind of guy
who is going to walk into a classroom and start
Cho sold the books on the
eBay-affiliated site half.com. They include Men,
Women, and Chainsaws by Carol J. Clover, a book that
explores gender in the modern horror film. Others
include The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling
Tales of Horror and the Macabre; and The Female of
the Species: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce
Carol Oates — a book in which the publisher writes:
"In these and other gripping and disturbing tales,
women are confronted by the evil around them and
surprised by the evil they find within themselves."
Books by those three authors were taught in his
Contemporary Horror class.  (italics
police said today two female students complained to
them about him in 2005.
General District Court records show that a
Montgomery County magistrate ordered Mr. Cho, 23, to
undergo a mental evaluation in December 2005. The
magistrate found probable cause that Mr. Cho was
“mentally ill” and an “imminent danger to self and
others” or is so seriously mentally ill as to be
substantially unable to care for himself.
The two students complained to authorities about the
behavior of Mr. Cho when he contacted them in
separate incidents in 2005. Police questioned Mr.
Cho and he was sent to a mental health facility, but
no charges were filed against him.
Also in 2005, Lucinda Roy, an English professor,
shared her concerns about Mr. Cho with the Virginia
Tech police, but no official report was filed. The
writings did not express threatening intentions, or
allude to criminal activity, the police said today.
In the incidents involving the female students, the
police said that in late November 2005, Mr. Cho
contacted a fellow female student, by phone and in
person, and she notified the campus police. She
later declined to press charges, but officers spoke
with Mr. Cho, who was referred to the University’s
On December 12, 2005, a second female student
complained to the police about an instant message
Mr. Cho sent to her by computer. The police then
spoke with Mr. Cho and asked him to have no further
contact with the student. The police said the
message was not threatening, and the student
characterized it as “annoying.”
The police spoke with acquaintances of Mr. Cho’s and
became concerned that Mr. Cho might be suicidal.
Officers suggested to Mr. Cho that he speak to a
counselor and he did so. He went voluntarily to the
police department and, based on his meeting with the
counselor, a temporary detention order was obtained
and Mr. Cho was taken to a mental health facility,
Carilion Saint Albans Behavioral Health Center.
Neither of the female students who complained about
Mr. Cho were among the shooting victims, and the
police said they did not know if they were in the
vicinity of the shootings.
There were no further
referrals to the police before Mr. Cho was named on
Tuesday in connection with the deaths of the
students and teachers on the sprawling campus.
self-image as a victim
repeatedly used religious language and compared
himself to Jesus Christ in his video diatribe:
"I die like Jesus Christ, to
inspire generations of the weak and defenseless
people," and, "Do you
know what it feels like to be humiliated and be
impaled upon a cross and left to bleed to death for
your amusement?'' One of the 'experts'
interviewed on CNN was convinced Cho's writings
indicated he was the victim of repeated sexual
abuse, however so far this does not seem to be
anything more than speculation.
piece of evidence indicates this attack was planned
in advance, "In the last few
weeks, Mr. Cho’s roommates noticed a few new
oddities in this most odd man. He cropped his hair
to a military buzz cut. In the evenings, he was
working out with a certain frenzy at the gym."
killed than at Columbine High School
the “college Columbine” and considered the
deadliest one-man shooting
rampage in modern U.S. history, the flag was ordered
to fly at half mast placing
this event within the category of national tragedy.
Americans pride themselves on their national
insularity from world events but every so often
something that can't be ignored seeps through the
cracks. It's interesting to consider for comparison
that 33 civilians die about every 6 hours in Iraq
and 33 U.S. soldiers die about every month. Suicide
attacks are common in Iraq and Afghanistan and these
violent and bloody events receive continual coverage
in the mass-media.
Previously, the deadliest campus shooting in U.S.
history was a rampage that took place in 1966 at the
University of Texas at Austin, where Charles Whitman
climbed the clock tower and opened fire with a rifle
from the 28th-floor observation deck. He killed 16
people before he was shot to death by police.
[Virginia Tech] campus is centered around the Drill
Field, a grassy field where military cadets - who
now represent a fraction of the student body -
practice. The dorm and the classroom building are on
opposites sides of the Drill Field. 
It’s reasonable to conclude that Cho Seung-Hui was
intensely frustrated by an inability to articulate
his emotions and ideas to those around him and to
have those feelings accepted and understood. As a
Korean in the United States Cho was physically
different than most of the people around him and
this undoubtedly generated a sense of alienation
that was compounded by his own inability to
communicate with his peers.
wasn’t something that happened overnight, it took
years for Cho to reach a point where he was willing
to go on a shooting spree and commit suicide. By the
time of college it was too late for others to reach
Cho, his mental state being too imbalanced and his
attitude too embittered towards those around him.
Intense family pressure on him to succeed and a
constant comparison of his own abilities against
those around him created chronic stress. His use of
anti-depressant medication coupled with a string of
difficulties with authorities such as professors,
grades, and frustration with girls, led to an
eventual psychological breakdown expressed in a
final burst of violence against those around him and
himself. Lacking attention and a sense of control
over his life he bought weapons because guns give
power and attention to those that have neither.
emblematic of a self-destructing society where
individual human worth is measured on a monetary
scale and intense social stress can only be relieved
through mindless entertainment and hedonistic
excess. Cho realized this as he railed against the
rich in his diatribe: "You
have everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn't
enough, you brats. The gold necklaces weren't
enough, you snobs. `Your trust fund wasn't enough,
your vodka and cognac wasn't enough, all your
debauchery were not enough. Those were not enough to
fulfill your hedonistic needs. You loved crucifying
me, you loved inducing cancer in my head and
terrorizing my heart"
aspects this is a classic school shooting case with
most all of the common elements being present:
psychotropic medication (anti-depressants in this
case), an outsider rejected and ridiculed by peers
while holding a strong sense of injustice
perpetrated against the self, and pre-meditated
"This didn't have to happen."
more like Cho will commit increasingly deadly acts
of violent expression because they live in a society
that can only summon hollow platitudes and
misdirected anger while enacting foolish and
reactionary pseudo-solutions, unable to recognize
people like Cho and their troubles while remaining
incapable of rectifying the serious social and
economic problems that they symptomatically
school shooting is similar to the events at
Monash University and at
Columbine High School.
At Least 33 Killed At Virginia Tech Shooting,
WTKR CBS Interactive, (undated).
Gunman Sent Photos, Video and Writings to NBC,
by Christine Hauser, New York Times, April 18, 2007.
Before Deadly Rage, a Life Consumed by a Troubling
Silence, by N. R. Kleinfield, NYT, April 22,
Va. Tech shooter was picked on in school, by
Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press, April 19, 2007.
Virginia Tech shooting probe focuses on Cho's online
activities, USA Today, April 22, 2007.
Censored excerpts from Cho's 'manifesto' mailed to
NBC news can be seen
< here >.
Censored video excerpts of Cho can be seen
< here >.
August 2009 Cho's university counseling and medical
records were discovered and released in two volumes.
You can read them
< here > and
< here >.
Geschwister Scholl in
Class A event
Geschwister Scholl in Emsdetten, near the Dutch border
in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
The school is reported to have about 700 pupils aged between 11
When: 9:30 a.m. on Monday, November 20, 2006
Weapons: Volkmann said officers could
see two sawed-off guns lying near his body and a knife strapped
to his leg. Several home-made pipe bombs also were lying nearby
and the man appeared to be carrying other explosive devices on
his body.  he also used smoke bombs. The “sawed-off”
rifles that he had were actually antique reproductions of muzzle
loaders purchased off the Internet! 
Three students aged
12 to 15, a female teacher and the head caretaker suffered
serious but not life-threatening injuries. Approximately 32 were
injured, most from smoke inhalation.
The young man,
wearing an all-black outfit with explosives attached to his
body, entered the Geschwister-Scholl school in Emsdetten near
the Dutch border on Monday morning and randomly opened fire at
students. He injured at least 32 people, two of them seriously,
before he raced off for the school's second floor after he
ignited smoke bombs. 
Police arrived six
minutes later, or thirty minutes depending on source, and found
the gunman dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Bosse was not currently a student at
He had reportedly worked part-time in a warehouse
after leaving school.
He also said the man had been due to
go trial tomorrow for weapons offences after being caught with
a loaded pistol several months earlier.
Students at the school said the
assailant was an aggressive and aloof individual who played
violent computer games and had said he wanted to join the
Katja Weber, a 17-year-old student at
the school, said he always wore a black hat and coat. 
Bosse had repeated classes
three times, graduating last year among children three years
Bosse felt ignored
and alienated by his peers and this sense of rejection coupled
with his poor academic performance created a perception of
injustices being perpetuated against him by the people around
him. "The only thing I really
learned at school was that I'm a loser," the youth wrote in a
letter posted on his Web site that was later removed by police.
"I hate people ... I'm gone."
played video games, particularly first person
shooters. Eventually he became so engrossed in his shooting
games that they became a method of practice and mental
conditioning to exact his revenge against school and peers.
ignoring the issues of mental health politicians in Germany,
like so many other countries, look for the cheapest shot they
can take and beat it for every point they can score from voters.
Not surprisingly they identify video games and the source of the
problem. The shooting
has caused German politicians to call for stricter regulations
against violent computer games and the need for school
psychologists, who would be able to help outsiders at school.
 Does anyone
really believe that ‘stricter regulations on video games would
have prevented this school shooting? Last time I checked, and
this is hard to believe I know, many people play video games and
very, very few of them shoot up their schools. Yes it is true
that playing violent games repeatedly, to the point of
obsession, can be a conditioning factor that can eventually lead
to a mental acceptance of violent behavior as a means of
rectifying serious internal problems when the individual
descends into a debilitated psychological state, but this just
demonstrates that the problem is with the mind (and society),
not in the game console.
Josef Kraus, president of one of Germany’s
teachers’ unions, the Lehrerverband, charged that German
politicians, schools, the media and entertainment industry
were too busy blaming one another to take any effective action
to re-integrate loner youths like Bosse.
“We have a fundamental culture here of looking away if there
is a problem,” he told N-TV.
In remarks to the newspaper Bild, he said, “Brutal computer
games and videos con youths into the idea that the strong win.
They don’t show the losers any way out. Drugs, consumerism and
fun are the sole values that today’s pop and TV stars
'German kid injures 32 and kills himself', UPI, November
'German school shooter 'a loner' says prosecutor', Ireland
Online, November 20, 2006.
'School shooter in Germany shot himself, autopsy shows',
Gulf Times, November 22, 2006.
West Nickel Mines Amish School in Lancaster
Class B event
Charles Carl Roberts IV, age 32, a milk truck driver who worked
nights. "He is 6-foot-2, short brown, you
know like buzzed brown hair. Um, he is 32 years old, wears
glasses, I guess he's like maybe 195 pounds." - Roberts'
wife in 911 call.
Nickel Mines (one room) Amish School in Lancaster County, about
50 miles west of Philadelphia.
When: ~10:30 a.m.
Weapons: 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a 300,000-volt stun gun, two
shotguns, 600 rounds of ammunition and an assortment of chains
and restraining devices. 
Killed: Five girls, Naomi Rose Ebersole, 7; Anna Mae Stoltzfus,
12; Marian Fisher, 13; Mary Liz Miller, 8, and her sister Lena
Miller, 7. Charles Carl Roberts IV shot and killed himself.
Others shot and seriously injured.
Event: “On Monday morning, Roberts ran
his milk route as usual and walked his children to school,
police said. Then he drove to the Amish school and walked
inside.”  After entering the ‘one-room’ school around
10:30 he brandished a gun and ordered the 15 boys and several
adults in the room to leave. He then had 11 girls line up facing
the blackboard and tied their legs together with wire and
plastic ties. A teacher, Emma Mae Zook, ran to the find the
nearest phone and called 911 for help. Back at the school,
Roberts barricaded the doors to slow down the police and allow
him the opportunity to sexually abuse his captives. Roberts
demanded the police leave ‘in 10 seconds’ or he would start
shooting. The police heard a rapid series of shots and they
proceeded to break into the room through a window where they
found Roberts and several girls dead, most shot in the head.
Roberts did not expect the quick arrival of the police and it
was no evidence was found that any of the girls at the school
were molested before being shot.
Of notable irony: “At the time Roberts'
wife received the phone call, she was attending a meeting of a
prayer group she led that prayed for the community's
Roberts had planned his attack in advance, gathering the
supplies he was going to use and writing suicide notes. He was
not Amish himself but rather he decided on going to the Amish
school apparently because he thought they would be easy victims.
One report states that, as a delivery truck driver into the
Amish territory, Roberts did know some of his victims. Roberts
did not have a criminal record.
Miller said Mr. Roberts called his wife from a cell phone,
saying he was "acting out in revenge for something that
happened 20 years ago.”
Police said the gunman worked as a truck driver
who collected milk from nearby farms for processing and sale.
Police said he walked his own children at a nearby bus stop
before borrowing a relative’s pick-up truck and heading for
the Amish school. 
Roberts might have sexually molested two female relatives when
he was a teenager and they were 3 to 5 years old.
Police who spoke with the gunman's wife, Marie
Roberts, and who read the suicide notes he wrote to her and
his three children said he also expressed deep sadness over
the death of his firstborn child, a daughter named Elise, in
1997. The baby was born prematurely and lived for about 20
minutes, police said. 
[Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeff]
Miller: Apparently, he did make a statement to his wife on the
phone that he was acting out in a way to achieve revenge for
something that happened 20 years ago. And I think that the
location, the school, was probably chosen because it provided
a close opportunist -- you know, an opportunity to attack
where he knew he had young kids. … That's the only reason we
can figure that he went to the school.
outward signs of normality, Roberts had a wife and three kids,
he definitely had some serious, deeply repressed psychological
issues festering away in his mind. In the suicide notes he
claims to have been tormented by the death of his prematurely
born daughter in 1997 which he wrote caused him
“hate toward myself hate towards God”,
and his responsibility in (unsubstantiated claims of) sexually
molesting two relatives 20 years ago and desire to repeat such
actions. The news reporting on the previous shooting at Platte
Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado on September 27th
must have acted like a triggering event on Roberts. The
coincidence in timing and the parallel criminal motives are too
strong to ignore, and indeed the police consider this to be a
'Students Killed by Gunman at Amish Schoolhouse', by John
Holusha, New York Times, October 2, 2006.
'Police unravel gunman's plans', by Lynn Anderson &
others, Chicago Tribune, October 4, 2006.
'Commissioner: Gunman tied children's feet together', (uncredited),
CNN, October 2, 2006.
'Coroner found gruesome scene inside Amish school', by
Mark Scolforo, Canadian Press, October 04, 2006.
'Amish Schoolgirls Knew the Gunman', (uncredited) Toronto
Daily News, October 8, 2006.
Class A event
Who: 15 year old Eric Hainstock,
student” with a history of threatening people.
Where: In a hallway at Weston School Cazenovia,
The school is reported to have 370 students.
"[This] small prekindergarten-through-12th-grade school is near
Cazenovia, a community of about 300 people about 60 miles
northwest of Madison."
When: Friday September 29, 2006 before classes
were to start, around 8 am.
Weapons: 20-gauge shotgun and a .22 cal revolver
“He was really nice,” she said, choking
back tears. “If we had a problem he’d listen to us. He never
raised his voice or anything to any of the students.” 
On Friday morning Hainstock pried open his
family’s gun cabinet, took out a shotgun, retrieved the key to
his parents’ locked bedroom and took a .22-calibre revolver,
according to a criminal complaint.
He entered Weston School with the shotgun
before classes began and pointed the gun at a social studies
teacher, but custodian Dave Thompson wrested it from him, the
complaint said. When Hainstock reached for the handgun,
Thompson and the teacher ran for cover.
Headmaster John Klang confronted Hainstock. A
teacher said that after the shots were fired, Klang, already
wounded, managed to wrestle the shooter to the ground and
sweep away the gun, the complaint said. Students and staff
detained Hainstock until police arrived, District Attorney
Patricia Barrett said.
School officials said Klang had given Hainstock
a disciplinary notice Thursday for taking tobacco to school,
and the student faced a likely in-school suspension, the
Janitor Dave Thompson said he saw the student come out of his
truck carrying a shotgun. As the student entered the school,
Thompson said he confronted Hainstock. According to Thompson,
Hainstock told him, “I’m here to kill somebody.“
“The heroics of the people involved in
this can never be (overstated),” Sauk County Sheriff Randy
Stammen said. “The custodian who initially saw and acted has
to be commended for his bravery. The people who subdued him,
they’re heroes.“ 
Sophomore Shelly Rupp, 16, described the boy as
a freshman with few friends and said he was "just weird in the
"At this time it would appear he acted
independently," Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett
said of the gunman.
"He did not disclose his plans to anybody
else," she said, though the boy had confided to a friend at
least two days earlier "that he didn't believe Mr. Klang would
make it through homecoming."
The school canceled its homecoming ceremony and
football game scheduled for Friday afternoon.
Barrett said the suspect would be charged with
murder and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Witnesses told local media the unidentified boy
had reputation for behaving strangely and threatening
No comments from Eric's parents or relatives were
available or reported. Eric Hainstock has been
charged with first-degree intentional homicide
with a potential penalty of life in prison. This event was
immediately eclipsed in the news media by another one in Amish
April 2007: Eric Hainstock in court
Eric Hainstock, 16, also told investigators in the
same interview hours after John Klang was fatally
wounded that he had been in anger management classes
for years but found them useless.
Hainstock told detectives he was upset with school
chiefs because they did not stop other pupils from
picking on him and calling him names.
Going to school with guns occurred to him just that
morning, he said, and he just wanted officials to
listen to him.
When Klang grabbed him from
behind and put him in a bear hug, he put the
revolver under his left armpit and shot the
principal, he said. He said he did not mean to kill
him, but “I just freaked out”. 
'Principal killed in week's second school shooting', by
Dan Whitcomb, September 29, 2006, Reuters.
'Principal fatally shot at Wisconsin school', by Todd
Richmond, AP news via Chicago Tribune, September 30, 2006.
teenager shoots headmaster in US', (uncredited), Ireland
Online, September 30, 2006.
'Boy, 15, guns down Weston High School principal', by Lee
Newspapers staff and wire services, LaCrosse Tribune,
September 30, 2006.
I just freaked out, said teen gunman who killed school head,
Breaking News.ie (Ireland), April 21, 2007.
Update August 2007: Eric Hainstock convicted
Eric Hainstock was
sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole
after 30 years for shooting and killing his principle John
Klang in 2006. In his trial Eric claimed that he brought the
guns to school in order to get the attention of his principle
and make him stop kids from teasing him. His attorneys argued
that Hainstock is emotional and immature, suffers from
attention deficit disorder, and was repeatedly harassed at
school and abused at home.  "There is
very little thought to anything he does," said
Hainstock's attorney Rhoda Ricciardi. 
School shooter wanted teasing to stop, by Todd
Richmond, AP, August 1, 2007
Hainstock sentenced to life in prison with chance of parole in
30 years, by Todd Richmond, AP via Wisconsin State
Journal, August 3, 2007.
Once again note the lack of diversity in reporting on this
news story – just one writer for the Associated Press is
feeding all the major media outlets.
Platte Canyon High School in
Class B event
Duane R. Morrison, age 53.
Where: Room 206
Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado.
When: September 27, 2006 over a four-hour period
from about noon to four in the afternoon.
Weapons: Reported as “a 367 revolver and a Glock”
 or a semiautomatic pistol and a revolver. He did not have a
Killed: The police report that 16-year-old Emily
Keyes was shot by Duane Morrison as she ran away during the
police SWAT team’s entrance into the classroom. Morrison
subsequently shot and killed himself, or was possible killed by
"Roman Tucker said he left the school
about 10:45 a.m. to participate in a work program and said he
saw Morrison sitting in a Jeep Wrangler in the school parking
lot, staring straight ahead and appearing to be drinking."
 Around noon Duane Morrison left his car and went into room
206, brandished a gun, selected six girls as hostages and told
everyone else to leave the room. "… he
announced he had a bomb in his camouflage backpack, threatened
their teacher and told the students to line up against the
blackboard, their faces toward the wall."  Morrison
then sexually assaulted some or all of the hostages and released
four. With two hostages left he threatened unspecified action at
4 pm and the police SWAT team forcibly entered the classroom.
Student Emily Keyes was shot and killed while Duane Morrison
reportedly shot himself and was also shot by the police.
Morrison appeared to have been living out of
his Jeep, Wegener said. Investigators found prescription
medication and a key to a Denver hotel room in the vehicle.
Investigators also found an assault weapon at a campsite a
mile north of the high school. They believe Morrison may have
been living beside the South Platte River.
According to the apartment building's manager,
Morrison lived on South Birch Street from Feb. 1, 2001, to
April 12 of this year. Hoagland said he thought Morrison moved
out because of a rent increase. Two-bedroom units there
currently cost $600 to $700 per month.
His family says the gunman at Platte Canyon
High School was a hardworking carpenter who grew up in a large
Baptist family of six children.
Morrison’s hobbies: guns and scaring people?
There also is mention of Morrison in another
article about haunted houses that appeared in October-November
2000 of online publication Go-Go Magazine.
That story identified Duane Morrison as one of
the designers of haunted houses for Primitive Fear, and quoted
him as saying, "We encourage the actors to take the initiative
to come up with skits on their own, decide what would be
scariest for the room they're in."
Record of Minor Crimes
In 1973, he was arrested for larceny and
possession of marijuana in Aurora, according to a Colorado
Bureau of Investigation database. The disposition of the case
was not known. He was also charged July 11 in Littleton for
obstructing a police officer, the CBI records say.
On Nov. 22, 2004, Morrison allegedly called
Rocky Mountain Harley Davidson in Littleton, according to
court records, in an agitated state and complained about
having received one of the business's catalogs in the mail. In
a message left on the firm's voice mail, Morrison "threatened
to come to the store with an assault rifle to see if that
would fix the situation," according to court records. Morrison
was charged with harassment and subsequently was named in a
fugitive warrant after failing to appear for a court date.
Records in California indicate that Morrison
also resided in the Sacramento area for a number of years as a
younger man, and that he divorced from his wife, Sharon, in
Sacramento County in November 1984. A law enforcement source
in Sacramento said Morrison was arrested there about 20 years
ago on suspicion of auto theft, but charges never were filed.
Reporting does not describe the security
situation at the school, possibly because none existed. It's not
clear that this crime was planned in advance
because the 'suicide note' the gunmen left did not reveal any
plans. or specific intent to his actions or what those actions
Sexual assault appears to be the primary motive
of the assailant in this case, with suicide possibly the
secondary motive. Beyond that no substantiated connection between Morrison and
the school or the students has been reported. Morrison’s
relatives offer no reason for his behavior and so far no
reporting has indicated any specific reason for his targeting of
Platte Canyon High School. Morrison's use of prescription drugs,
and probably alcohol too, are a factor worth noting in this
case; this may simply be a drug induced crime of opportunity.
'Colorado Gunman Sent Letter Predicting Death', by
Maria Newman, New York Times, September 29, 2006.
'Dealing with the tragedy, then the aftermath', by Erin
Emery and Steve Lipsher, Denver Post, September 29,
'Shooter was living out of Jeep', by Charlie Brennan,
Rocky Mountain News, September 29, 2006.
'Shooter described as quiet, gruff', by Kirk Mitchell and
Felisa Cardona, Denver Post, September 28, 2006.
Dawson College, Montreal Canada -
Class B event
Who: Kimveer Gill, 6 foot 1inch tall and 25 years old, from
Laval near Montreal, Canada.
College, Montreal Canada. Approximate population: 10,000
students; "the first English-language
institution in Quebec's network of university preparatory
colleges when it was founded in 1969.” 
September 13, 2006. One source claims the shooting began in
Dawson College's cafeteria at 12:41 pm, while another implies
the shooting began outside the school.
Police reportedly arrived at
the scene within three 3 minutes since they were already in the
area for unrelated reasons.
Weapons: A .45
calibre pistol and a 'Beretta CX4 Storm' 9 mm semi-automatic
rifle. "The weapons used in the rampage
were all legally registered, and signatures from close family
members were required to get permits." 
Killed: Anastasia DeSousa age 18, a student at Dawson College,
and Kimveer Gill. 20 others were injured from gunshots. One news
source claims Gill fired his last bullet into his own head while
another claims he fired into his chest or that police killed
Reporting states that Kimveer Gill’s father was a professor in
Canada but no longer teaches and that his mother stopped working
after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
linguistic alienation is a powerful force in the cosmopolitan
and urban region of Canada where this shooting occurred;
Kimveer’s ethnic origin is South Asian, in this case from India.
Not surprising then is the fact that this is not the first mass
Canada's worst mass shooting took place in Montreal when
gunman Marc Lepine, 25, killed 14 women at the Ecole
Polytechnic in 1989, before shooting himself. That shooting
spurred efforts for new gun laws, achieved mainly as the
results of efforts by survivors and relatives of Lepine's
sources claimed Kimveer was a high School dropout yet a photo
shows him in graduation outfit! This once again goes to show the
challenge of trying to reconstruct an accurate sequence of
events and characterization from mass-media news reporting where
fact checking has long since vanished in the wake of quick
Kimveer was actually a graduate of Rosemere High School.
Although he was unemployed at the time of the shooting reporting
describes a record of successful employment in his past.
Gill was in the Canadian military for a month of basic training
at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in
Saint-Jean, Quebec from January 17 to February 16, 1999.
However, military officials claim he did not have weapons
training and was prematurely removed from the program for
reasons military officials will not release. More recently
reports describe Kimveer as having problems with depression and
suffering from a deteriorating state of mind.
insists her son was not the solitary, taciturn person the
media have portrayed. "He had friends and everything," she
said, but adds that he had changed lately. "Since Christmas,
he became more sad, more tranquil. He started to spend more
time on his computer, playing video games."
Her son, she says, once suffered from depression, overwhelmed
by her illness
He was treated at a local health clinic.
In postings on a website called Vampire Freaks.com, weblogs in
Gill's name show more than 50 photographs of the young man
wearing a black trenchcoat and combat boots and holding a
rifle. One picture has a gravestone with his name printed on
it - below it the phrase: "Lived fast died young. Left a
The last of six journal entries on Wednesday was posted at
10:41am, about two hours before the gunman was shot dead at
Dawson. He said on the site that he was drinking whiskey in
the morning and described his mood the night before as "crazy"
He wrote that he hated jocks, preppies, country music and
hip-hop. "Work sucks ... school sucks ... life sucks ... what
else can I say? ... Life is a video game you've got to die
Another neighbour, Mariola Trutschnigg, said she noticed a
changed in appearance in recent months. "He started wearing a
mohawk and black clothes," she said.
The gunman opened fire at no target in particular, until he
saw the police and took aim at them, Chief Delorme said.
Kimveer Gill did not restrict his violent thoughts to the blog
he kept on VampireFreaks.com. He posted disturbing comments on
other Web sites and allegedly jotted them down in a diary,
where the entries indicate his mind was deteriorating.
"From what he wrote, you could tell that he basically hated
humanity as a whole. He hated everybody. He hated black
people, white people, rich people. He hated everybody," a
police source said.
"It was very obvious his state of mind was deteriorating
greatly over the last three weeks."
No specific motive is apparent and there is no known connection between Kimveer and Dawson College.
The school appears to have been simply a convenient forum for
"To my knowledge he was not a student [at Dawson] and was not in
the past," said Lieutenant Francois Dore of the Surete du
Further, some claims indicate this may have been a
The TVA network reported last night that security cameras inside
the Alexis Nihon Plaza, the shopping mall across the street from
Dawson College, captured Mr. Gill on videotape as far back as
Aug. 10, presumably staking out the area. The report also
revealed that police found a note on Mr. Gill's body that said
he was targeting the junior college, but not offering any
apparent lack of motive and purpose
is a disturbing aspect of these types of crimes it helps to
look at it as an elaborate suicidal action with a distinct
element of revenge (against society) within it.
Kimveer had no reason to die but no reason to live either, he
was the stereotypically
individual: society had no need for him and he had no need for
'Police find nothing linking killer, school', by Paul
Cherry and Jeff Heinrich, CanWest News, September 15,
‘College killer was website fantasist’, by Phil Couvrette
and Robert Melnbardis, The Scotsman, September 15,
'Parents 'knew nothing', by Hugo Meunier, Toronto Star,
September 16, 2006.
‘Shooter had brief military service’, by Tu Thanh Ha,
Ingrid Peritz, and Andre Picard, Globe and Mail,
September 16, 2006.
'Blogs reveal a deteriorating mind, police say', by Siri
Agrell and Paul Cherry, National Post, September 16,
Orange High School in Hillsborough, North
Class A event
Alvaro Rafael Castillo, age 19. Castillo has been charged with
murder and 10 other charges. 
Where: The Orange High School parking lot in Hillsborough, North
Orange High School is reported to have about 1,000 students. Two
unarmed guards at the school did not stop Castillo from entering
because, "Our purpose is to just see that
the children go in and out, and make sure nobody scratches up
the students' cars or anything like that." 
When: August 30,
2006 during the school lunch break around 1pm.
shots fired, with a 9mm rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun with
a shortened barrel found at the scene of the crime.
“…police found two pipe bombs and two
rifles in the van he was driving and four additional pipe bombs
at his home.”  Alvaro used a 'smoke bomb' before
firing, apparently at random.
School senior Tiffaney Utsman grazed by bullet. Unnamed student
injured by flying glass. Alvaro’s father, Rafael Huezo Castillo
(reportedly from El Salvador), was killed just before the school
Why: The reason for
the school shooting is unclear. My speculation is that the
intent was not to kill anyone but instead to create a scene and
gain attention for the shooter.
was not a student in school but was a graduate. Castillo joined
the North Carolina National Guard in 2004 and had finished basic
training in August 2005. However he was being processed out for
medical reasons, likely related to court records indicating that
he was involuntarily sent to a state psychiatric hospital after
telling his family he planned to kill himself with a shotgun.
"He stated that he was not going to go
back into the Army and was going to kill himself," he was
released eight days later, according to court records.
 No mention is made of medication or drugs, but in this case
the use of psychotropic medication seems very likely, we just
don’t have any information yet one way or the other.
Alvaro Castillo’s background
presents conflicting messages, for instance his
(still active as this was being written) lists
God, Mom, Dad and his younger sister Victoria, at the top of his
list of heroes. Interviews with other students did not
describe any remarkable behavior on the part of Castillo.
Yet Castillo sent a
letter and video to the Chapel Hill News where he
describes a verbally and physically abusive father. The letter
ends with, "I will die. I have wanted to
die for years. I'm sorry."  (View
Alvaro Rafael Castillo video excerpts) It’s possible that he was
trying to present a false image of normalcy and stability to
others, and perhaps even to himself, that was at odds with the
inner turmoil that was really going on.
Of note, just like Jeff Weise
in Red Lake High School, Alvaro also is reported to have fixated
upon violent scenes in violent films.
Most of the hour-plus video shows
Castillo aiming the camera at a small television playing
violent movies. They include "Scarface," "Predator," "The
Shining," "Natural Born Killers" and a documentary, "Zero
Hour: Massacre at Columbine High." Castillo narrates the
violence, sometimes chiming in word-for-word with actors. He
repeatedly used the mute button to silence profanity. Grisly
scenes are met with a throaty laugh. 
He also had a keen interest,
perhaps even an obsession, with other school shootings widely reported by the mass
When asked why he fixated on the 1999
attack, in which two students wearing trench coats killed 13
people before committing suicide, Castillo said he didn't
know. "He was obsessed with Columbine, the (Kip) Kinkel
shooting in Oregon, the (Jonesboro) Arkansas high school
shooting," the sheriff said. He said Castillo even traveled
last year to Colorado to drive by the school and the homes of
the two teenagers who carried out the shootings.” 
AP news reported
that as he was being walked to jail and asked why he killed his
father Alvaro replied: "We all have to
sacrifice. Somebody had to put him out of his misery. He abused
all of us." 
He definitely had a
need for public recognition of his actions as evidenced by at
least three factors: the fact he did not kill himself, the
letter and video sent to the newspaper, and immediately
confessing to killing his father while using the media attention
to (vaguely) explain his actions.
All evidence so far
indicates this school shooting was planned in advance.
However the injured students do not appear to have any
connection to the shooter. Although he had pipe bombs and plenty
of ammunition there is no reporting he resisted arrest after a
school attack that seems half-hearted at best! This aspect is
especially striking when considering that Castillo had been
trained to kill by the U.S. military, he had just committed
murder that day (his father), and there was no one around that
had the force to stop him during his attack. Thus it appears
that Alvaro's primary intent was to achieve notoriety; perhaps
this is a new phenomenon in the history of school shootings: the
effort to achieve infamy through imitation.
The trial should
bring more facts to light in this case but in the meantime the
real motivation and intent behind this incident resides in the
mind and family history of Alvaro Rafael Castillo.
‘School shooting suspect charged with killing father’,
suspect obsessed with Columbine’, by Estes Thompson, AP
news, August 31, 2006.
‘Family, friends shocked by killing, reasons’, Leah
Friedman, Cheryl Johnston Sadgrove Jessica Rocha, Raleigh
News & Observer, September 2, 2006.
‘Parking lot guards didn't expect intruder’, By Meiling
Arounnarath, News & Oberver, September 2, 2006.
The Columbine Papers
A very large collection of documents on the Columbine school
shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, was recently released.
All 946 pages and 32mb of it can be viewed
< here >.These
papers include homework assignments, personal drawings, grade
summaries, police reports and more. The material released from
Klebold and Harris’ notes paint a portrait of two individuals
that are self-absorbed, insecure, and emotionally unstable, in
short, they were teenagers. These two teenagers were however
particularly obsessed with (pop-culture) violence in general and
Nazism in particular, although it appears that they could not
make up their mind whether they loved Nazis or hated them.
It’s interesting to consider that the cultural concept of the
teenager is a relatively new phenomenon, mostly a 20th century
creation. Before the 20th century there really wasn't that much
a person needed to learn to become a productive member of
society and children were put to work as soon as they were
physically capable of doing anything productive to help. Around
the time of High School most average kids would likely be
apprenticed to an adult and have adult role models around them
teaching them a craft or some kind of employable skill. But
today that is not the case and kids are isolated all the way
past age 18, 22 even in college, trapped in an isolation chamber
called a school that serves to echo the same unreal messages and
unreal expectations back and forth because there is no balanced
and practical external anchor or reference marker set in the
adult world. TV and entertainment fill the void and set
expectations and standards. High School age kids lack any
substance in their isolated world to connect them to the adult
reality that they are hurtling towards largely unprepared, a
world of things like utility bills, health insurance, car
payments, working for a wage, and the self-discipline necessary
for personal success.
Perhaps one reason we have seen a decrease in school shootings
over the past year or so has to do with the rise of online
social networking tools such as ‘friendster’, Rupert Murdoch’s
‘Myspace’ and other Internet based forums that allow people to
meet and communicate outside of the confines of their school
isolation chamber. 29.07.06
Drug Induced Homicides
Another update, the page
< here > contains a listing of homicides and attempted
homicides that have occurred while using anti-depressants,
anti-ADHD pills, and other psychotropic drugs; sent to me by an
alert reader. It does not include any references or dates on the
events making independent verification more difficult. However,
doing a spot check, the entry for Harris and Klebold matches
with other information I've found as to the prescription drugs
they were using.
Harris aged 17 (Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18
(Zoloft & Paxil) in Colombine school shooting in Littleton,
Colorado, killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and injured 23
others, before killing themselves.
Roseburg High School, Oregon
Class A event
The shooting occurred in a courtyard on the Roseburg High
When: 7:45 am
Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006
Who: Vincent Wayne Leodoro
Why: The motive remains unclear and is still
“After the shooting, two students followed
Leodoro and flagged down a police car as he walked away from
school. Police confronted him at a nearby restaurant parking
lot, where Leodoro put a gun to his head before surrendering,
police and witnesses said.” 
Joseph Monti (age 16) in the back. Three shots hit his torso and
the fourth grazed
“10 mm pistol” 
Trial: Leodoro is charged with felony counts of
murder, first-degree assault, possession of a weapon in a public
building, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a
If found guilty, Leodoro
would face a maximum sentence of commitment to a youth
correctional facility until age 25.” 
have said Monti was cited earlier this month on a misdemeanor
harassment charge of spitting on a school bus rider, but that
investigators had not found any obvious connection with the
Teenagers who commit these extreme forms of
school violence typically have an undeveloped sense of
proportion, inadequate self-control and an inability to
conceptualize the future consequences of drastic personal
kids can’t distinguish between degrees of severity or form an
appropriate response to the actions of those around them.
Drug use, prescription or otherwise, remains an unknown factor
in this shooting, as does the security situation at the school.
Bail denied for suspect in Roseburg school shooting,
School shooting suspect arraigned, by
Chelsea Duncan, The News-Review,
February 24, 2006.
Campbell County High
Class A event
Where: Campbell County Comprehensive High School.
Student body: 1,400, located about 35 miles northwest of
When: November 8, 2005
Who: Ken Bartley Jr., 15 years old.
Why: The motive for the shooting remains unclear but at this
point it seems likely it was simply the opportunity of the
situation coupled with student rage.
How: Ken Bartley Jr. brought a .22 caliber
handgun to school,
hidden under a napkin. After showing off the gun to other
students, school authorities became suspicious and called the
freshman into the principal’s office where Ken shot the
principal and two assistant principals, killing one and
seriously injuring the others as well as himself in the melee.
Killed and Injured:
Principal Ken Bruce was killed while principal
Gary Seale was shot in the lower abdomen, and assistant
principal Jim Pierce was shot in the chest. 
Weapon: One .22 caliber handgun 
Bartley was a known trouble-maker.
"He has been in trouble before, but I just
wouldn't expect something like this out of him," said classmate
Courtney Ward, 17. "He is a big jokester. He is rowdy. But I
just couldn't see him doing this." 
the age of 12, Bartley was placed by his parents at Kingswood
School, a residential counseling program in Grainger County, for
treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, Kingswood administrator
Darrell Helton told WBIR-TV on Thursday.” 
Security at the
school was sufficient to identify the boy with the gun but it
did not prevent him from using it. “Campbell
County High has one unarmed school resource officer, a woman who
also acts as a hall monitor. The school has video surveillance,
though it apparently did not cover principals' offices. It has
one handheld metal detector.” 
Apparently, all of the official reporting for this story has
been conducted by one source: the Associated Press.
* * *
Update 2007: Ken Bartley Jr.
sentenced to 45
years of prison in plea bargain
Deputy Sheriff Darrell Mongar testified during a February
hearing that Bartley told him the pistol was his father's and he
planned to trade it for OxyContin, a powerful painkiller.
Pierce testified at that hearing that he told Bartley he wanted
the gun the boy had in his pocket. "Kenny stood up with the gun
waving it at all of us,'' Pierce said. "Mr. Seale asked him if
it was real. He said 'Yes, it's real. I'll show you. I never
liked you anyway."
Pierce said Bartley pulled out an ammunition clip, loaded the
gun and fired. Seale was shot first, in the lower abdomen. Bruce
was shot in the chest. Pierce was hit in the chest as he
struggled to disarm the youth, he testified.
Bartley had been indicted on charges of first-degree murder and
felony murder, both of which could have carried a life sentence
- meaning a minimum of 51 years in prison. He also was charged
with attempted murder, taking a gun to school grounds and
possession of controlled substances, which could have added to
his sentence if he were convicted. Jury selection was wrapping
up when the agreement was reached.
1 killed, 2 hurt in Tennessee, by Duncan Mansfield,
AP, November 9, 2005.
Wounded Principal Praised As Hero,
Duncan Mansfield, AP,
November 9, 2005.
School shooting raises questions of safety, security,
AP, November 11, 2005.
Boy Agrees to 45 Years in School Killing,
by Duncan Mansfield, AP via The Guardian (UK), April 10, 2007.
Red Lake High
Class A event
Lake High School, Red Lake Indian Reservation in the northern
part of Minnesota, approximate school population: 300 students.
“According to the 2000
census, 5,162 people lived on the reservation, and all but 91
were Indians.” 
Weise, age 16, 6 feet, 250 pounds.
Why: At the time
of writing Weise's motive remains unclear in the official
22 caliber and two police handguns as well as a police shotgun.
Killed: Weise shot his
grandfather Daryl Lusierage, age 58, a tribal police
sergeant, and his grandfather's companion Michelle Sigana, age 32, with a.22-caliber handgun.
Weise then took his
grandfather's police weapons including two handguns and a
shotgun and drove his grandfather’s squad car to his school,
shot the unarmed security guard Derrick Brun, age 28, and then
proceeded to shoot students at random and at close range for
approximately ten minutes, killing five students including
Alicia White (15), Thurlene Stillday (15), Chase Lussier (15).
Neva Rogers (62) a teacher, while seven other students were also
wounded in the attack. Reportedly, after police responded to the
scene and began to fire back, Weise then shot himself. The
shooting appeared to be pre-meditated in Weise’s mind even if
the targets were not, Weise likely having gone over the routine
multiple times in his daydreams.
About five weeks before the shooting
Jeff Weise was ejected from Red Lake High School due to a
violation of school policy and was in a special program for
Weise had a
troubled childhood and a family history of alcohol abuse.
administrator of one Internet site told The New York Times
that Weise wrote that his mother, with whom he lived in the
Twin Cities before returning to Red Lake, ''would hit me with
anything she could get her hands on" and ''would tell me I was
a mistake, and she would say so many things that it is hard to
deal with them or think of them without crying." In another
message, the administrator said, Weise wrote that ''I have
friends, but I'm basically a loner inside a group of loners.
I'm excluded from anything and everything they do. I'm never
invited. I don't even know why they consider me a friend or I
Psychotropic Drug Use
Given the family situation Weise came from it’s not too
surprising that he dealt with issues of depression and had
“Relatives told the newspaper his father committed suicide four years
ago, and that his mother was living in a Minneapolis nursing
home because she suffered brain injuries in a [alcohol
related] car accident.
“In his 16 years, Weise had lost many relatives. He was estranged from
other family members and had a strained relationship with
Daryl Lussier, the grandfather.
He was taking the antidepressant Prozac and at least once was
hospitalized for suicidal tendencies.”
 “[Sky] Grant said he himself was
taking 20 milligrams a day of Zoloft, another antidepressant,
and the boys talked in detail about their medication. He said
Weise told him he was taking 40 milligrams a day of Prozac: 20
in the morning, 20 at night. "Everybody changes when they
start taking antidepressants," Grant said. "He was a lot more
quiet. I wouldn't say any better." 
The shooting at Red Lake High
School is one of the more useful ones from an analytical
perspective because of the quantity of detailed information that
is often lacking in other school shooting events, but not all of
it was particularly useful. The mass-media outlets, especially
outside the United States, were immediate in describing Weise as
some kind of crazed neo-Nazi due to online messages attributed
to him and his apparent belief in racial separation. However,
since his targets were random it's difficult to make his
beliefs out to be the reason for his shooting spree. It seems
more likely that his ideas were simply another source of
alienation since he lacked anyone to connect with or talk about
his views, other than impersonal Internet message groups. This
sense of disconnection from the people around him eventually drove him to act out in desperation to gain
recognition and a sense of power over a personal situation he
saw as extremely bleak and hopeless.
Jeff Weise displayed the
psychological elements of a stereotypical school shooter.
Suicide is an act of desperation - Weise felt desperate because
he couldn’t see any way out of his troubles while anger,
alienation and resentment pushed him to act out.
hated his mother and had a tendency to skip ahead to violent
parts in movies they rented.”
 The culmination of events in his external action took the
form it did because, by immersing himself in thoughts and games
of killing and retribution, he conditioned himself to view
violence as an acceptable means of finally solving his troubles.
Shooter seemed to target victims, teen says,
MacQuarrie, Boston Globe,
March 25, 2005.
Associated Press via Newsday, March 22-25, 2005.
The clues were all there' School shooter
depicted as deeply disturbed, ignored teen,
by Ceci Connolly and Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, March 24,
Friend Says Minn. Teen Gunman on Prozac,
by Joshua Freed, AP, March 25, 2005.
FORWARD TO PAGE TWO OF THE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS REPORT >
anti-gun initiative with extensive listing of firearm
incidents at, or near, schools
Crisis, Tragedy and Recovery Network
Depression drugs no better than placebos,
USA Today, February 26, 2008.
I, Columbine Killer - game tested, critiqued,
by Clive Thompson, Wired, January 15, 2007.
High-tech school security is on the rise,
Today, October 10, 2006
The complete Columbine Papers
Violent video games alter brain's response to violence,
New Scientist, December 12, 2005
Violence may be a 'socially infectious disease',
Scientist, May 27, 2005
Psychology Association -
Center for the Prevention of School Violence
of Justice report 'Indicators
of school crime and safety 2001'
Schools Safe: School security and safety
A Time Line of Recent Worldwide School Shootings
One doctors crusade against pyschotropic drugs