A Typical Morning At The Home Of A School Shooter

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #185: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a middle school student who planned to kill people.

PLOTTING

Leading up the school shooting, the 13-year-old student had searched the internet using the terms Columbine, Sandy Hook, school shooting memes, what was the largest mass shooting in America, and he also searched for a blueprint of his middle school. The school had approx., 1,300 6th-8th grade students.

The day before the shooting, the teen made a short video showing two handguns, one with a silencer attached. He said in the video he planned to take other people’s lives and then his.

Also the day before the shooting, he texted some friends and told them not to go to school the next day.

SHOOTING DAY

His mother testified it was a typical morning the day of the shooting. Her son got ready for school and told her about an upcoming band concert. What she didn’t know was that he’d packed two weapons and plenty of ammunition in his backpack.

Upon his arrival at school, the seventh-grade boy stashed the backpack in his locker.

There was a quiz given in his second-period science class. He finished early and asked to be excused. He retrieved his backpack from the locker and went to the bathroom to prepare the weapons.

BRAVE TEACHER

He returned to his science class, knocked and then opened the door gun drawn. Several shots were fired before the quick thinking—and brave—science teacher grabbed a basketball and threw it at the student using a “double-pump” technique.

Double-pump: A basketball technique where the shooter fakes a shot by pumping the ball quickly two times before shooting.

A fellow teacher summoned the school resource officer, someone called 911, and the school went into lock-down.

Seeing the ball had knocked the gun out of the student’s hand; the teacher charged the boy and took him down with a bear-hug. He held him tightly until an officer took him into custody.

FALLOUT

A female student and the teacher had both been shot several times requiring surgeries. Both victims survived. Seven shell casings were found.

You hear about these shootings around the country,” the mayor said at a news conference. “You just never think it could happen in your town.”

JUSTICE

The case remained in juvenile court, and the shooter agreed to a juvenile court version of a guilty plea.

In court, his mother testified they were responsible gun owners. However, when the home was searched, the locked gun safe—in the basement—had the keys in the lock.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, in your past, your upbringing, would make anyone think you were capable of this offense,” the judge said.

The judge expressed his confusion from the 70+ letters of support for the boy and the boy’s actions as well as his insincere letter of apology.

The judge sentenced the boy to the Department of Corrections until he’s 18 and probation upon his release.

Schools need to be hyper-vigilant during the last few months of school. But what does that even mean? To use the words of the judge in the case referenced in this email—nothing, absolutely nothing, in the boy’s past, his upbringing, would make anyone think he was capable of this offense. Schools need parents help or shootings won’t stop. In my opinion, vigilance has to start at home.

  • Keep guns locked and inaccessible at all times. It doesn’t matter if a parent thinks their child has been taught to use guns responsibly—lock up the firearms and hide the key.
  • Monitor your child’s internet use—regardless of their protest.
  • Monitor your child’s cell phone use—irrespective of their surly attitude.

Until it happens in your community, the possibility of a school shooting at your local school isn’t even a thought. It’s quite the conundrum, how to be hyper-vigilant for an event you don’t expect to occur.

Worth Mentioning: Six months later, the voters in this community approved a $50 million school referendum for the district with 10,000+ students, and 10 schools. An increase of .37 cents per $100 assessed value to their property tax. The district receives $6.25 million per year. 

  • $1.57 million: Hire a mental health coordinator, 10 social workers, two middle school deans, two elementary school counselors and software to start screening students. 
  • $1.75 million: To be spent on safety staff and equipment, including hiring a full-time district safety director, eight additional school resource officers, a technician to manage security footage, and installing video systems on buses. 
  • The remaining $2.93 million would be spent on salaries.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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Killer High School Friends

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #184: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving three high school friends.

She was a 16-year-old honors student living in a small close-knit community when she went missing. After her parents reviewed the security video from their apartment complex, they saw she’d slipped out her bedroom window and got into the back seat of a car. The video was too grainy to see make, model, or license plate number.

Besties No More

Once best friends, the friendship between the threesome had crumbled. Two girls were fearful the third would tell others their sensitive and embarrassing secrets. So they concocted a detailed plan to kill their ex-friend and then they executed the murder.

The girls borrowed a car, packed towels, cleaning supplies, fresh clothes, shovels and knives into the trunk before they coaxed their “friend” to sneak out and go somewhere to smoke marijuana with them.

Lies and More Lies

As days turned to weeks, and then months with no sign of their daughter, her parents held on to hope she would return. The two friends kept up with their story that they didn’t know where she’d gone. They’d post on social media how much they missed her and beg her to come home.

Her parents considered the friends extended family. You know how friends are at that age, one weekend they’d stay at one girl’s house the next weekend at another’s.

Finally, the burden of keeping the secret became too much for one of the girls. She voluntarily went to the police and confessed. She also told the authorities where they had left the body. The other friend denied her involvement.

Big Girl Consequences

For more than six months, her body was 30 miles from home across the state line under a pile of branches and vegetation debris.

Both girls were charged, and their cases transferred to adult court.

Once their horrific act went public, the murdered girl’s parents were shocked how easily the girls had lied to them and pretended to care about their daughter’s disappearance.

The girl who had confessed pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The judge sentenced her to 30 years in prison.

The week before her trial was scheduled to begin, the “mastermind” pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. The judge sentenced her to life in prison. She’ll be eligible for parole after 15 years.

Gone But Not Forgotten

After losing a child to a violent crime, I’m sure it’s difficult for parents to heal. Almost every night for more than six years, the mother of the girl murdered in this case has posted a good night message to her daughter on social media.

Sadly, this type of crime is not an isolated incident. You may have missed this similar case: Cold-Blooded Vengeance

My heart hurts for all family and friends who’ve lost a loved one to a violent crime.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Have you joined the club? Find out more at:  Reader Club

Robin Lyons Books

Available wherever books are sold.

Where to buy Robin Lyons books

Sharing is caring...Share the School News...

A Teacher’s Meticulously Designed But Reprehensible Scrapbooks

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #183: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving an eighth-grade middle school teacher.

If you’ve read some of my posts, you’ll know I feel school administrators often drop the ball when it comes to disciplining their staff. In this case, I applaud the school administrator’s swift actions.

Risky Business

He’d been a teacher for more than 25 years. Four years with the middle school.

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Shocking Sexual Abuse At A High School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #182: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving sexual assault at a high school.

There were sexual assault reports from more than ten victims over several years. In the end, eight victims, boys, and girls told the judge their shocking stories.

A 14-year-old freshman garnered the courage to bypass school administration—because he’d seen they weren’t addressing the issue—and went to the school’s resource officer, a detective with the local police department.

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Cocaine In The Classroom

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #181: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a young high school English teacher.

You may remember seeing the video on the news. In the morning, students, from outside the classroom, recorded the teacher alone in her classroom doing drugs. Students alerted the principal and posted the video on social media which was widely viewed.

The local police were called and arrived to investigate late the same morning. A police officer walked the 24-year-old teacher out of the school in handcuffs. Students also recorded her leaving the school and posted this on social media as well.

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