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Old 03-21-2005, 11:17 PM
Louis Cypher Louis Cypher is offline
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Default SCHOOL SHOOTING: 8 dead, 14 injured

Last update: March 21, 2005 at 7:08 PM
Staff and wire reports
March 22, 2005 REDLAKE0322

RED LAKE, Minn. -- A young man apparently shot and killed his grandmother and grandfather and then went to Red Lake High School where he killed five more people and injured 14, the FBI reports. The FBI also believes the shooter killed himself and apparently was acting alone.

Paul McCabe, spokesman for the FBI office in Minneapolis, said during a news conference at 6:15 p.m. that four students -- two boys, one believed to be the shooter, and two girls -- died. One female teacher and one security officer also died.

"This is a fluid investigation," McCabe said. "Right now there is still a lot of work to do. We're still clearing the school as a safety precaution even though we believe the shooter is among the dead."

He would not comment on the motive saying, "It is too early in the investigations."

McCabe provided no detail about the sequence of the shooting, but said the dead at the school were found in one room. When pressed for more information, McCabe said "We are not going to comment on any of the details right now. It's an ongoing investigation."

The Red Lake Net News, a webite supported by the tribe, identified the shooter's grandfather as a veteran law enforcement officer for the Red Lake Police Department, Daryl "Dash" Lussier.

Red LakeLussier and his wife, who was not identified, were at their home in the Back of Town area in Red Lake when they were shot, the Net News reported.

Tribal fire marshal Roman Stately told KARE-11 TV that the shooter entered the school about 2 p.m, carrying a shotgun and two handguns. "After he shot a scurity guard, he walked down the hallway shooting, and went into a classroom where he shot a teacher and more students,'' Stately said.

After the gunman shot himself, the school's estimated 200 students were evacuated, he said.

Scene of shootingRed Lake Net NewsBut Tribal treasurer Darrell Seki described the situation as "terrible. We see things like this happen outside the reservation, but now it's happened here, in our home. It's an awful situation.''

Red Lake High School principal Chris Dunshee called his wife Cathy shortly after the shootings occurred.

"He called to let me know he was OK and that was a relief,'' she said earlier today. "He didn't want to tell me any details, but said he thoughht five or six people were shot and that one was dead.''

Sherri Birkeland, a spokeswoman for North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji, said at about 6 p.m. that six people had been brought to the hospital. One was dead and three were admitted. Two others were taken to MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D., which can treat very serious injuries.

American Indian Movement leader Clyde Bellecourt talked this afternoon to several family members on the reservation and said initial accounts of the shooting were unconfirmed and confusing.

"A lot of it's still second-hand, and sketchy,'' Bellecourt said. "Nobody has a clear idea of what exactly happened. The first report was that a student drove his car right into the school building, got out and shot a guard.''

He said he was told the gunman shot at least one teacher and three students. He also heard that the gunman shot himself.

"A grandmother of one of the students called to say her grandson was shot,'' Bellecourt said. "She was crying the whole time.''

Audrey Thayer, who lives in Bemidji and works as a researcher for the American Civil Liberties Union's Minneosta chapter, said the reservation was locked down by police with roadblocks. "They have got it closed off,'' she said.

Today's shooting was the second major school shooting in Minnesota in recent years. In September 2003, two students were shot at Rocori High School in central Minnesota.

Aaron Rollins, 17, and Seth Bartell, 14, both died from their wounds Rollins that day and Bartell 16 days later. Fellow student John Jason McLaughlin, 15 at the time of the shootings, awaits trial in the case.

The Red Lake Indian Reservation is in far northern Minnesota, about 240 miles north of the Twin Cities.

The school has 355 students in grades 9-12, with 31 teachers and a full staff of 55. The population is 100 percent Indian -- 81 percent of them are in poverty and 23 percent are in special education. The graduation rate is 57 percent.

Staff Writers Richard Meryhew, Bob Von Sternberg, Jim Walsh, Josephine Marcotty, Simon Groebner, Jaime Chismar, Stan Schmidt, Vincent Tuss, the Associated Press and John McIntyre contributed to this report.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:26 PM
HuskerFan HuskerFan is offline
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Default RE:SCHOOL SHOOTING: 8 dead, 14 injured

...and this is supposed to be a surprise????

this country is going to hell in a hurry....hate to think where we stand in 20years....
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:55 PM
JoeyrollNy JoeyrollNy is offline
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Default RE: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 8 dead, 14 injured

This type of stuff happens way too much.
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:58 PM
Bostongambler Bostongambler is offline
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Default RE: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 8 dead, 14 injured

WTF.... Will it ever end
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:09 AM
CrazyCanadian CrazyCanadian is offline
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Default RE:SCHOOL SHOOTING: 8 dead, 14 injured

is this for real . i havent seen any coverage on tv
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:13 AM
TTinCO TTinCO is offline
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Default RE: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 8 dead, 14 injured

Very real....

This kid had been to hell & back. His parents lived in the Twin cities...he lived with them for a while & his father killed himself, then his mother was in a car wreck that killed another relative & left her wheelchair bound.

He was also a "goth loner" as described on news tonight.

Do the lyrics "I'm a product of my environment" ring a bell with anyone?

What a shitty situation
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:33 AM
Conrad Conrad is offline
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Default RE: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 8 dead, 14 injured

This is an awful tragedy.

Time to get rid of the gun culture while we're at it...
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:09 AM
TTinCO TTinCO is offline
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Default RE: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 8 dead, 14 injured

Well, if it matters, I guess that his grandfather was a cop (ex cop?) and it was his gun that the kid took, killed him with and then went to the school with.

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Old 03-22-2005, 04:26 AM
Louis Cypher Louis Cypher is offline
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Default RE:UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

Last update: March 22, 2005 at 12:23 AM
10 dead in Red Lake shootings
Richard Meryhew, Chuck Haga, Howie Padilla and Larry Oakes, Star Tribune
March 22, 2005

RED LAKE, MINN. -- A teenage boy walked into Red Lake High School on Monday afternoon and opened fire with a shotgun and a handgun, killing five students, a teacher and a security guard before turning the gun on himself, authorities and witnesses said Monday.

The boy, identified by a law enforcement official, a school employee and two students as Jeff Weise, 17, apparently shot and killed his grandfather -- a Red Lake police officer -- and his grandfather's girlfriend minutes before heading to the school in a Red Lake squad car, sources said Monday night.

Twelve other people at the school were wounded, said Paul McCabe, a special agent for the FBI in Minneapolis.

The killing spree was the deadliest at a school in the United States since the 1999 killings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which 15 people died and 23 were wounded.

Floyd Jourdain Jr., the Red Lake Tribal Chairman since August 2004, called the shootings "without doubt, the darkest day in the history of our tribe. Our community is in shock. Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims' families. We're a small town, and everybody is stunned."

Only Weise and three of his victims were identified when this edition of the Star Tribune went to press. They were Weise's grandfather, Daryl Lussier, 58; Neva Rogers, 62, a teacher at the school, and Derrick Brun, 28, a school security officer.

Brun was reportedly the first one killed when Weise entered the building.

The three victims were identified by family members and a law enforcement official.

McCabe shared few details of the shooting during a press briefing in Minneapolis on Monday night. He said he could not speculate on a motive.

The Red Lake Indian Reservation is in northern Minnesota, about 260 miles from the Twin Cities. The city of Red Lake, where the shootings took place, is the most populated area of the remote reservation. The tribe has an enrollment of 10,000, with roughly 4,700 members living on the reservation. Many other members live in the Twin Cities.

"We know one another," Jourdain said. "We live and work and play with one another."

McCabe said he was unwilling to provide additional detail until agents were able to interview witnesses and complete their investigation.

"We're still clearing the school as a safety precaution even though we believe the shooter is among the dead," he said.

Added Pat Mills, director of Red Lake's public safety department: "We're not looking for any other suspects."

'It was chaos'

The school shootings are by far the deadliest in Minnesota's history, coming about 1 years after two classmates were shot and killed in a hall at Rocori High School in Cold Spring.

Because Red Lake High School is on an Indian reservation, it falls under federal jurisdiction. Nevertheless, officials from the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime lab will meet with FBI agents, said Kevin Smith, spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Authorities and witnesses said the shootings occurred shortly before 3 p.m. at the high school.

Mills said there were several 911 calls to the public safety department at about 2:55 p.m. reporting shooting at the high school. He said officers arrived within two minutes.

"It was chaos," Mills said.

Jourdain said the high school "probably was one of the first in the nation to do screening and have security officers." He said the security was implemented "before Columbine, but this just could not be prevented."

According to the FBI's McCabe, the gunman shot two Red Lake residents before heading to the school. Roman Stately, the tribe's fire marshal, said the boy may have gotten the guns from his grandfather, a veteran police officer on the reservation.

Once there, McCabe said the first person shot was Brun, the security officer.

The boy then "walked down the hallway shooting and went into a classroom where he shot a teacher and more students," Stately said.

Later, when police arrived, they exchanged shots with the gunman, who retreated to a classroom.

Nevertheless, McCabe said, "preliminary investigation leads us to believe the shooter's cause of death was a self-inflicted gun shot wound."

Said Jourdain, "It was a normal school day and all of a sudden it went bad. That's the question: Why? There are a lot of unanswered questions. We don't know what the motivations were. And we are afraid the death toll will rise."

A student's account

After the boy shot himself, Stately said, scores of students were moved to a nearby building that is part of the tribal government complex. The school has an enrollment of about 250 students in grades 9 through 12.

Justin Jourdain, a student, said Monday night that when he heard booming sounds in the high school, he thought something had fallen in the hall.

Then a panicked janitor came in, telling the students to stay in the classroom.

"Someone's shooting," the janitor said.

The booms grew louder as they closed in on the room. Jourdain and about 25 classmates took refuge in a small adjacent office.

Jourdain and school superintendent Stuart Desjarlait held the door shut as the gunman entered the room the students had just fled.

"I was holding the door and he fired one shot at the door, but it didn't go through," Jourdain said. "I just heard this loud thud. It was a wooden door and it didn't go through."

Desjarlait called police on Jourdain's cell phone while he held the door. The students were left screaming as the gunman fired shots in the other room, Jourdain said. It wasn't until 25 minutes later that they felt safe enough to leave their refuge.

Sondra Hegstrom, 17, said she heard "a big bang" and then another before a fellow student came into her classroom yelling: "He has a gun, he has a gun!"

A hall monitor locked the classroom door, a fire alarm went off and nine terrified students and a teacher huddled in the darkened classroom, she said.

They heard gunshots, "bang, bang, bang," from the classroom next door, Hegstrom said, along with screams of students and someone yelling "No, Jeff, no!"

Hegstrom thought of death, she said, and worried about who would care for her five-month-old baby. She had a couple of classes with Weise, and "I don't know if he liked me," she said. "He was quiet, never said anything."

Weise was into goth culture, she said, wore "a big old black trench coat," drew pictures of skeletons, listened to heavy metal music and "talked about death all the time."

A couple of his friends had said he was suicidal, she said, and Hegstrom quoted his friends as saying they were watching a movie once when he said, "That would be cool if I shot up the school."

"They didn't think anything of it," Hegstrom said, but "he got terrorized a lot." He was called names and people thought he was weird. "I'm still trembling," she said late last night. "I just can't believe this stuff is happening."

As the students left the school, Jourdain said he peeked inside a classroom where Ojibwe cultural studies are taught. The blood and broken glass throughout the room told the tale of the afternoon's tragedy.

"It's an awful situation," said tribal treasurer Darrell Seki. "We see things like this happen outside the reservation, but now it's happened here in our home."

Confusion, concern

Audrey Thayer, who lives in Bemidji and works as a researcher for the American Civil Liberties Union's Minnesota chapter, said the reservation was locked down by police with roadblocks after the shootings.

Monday night, reporters were being allowed onto the reservation with escorts from law enforcement agencies in the area. Otherwise, the main highways were shut down to traffic by the FBI and Red Lake tribal police.

A news briefing has been scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Red Lake Tribal Public Safety Department.

As word of the shootings spread across the region Monday, friends and relatives of those living on the reservation frantically began working cell phones hoping to find out more.

In a hallway at the State Capitol, two women from the reservation town of Ponemah -- LuAnn Crowe, an election judge on the reservation, and Donna Whitefeather -- had just finished testifying on behalf of a bill that would make it harder for partisan poll watchers to challenge voters and intimidate them or prevent them from voting.

As the women emerged from the hearing, they were informed of the killings and immediately began making calls, trying to put together a list of the dead and injured.

Crowe has a daughter and nephew at the school.

Suddenly, Whitefeather announced with panic, that Lance Crowe, the ninth-grade nephew, was dead.

"Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" Crowe wailed.

Minutes later, however, the news was better.

The boy had been shot, but he wasn't dead.

Lance Crowe underwent surgery Monday night at North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji for a serious gunshot wound to his hand: he raised an arm to block a shot aimed at his head.

The bullet wounds to his chest may have been shrapnel from that one shot, but that was still undetermined Monday night.

"If he didn't have his hand up there he would have gotten shot in the head," said LuAnn Crowe.

Lance Crowe recently lost a much-loved elder, a man he called Bubba who was like a grandfather to him, said his aunt, LuAnn. The man died in a car crash on the reservation earlier this year.

Lance told his mother that as he lay on the floor of the school, bleeding from his wounds, he thought to himself: "I don't want to die." He told his mom that he could sense Bubba nearby, protecting him.

And then Lance Crowe, who turned 15 last Thursday, said he witnessed the shooter's final shot. Suicide.

Staff writers Matt McKinney, Terry Collins, Dane Smith and Robert Franklin contributed to this story. The writers can be reached at
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:11 AM
carl kolchak carl kolchak is offline
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Default RE:UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

It's been a long winter.
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Old 03-22-2005, 02:23 PM
Louis Cypher Louis Cypher is offline
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Default RE:UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

Posted on Tue, Mar. 22, 2005

10 dead in student's killing spree


St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press

A towering young loner who always wore a dark trench coat to Red Lake High School went on a shooting spree Monday, killing nine people, including his grandfather and a woman at their home and five students, a teacher and a security guard on campus before turning a gun on himself.

At least a dozen other students were wounded by the teenage gunman, identified by tribal members as Jeff Weise, a sophomore who enjoyed Marilyn Manson music and had expressed his admiration for Adolf Hitler on various online forums.

It was the nation's worst school shooting since 12 students and a teacher were killed in the 1999 Columbine massacre. The shooting took place on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, about 300 miles north of the Twin Cities.

In a couple of postings to a nationalist forum last year, Weise eerily foreshadowed Monday's events. He claimed last April that authorities had questioned him about alleged plans to "shoot up the school on 4/20, Hitlers (sic) birthday."

On Internet sites Weise sometimes used the names "Todesengel'' German for "angel of death'' or "NativeNazi."

Floyd Jourdain Jr., chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, called it "without a doubt the darkest hour in the history of our tribe."

Students gave a terrifying account of the attack.

"You could hear a girl saying, 'No, Jeff, quit, quit. Leave me alone. What are you doing?' " one student, Sondra Hegstrom, told The Pioneer of Bemidji. Hegstrom described the gunman grinning and waving at a student his gun was pointed at, then swiveling the gun to shoot someone else.

"I looked him in the eye and ran in the room, and that's when I hid," Hegstrom said.

Ashley Morrison, another student, took refuge in a classroom, her mother told The Pioneer. With the shooter banging on the door, Morrison dialed her mother on her cell phone. Her mother, Wendy Morrison, said she could hear gunshots on the line.

"Mom, he's trying to get in here, and I'm scared," Ashley Morrison told her mother.

One student said the shooting continued for nearly a half-hour and that she hid in a classroom adjacent to where police say most of the bodies were found. The student said she lost a close friend in the rampage.

"You could hear people screaming and sobbing," she said.

She said Weise, 15, with whom she once shared a class, had not been attending school recently. He was viewed as "weird" by other students.

"He's anti-social," the student said. She said she never heard him talk about Nazis, but, "In pictures he draws, his people have little hats with Nazi signs on them."

Relatives said Weise was teased a lot at school, "and he snapped." They said his father committed suicide four years ago and his mother lives in a nursing home in Minneapolis after suffering brain injuries in a car accident.

The shootings began in the early afternoon when Weise killed his grandfather, Daryl "Dash" Lussier, 58, and his girlfriend at their home in Red Lake and then took his grandfather's police weapons, including two handguns and a shotgun. Lussier was a longtime veteran of the Red Lake police force.

About 3 p.m. Weise drove to the high school in his grandfather's police vehicle, said a student who asked not to be identified.

A student said Weise parked the squad car near the front door, where he confronted two unarmed security officers one male and one female and fired two shots. The female guard took off down the hall, collecting students. The male guard stayed near Weise.

"He didn't do anything. He just stared at him. And (Weise) shot him," the student said.

Red Lake police officers arrived during the rampage and exchanged gunfire with Weise in the hallway, authorities said. Weise then retreated to a classroom.

Weise died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to preliminary investigation, the FBI said.

The names of the other victims were withheld pending notification of relatives.

The school has security cameras inside and out and students must pass through metal detectors as they enter the building, also patrolled by security guards.

It was too early to speculate on a motive, said FBI spokesman Paul McCabe at a news conference Monday night in Minneapolis. McCabe said the teacher and students who were killed were shot in a single classroom. The FBI is the lead investigative agency for crimes on an Indian reservation.

"It will probably take us throughout the night to really put the whole picture together,'' McCabe said.

Some of the wounded were taken to North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji and others to MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D. MeritCare Hospital received its first Red Lake patient at 5:45 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m., spokeswoman Carrie Johnson said. She said she was still confirming whether the hospital would receive more shooting victims. No conditions reports were immediately available.

About 5,100 people live on the reservation, which encompasses 825,000 acres of land in northern Minnesota.

One mother of a middle-school student said she was concerned about her son because the middle school is next to the high school, and he heard the shots.

"That's the most horrible thing to have happened," said the mother, who didn't want to be identified.

Her son, a sixth-grader, was still shaking Monday night, hours after the incident.

"I heard seven gunshots, then I seen my security guard. He was running toward the high school," said the youth. "I heard shooting a bunch of times. Then they said, 'Lockdown! Lockdown!' and I ran to my class. You could hear the shots all the way from the high school to middle school. I was scared."

The boy said he didn't see the alleged gunman, but he heard that he had painted his face white and wore a trench coat and baggy pants.

Bob Thunder, a Metropolitan Transit police officer who grew up on the Red Lake reservation, said Lussier "worked as an officer for more than 30 years, and he believed in what he was doing. I saw him at the recent (tribal chief) inauguration and asked him when he was going to retire. He told me 'soon.' "

It was the second major school shooting in Minnesota in less than two years. In September 2003, two students were shot and killed at Rocori High School in central Minnesota.

The shooting had immediate ramifications across the state, including at the Capitol. A hearing scheduled for today on a proposal to expand casino gambling in Minnesota was canceled. The Red Lake Band is one of three groups that are seeking to partner with the state on a Twin Cities area casino.
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:27 PM
IrishGambler IrishGambler is offline
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Default RE:UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

I live an hour from where this happened....Different type of life on the Reservations around here guys....gotta see it to believe it!!
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:30 PM
victorygallop victorygallop is offline
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Default RE: UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

i will take your word for it.
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:09 PM
Louis Cypher Louis Cypher is offline
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Default RE:UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

Last update: March 23, 2005 at 6:43 AM
Jeff Weise: A mystery in a life full of hardship
Chuck Haga, Howie Padilla and Richard Meryhew, Star Tribune
March 23, 2005 REDLAKE0323

RED LAKE, MINN. -- Even as a member of a loose confederacy of loners, Jeff Weise seemed to be an afterthought.

"He was a goth," said Allan Mosay, 14, who saw Weise occasionally on the Red Lake Reservation but didn't really know the 16-year-old, who affected the black fashion, musical tastes and often dark moods of the outsider subculture.

"He had no friends," Mosay said. "He didn't communicate."

On a sparsely populated reservation where everybody knows everybody, few seemed to know Weise and fewer still claimed to know him well.

"I knew Jeff when he was 4 or 5 years old," said Delan Steven Omen, 42, who said he was the best man at the wedding of Weise's parents. "His family used to live in the neighborhood where I lived. But I haven't really seen him since then."

Jeff WeisePhoto Courtesy Wcco-tvSharon Garrigan, 62, a Head Start teacher on the reservation for 39 years, smiles at adults on the reservation and remembers when they were little. "But I can't remember him," she said of Weise.

"He was having a little problem, I heard," said Alicia Meadow, a Red Lake High School student who may have avoided being shot Monday by skipping her last-period class. She heard the gunfire grow close as she and other students huddled in a classroom that Weise apparently passed.

"He seemed like a pretty good guy," she said. "Whenever I talked with him, he seemed all friendly. I never thought that anything like that would come from him."

FBI officials said Tuesday that they had no information about Weise's motive, but "the nature of the activities would indicate there was some planning," said Michael Tabman, special agent in charge.

Talk of death

In the hours after the shootings, witnesses told of students pleading with Weise by name -- "No, Jeff, no!"

Sondra Hegstrom, who said she had had classes with Weise, said he was quiet and "never said anything." He was teased -- "terrorized," she said -- by people who thought he was weird.

He often wore "a big old black trench coat," she said, and drew pictures of skeletons. "He talked about death all the time."

A couple of his friends had said he was suicidal, she said. They quoted him as saying once, "That would be cool if I shot up the school."

The friends dismissed it as talk, Hegstrom said.

But Willy May, 18, who knew Weise from school, said people shouldn't have been surprised.

"He fits the profile of a Columbine shooter, man," he said.

May said Weise always wore combat boots "with red shoelaces," similar to those of the shooters at Columbine High School.

He said that Weise "always had stacks of drawings, disturbed drawings." Some, he said, would show people with bullets going through their skulls.

May also said that "a while back," Weise "got blamed" for phoning in bomb threats at the school. "I'm not sure if it was him or not, but he got blamed," May said.

Joey Johnson, 18, who also knew Weise from school, saw a different side to the teen.

"He's a pretty bright kid, man," Johnson said. "I thought he was going to make it. He was smart."

Recently, school officials relegated Weise to a home tutoring program. He was known to post messages on a Nazi website.

Using the screen name Native Nazi, Weise wrote: "As a result of cultural dominance and interracial mixing there are barely any full blooded Natives left. ... It's hard though, being a Native American National Socialist; people are so misinformed, ignorant, and closed-minded it makes your life a living hell."

Posting under the name "Blades11," Weise appeared to be a regular contributor to fiction websites. On one, Weise wrote, "I'm a fan of zombie films, have been for years, as well as fan of horror movies in general," he wrote. "I like to write horror stories, read about Nazi Germany and history, and someday plan on moving out of the [United States]."

Family member Lorene Gurneau said that despite those issues, there were no harbingers of Monday's horror. "I've talked to other relatives, and everyone is just in shock," she said.

Family life

As she spoke about Weise, she remembered a young boy raised in Minneapolis who played alone. When Gurneau and her children -- who were about six years older than Weise -- would visit the boy and his mother, Joanne, he would close himself in his room.

It's similar to the teen she saw daily as of late, she said.

"He would always wear that long dark coat and those baggy pants," she said. "I couldn't even tell you what shoes he ever wore because of those clothes."

Gurneau attributes some of Weise's troubles to his beleaguered life. His father, Daryl Lussier Jr., known to relatives as "Baby Dash," committed suicide in July 1997 following a police standoff that lasted for more than a day, Gurneau said. Not even Lussier's father, Red Lake officer Daryl Lussier, could negotiate a peaceful ending. The senior Lussier was one of Weise's first victims Monday.

Years later, Joanne Weise suffered brain damage in a car accident after she and a friend had been drinking, Gurneau said.

At 6 feet and 250 pounds, Jeff Weise also was the target of constant razzing. "Plus he was held back a couple of grades," Gurneau said.

Tribal police and the FBI haven't said that Weise was high on their radar prior to Monday.

Though school officials refused to comment on Weise's student status, he apparently left school last year for unspecified medical reasons. Since his mother's accident, he had lived with his paternal grandmother.

"This was a young man with a tragic history," said Audrey Thayer, who works on the reservation as part of the Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project. "There is a lot of that kind of loss and devastation [at Red Lake]."

Staff writer Bob von Sternberg contributed to this report.
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:13 PM
Louis Cypher Louis Cypher is offline
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Default RE:UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

Last update: March 23, 2005 at 12:18 AM
Shooter had a plan, FBI says
Chuck Haga and Larry Oakes, Star Tribune
March 23, 2005 REDLAKE0323

RED LAKE, MINN. -- A troubled teen's fatal handiwork was still being pieced together Tuesday even as his remote community shared its grief with people who until now knew little about the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Jeff Weise shot and killed his grandfather and the tribal police officer's companion with a .22-caliber rifle Monday afternoon, authorities said.

Then, outfitted with Sgt. Daryl Lussier's 12-gauge shotgun, .40-caliber handgun, bulletproof vest and police vehicle for his assault on Red Lake High School, Weise killed a security guard, a teacher and five students before fatally shooting himself in the head, said FBI agent Michael Tabman. Seven people were wounded.

One tribal police officer who responded to the shooting fired at least one shot at Weise, Tabman said, but it was unclear whether the boy was injured before he turned one of his guns on himself.

Tabman reaffirmed that investigators "believe he acted alone" in the worst U.S. school shooting since Columbine. Also, he said "the nature of the activities would indicate there was some planning."

Six of the victims were taken to a Bemidji hospital immediately after the shootings, with four of them suffering wounds to the head or face, said Tim Hall, emergency nursing director at North Country Regional Medical Center.

"It looked like [he was] shooting at the victims' heads," Halls said. "What does that tell me? There was an intent to kill."

Politicians in Washington, D.C., and St. Paul reacted to the killings with outrage, prayer and calls for increased school safety.

How it happened

Summarizing interviews with survivors and other witnesses, Tabman said that Weise, after killing his grandfather and Michelle Sigana, 32, drove his grandfather's vehicle to the school entrance, walked in and shot Derrick Brun, 28, an unarmed guard stationed at a security checkpoint outfitted with a metal detector intended to deter such an incident.

"He proceeded down a hall and saw a teacher and some students," Tabman said.

Teacher Neva Rogers, 62, hustled students into a classroom and tried to bar the door, but Weise followed, shooting until Rogers and several students were dead and others lay injured.

Weise then left the room and shot more people with "random firing," Tabman said.

Five people remained hospitalized Tuesday, Tabman said. Two others have been released from hospitals.

Political reaction

In Washington, a spokeswoman for Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., whose district includes the reservation, said he will cut short a congressional trip to Europe and return to Minnesota today. She said Peterson plans to visit the reservation soon.

Meanwhile, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee called on Judiciary Committee Chair James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., to take "immediate committee action" in response to the shooting.

"It is difficult for us to conceive of a more pressing public policy matter than protecting our children from school violence," the Democrats wrote.

In St. Paul, the House education policy and reform committee began its deliberations with a prayer for the victims, their families and the community. And Gov. Tim Pawlenty said he plans to hold "days of remembrance" to honor the victims.

Pawlenty called the killings "senseless and terrible" and said, "it seems that this was a very disturbed individual. What we say at the end of the day is that if you have a very disturbed individual and he's determined to do some damage, then he's probably going to succeed."

Later in the day, Pawlenty was one of about 600 people who gathered on the Capitol steps in St. Paul to commemorate the victims with the smoking of peace pipes, the traditional burning of tobacco and a water ceremony in which people are given cups of water to replenish tears.

Speakers included several Indian leaders from various tribes, as well as Archbishop Harry Flynn.

"This is a terribly tragic time for all Minnesota," Pawlenty said. "This is a tragedy for every nationality, every generation, every community."

More than 200 miles north, in Bemidji, several dozen Red Lake residents and supporters gathered on the hospital lawn for a pipe ceremony, with drumming and prayers.

Darrel Auginash, whose nephew Ryan was wounded in the shooting, said the chaos unleashed Monday is a warning that God will soon return to Earth and that the suffering of children must be addressed now.

"A lot of our young people say they don't take pleasure in their lives anymore," he said. "This kind of pain doesn't go away overnight."

Sweat lodge operator George Whipple Sr. of Cass Lake said the tragedy, like the Columbine massacre in 1999, is part of a societal breakdown that an Ojibwe medicine man predicted years ago.

"He told me the children are in grave danger from what's happening," Whipple said. "Drugs and alcohol are taking a heavy toll on our young people. Our young kids and future leaders are dying."

In Ponemah, another remote town on the reservation, about 150 people gathered in the community center gym Tuesday night for a healing pipe and drum ceremony. Participants, including grieving relatives of the three victims from Ponemah, purified themselves with burning sage and listened to elders speak in English and Anishinabe, the Ojibwe language.

Nearly a dozen people spoke of the grief that has followed Monday's shootings, as well as the need to hold the Indian community together and honor its traditions.

"Watch your kids and love them, that's all I can say," said one elder.

School still closed

The shootings at the school began shortly before 3 p.m. and lasted less than 10 minutes, Tabman said.

The high school remained closed and heavily guarded Tuesday as the investigation continued, and it is likely to remain closed for several days.

Floyd Jourdain Jr., the Red Lake tribal chairman, took no questions during a news conference but expressed gratitude for "an outpouring of support ... from around the world." He repeated his earlier characterization of the tragedy as "the darkest day in the history of our people."

Joe Vene, a Beltrami County commissioner, came to the reservation to pledge support.

"We want to have them know we will be with them in hearts, minds and spirit," Vene said after meeting with tribal officials. "Beltrami County will offer any assistance they may request of us -- in law enforcement, human services, crisis counseling and anything else the Red Lake Nation asks of us.

"They're our neighbors and our friends," he said. "There's a lot of geography and not many people up here, so we get to know each other."

Jourdain and Pat Mills, director of public safety for the tribe, asked for restraint from the hundreds of reporters and camera crews gathered in Red Lake from around the world. Mills said reporters would not be allowed to roam the reservation and seek interviews with individuals, and several reporters were stopped by tribal officers and ordered to confine themselves to the public safety complex.

Some tribal members directly affected by the incident talked with reporters at the complex after meeting with investigators. Still shaken nearly 24 hours after the shootings, Angela Ishim said that she was "very, very afraid" for her three children at the high school Monday.

"I couldn't get through" to them for two hours, she said. "The kids were put on lockdown at the school so the parents didn't know who was hurt and who was safe."

About 40 minutes after the lockdown, her daughter called. "But it took another 40 minutes for her to find ... her brothers who were there, and thank God they're all safe.

"My one son was coming out of his class" when Weise appeared, she said. "One of his friends walked in front of him and actually got the shot that was meant for my son."

As Ishim spoke, she held tightly to her daughter, Alicia Meadow, who had skipped her seventh-period class or would have been in the room where Rogers was killed. She huddled with classmates in another room.

"It's the most scary thing that ever happened to me," Meadows said. "I heard the gunshots, and they just kept getting closer and closer."

What did she do?

"I couldn't do nothing," she said, her voice rising plaintively. "I had to just sit there."

Staff writers Kevin Diaz, Norman Draper, Bill McAuliffe and Herón Márquez Estrada contributed to this report. The writers can be reached at
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:32 PM
Louis Cypher Louis Cypher is offline
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Default RE:UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

'The clues were all there'
School shooter depicted as deeply disturbed, ignored teen
Ceci Connolly and Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Redlake, Minn. -- Two days after a shooting rampage on the Indian reservation here left 10 dead, friends, relatives and neighbors of Jeff Weise -- the 16-year- old assailant -- began to sketch a portrait of a deeply disturbed youth who had been treated for depression in a psychiatric ward, lost several close family members, sketched gruesome scenes of armed warriors and was removed from the school where he gunned down most of his victims Monday.

"The clues were all there," said Kim Desjarlait, Weise's step-aunt, who lives in Minneapolis. "Everything was laid out, right there, for the school or the authorities in Red Lake to see it coming. I don't want to blame Red Lake, but did they not put two and two together? This kid was crying out, and those guys chose to ignore it. They need to start focusing on their kids."

On the Red Lake Indian Reservation, officials held a private prayer service Wednesday night and met to discuss when students might be able to return to school. Superintendent Stuart Desjarlait said it may take months for the high school to reopen because of the extensive damage from Monday's rampage. Five students, a teacher and a guard were killed at the school. Seven students were wounded and two remained in critical condition Wednesday at a hospital in Fargo, N.D.

Federal authorities said they were conducting autopsies on Weise and his nine victims, but FBI spokesman Paul McCabe said he did not anticipate releasing any information in the near future. Tribal leaders were even less forthcoming, strictly limiting reporters' movements.

Tensions rose throughout Wednesday, with some residents whispering fears that if they spoke to outsiders they would suffer retribution. Residents of neighboring communities offered cautionary tales about violence on the reservation, and the Justice Department created a task force to deal with gangs when Red Lake suffered five homicides in seven months in 2002. Because Red Lake is a closed reservation, it operates as a sovereign nation, running its own police force and dictating who may set foot on the property.

Those willing to be interviewed described Weise as a young man who drifted among various homes on the reservation, listening to heavy metal music, proclaiming his affinity for Adolf Hitler and periodically showing up at the high school, even though Stuart Desjarlait said that six months ago he had ordered Weise to stay at home for tutoring.

He was taking the antidepressant Prozac and at least once was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies, said Gayle Downwind, a cultural coordinator at Red Lake Middle School, who taught Weise. It was not uncommon for Weise to spend at least one night a week at her home. "He considered my house a safe place to be," she said.

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 killed at the start of Monday's rampage.

Family and friends said Weise's father, Daryl Lussier Jr., committed suicide in 1997. Two years later, a serious automobile accident killed a cousin and left Weise's mother partly paralyzed and brain damaged.

Then, about two years ago, "his other grandfather on his mom's side passed away," Kim Desjarlait told NBC's "Today" show. "You are dealing with three deaths within eight years. I think for a kid starting at 10 years old, that's a lot to take." At the time, she wanted to help raise Weise in Minneapolis, but he was sent to the reservation about 260 miles to the north.

In the sixth grade, Weise met Downwind's son, Sky Grant, and the two became close friends, often playing video games together. Grant recalled that Weise hated his mother and had a tendency to skip ahead to violent parts in movies they rented.

When Weise flunked eighth grade, he joined Downwind's special "Learning Center" program at the school. "He didn't function academically. He just sat there and drew pictures of army people with guns," she said. "He was a talented artist, but he drew terrible, terrible scenes."

Last June, Weise was suicidal. John Dudley, a part-time bus driver for the Red Lake health center, was called at the time to transport Weise to the hospital in Thief River Falls, about 60 miles from the reservation.

To some in the school, Weise was long a frightening figure, towering over many of the youngsters in all-black clothing. Because of recent bomb threats and other safety concerns, Red Lake High School insisted students secure a pass to go to the restroom, a requirement that agitated Weise, said Lee Ann Grant, Downwind's daughter, who had worked as a guard there since August.
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:57 PM
Minnow Minnow is offline
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Default RE:UPDATED: SCHOOL SHOOTING: 10 dead, 12 injured

Incredible that a kid this disturbed had access to his grandfathers service weapons
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