Tag Archive: school shooting

Kip Kinkel to use Supreme Court ruling to appeal sentence, second verse same as the first

Kip Kinkel

Kip Kinkel

Late last month the US Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier ruling that automatic life sentences without parole for teens was unconstitutional. This re-ruling has caused the attorney for Kip Kinkel to appeal the 115 year sentence a then 15-year-old Kinkel received for the 1998 murder of his parents and shooting killing two at Thurston High School in Oregon. The problem we’ve been here before.

In 2013 Kinkel tried to appeal his sentence after the Supreme Court made their initial ruling in 2012. is appeal was denied then because his sentence was not a mandatory life sentence. Kinkel entered into a plea deal of 25 years however the sentencing judge added 40 months for each charge of attempted murder which there were 25 charges. While I’m far from a legal expert I fail to see what’s changed in the last three years.

As far as I’m concerned Kinkel is the only school shooter who got a sentence close to what he deserved.

La Loche gunman was allegedly teased

Dene High School at the La Loche Community School

Dene High School at the La Loche Community School

Again my apologies for being so late on this, as I mentioned in my previous post I was taking a mental break from working on the website but I’m back now.

In the days following the shooting at Dene High School in La Loche, Saskatchewan, The National Post reported that the gunman, who is said to have killed four, had been teased and bullied.

Perry Herman, who also knows the accused, said the teen was teased about his large ears.

“So many of those times that those boys joked around with him about his ears and whatnot, he didn’t get up and say, `You boys stop talking to me like this, it’s hurting my feelings.’ He just bottled it up.”

Herman said the bullying must have been going on for a long time.

Did he strike out at his bullies? It doesn’t seem likely…

“He once said that, ‘Some day I’m going to eff-up (the bully). I’m going to beat him up. He said that like a couple times,’ ” said Janvier.

Instead he killed two brothers, who have been rumored to be related to the gunman, and two school employees. Did this accomplish anything for him? Will any shooting no matter how violent ever stop bullying? For close to 20 years now those answers are still no. Bullying will always occur in our schools and yes I do know how traumatic bullying can be, however mass murder is not the proper response. No sympathy should be shown toward this kid. Instead of doing something to help his situation or bring attention to it he’s become just another killer to be profiled so schools can be more concerned about finding the next shooter instead of offering assistance to the bullied.

School shooting in Saskatchewan, Canada

Dene High School at the La Loche Community School

Dene High School at the La Loche Community School

News reports are still early however Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that five people are dead in a shooting at the Dene Building at the La Loche Community School in La Loche, Saskatchewan. Earlier reports have said there were two dead so it’s not a definite amount of casualties just yet in my opinion. It is believed a suspect is in custody. If the alleged gunman is under age we might not ever know his name due to Canadian laws regarding the media and underage criminals.

While not as prevalent as in the United States Canada has had its share of school shootings. The ones that come to mind are the shooting at W.R. Myers High School in Taber, Alberta, the shooting at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal, and of course the shooting at Dawson College, also in Montreal. Prior to the Dawson Shooting the gunman was a commenter on this site before I banned him.

I’ll post more details as they become available and as time allows.

UPDATE 10:00 PM EST: The RCMP are now saying that there have been four fatalities, a male suspect has been taken into custody and that the shooting took place not just at Dene High School at the La Loche Community School but also a second location that was residential. There’s believed to be two fatalities at each location. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the separate locations remind me of both the shooting at Red Lake High School in Minnesota and the Thurston High shooting in Oregon where those gunmen had killed family members before killing more at their schools. I’m not claiming that’s what happened just noting eerie similarities.

Thanks to Harding for the tip.

UPDATE 1/23/2016 12:20 AM EST: The National Post is reporting, among other outlets, that the shooter posted a message to Facebook of his intentions to kill. This has not been substantiated by the RCMP however when I was watching the live stream from the CBC the news broadcast stated that the message indicated that the shooter had already killed two people before heading to the school. I can’t say for certain this is the case since social media is a breeding ground for hoaxes whenever a tragedy like this strikes.

UPDATE 1/23/2016 10:00 AM EST: One of the fatalities in the shooting has been identified as 23-year-old teacher Marie Janvier. The two fatalities at the residential area are now being said to have been relatives of the gunman.

There’s also more information about the alleged Facebook message from the gunman…

Just killed 2 ppl,” wrote the young male. “Bout to shoot ip the school.”

“Why?” asked a friend. “Why?”

The gunman is also said to be under the age of 21.

UPDATE 1/23/2016 4:00 PM EST: The remaining three fatalities have been identified as brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine who were killed at the residence and Adam Wood who was a teacher at the school.

My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the family and friends of all the victims.

UPDATE 1/23/2016 8:00 PM EST: The shooter is said to be a 17-year-old male. Since he is under 18 the media can not name him under Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act. The RCMP were unable to provide a motive and said they couldn’t comment on the relationship between the shooter and the Fontaine brothers.

School Image By KayotyOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20402571

Oikos gunman ruled incompetent to stand trial again

One Goh

One Goh

Prior to the holidays Oikos University gunman One Goh was once again ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial. In 2012 Goh killed seven at the small Oakland university.

Goh was originally ruled mentally incompetent back in early 2013 before being declared competent to stand trial in October of this year.

From ABC 7…

One Goh, 47, has admitted to the killings and said he wants to die and will not participate in his defense.

The lawyer described Goh’s existence, saying he locks his door, doesn’t watch movies or read books or go to group therapy. The lawyer said Goh sits on the edge of his bed all day long, staring into the distance, wishing he could die.

For now Goh will remain in a psychological facility. If he is ever ruled competent he could still yet face trial. Since California abolished the death penalty Goh would not be eligible for it unfortunately.

Possible prosecution in Umpqua shooting

Umpqua

There’s not a lot of detail on this story but OregonLive.com is reporting that criminal prosecution is being considered in the wake of the school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Since the gunman took the coward’s way out the question is who are they considering prosecuting? I can’t say for certain but if I had to take a guess I would imagine it would be the relatives of Chris Harper-Mercer who allowed him to have their guns. Out of the 13 guns that were in his possession a few of them belonged to relatives. Not to mention that his mother was stockpiling her own arsenal.

While I respect the 2nd Amendment, guns aren’t something that should just be lent out to people like letting your neighbor borrow a hammer for a while.

There have not been 47 school shootings this year

stupidmap

Once again, much like last year, headlines are making the rounds gain exaggerating the numbers of how many school shootings there have been this year. This year the number being tossed around is that there have been 47 school shootings this year and the stat has been brought to us by the same people who made the equally ridiculous claim last year of 74 school shootings since Newtown.

The ABC article I linked to doesn’t even try to hide the fact that the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety has exaggerated the numbers…

Of those shootings, 26 were classified as attacks that resulted in injury or death.

The 21 remaining shootings were a mix of attempted or completed suicides, accidental shootings or instances in which a gun was fired at campus, including grade schools and colleges, but no one was injured.

It seems like to me that Everytown for Gun Safety is once again using the loosest definition of school shooting. I almost want to say they consider every shooting that was within one square mile of a school was considered a school shooting.

While I’m not trying to lessen the impact of these other shootings and the pain that they’ve cost there has really only been one school shooting this year that fits my definition and that was the one at Umpqua Community College. As I’ve said before my definition of a school shooting is when a student or outsider storms a school with guns with the express purpose of killing as many victims as possible. Suicide attempts, parking lot confrontations and shootings that take place off of campus are not school shootings and to report them as such is not only irresponsible journalism but it’s also fear mongering.

When media presents statistics from a biased source as fact it’s done only for the sake of sensationalism and pageviews. Don’t just read the headline and think you have all the facts. The devil, as they say, is always in the details.

The police who stopped the UCC gunman

badge

A lot of police have been getting a bad rap in the past year or so. A lot of it is definitely deserved but police who save lives should receive just as much if not more attention than those who are the bad apples.

For example take Sgt. Joe Kaney and Det. Todd Spingath of the Roseburg, Oregon, police department. They are the ones who disabled the Umpqua Community College gunman before he took his own life and they rushed into action with little regard for their own safety.

The two plain-clothes police veterans ran toward the gunfire without hesitation, even though they were not wearing bullet-proof vests and had no idea how soon more backup would arrive.

And when the gunman started firing at them, Kaney and Spingath did not stop until they stopped him.

Without these brave men there could have been many more deaths and injuries.

Men and women like this who put their lives on the line in a thankless job to protect the public need to be better recognized for their actions.

On Asperger’s and Umpqua

autism

If Chris Harper-Mercer didn’t take the coward’s way out after the shooting at Umpqua Community College I imagine his defense would have been one of two things, either bullying or Asperger’s. In the 15 years I’ve been writing about school shootings those seem to be the two most popular scapegoats for those looking to escape their responsibility for school violence. As I’ve said before Asperger’s doesn’t make people into killers. Asperger’s does not cloud your sense of right and wrong or what’s legal and what is not. Many Asperger’s patients are successful well-adjusted people. Unfortunately Harper-Mercer was not one of those people and his mother doesn’t seem to be one either.

Not only did Harper-Mercer allegedly have Asperger’s but so does his mother, Laurel Harper. Asperger’s patients can obsess over a hobby; for the Harpers their obsession was with guns. Ms. Harper was of the belief that the government would revoke the 2nd Amendment any day now and is said to have stockpiled firearms. For those of you who may be of the same mind it takes a two-third majority vote of both houses to amend the Constitution. The last time that happened was 20 years ago and that concerned the salaries of congressmen so you know that would pass with no problem. So in short, Obama ain’t comin’ for yer guns. Harper and her son really seem to have the Nancy/Adam Lanza vibe going on. She should probably consider herself lucky that her son didn’t kill her.

The problem with a lot of Asperger’s patients is that they’re self-diagnosed. These people are usually just anti-social jerks hiding behind the Autism spectrum to blame other people for their problems. I really have to wonder if that’s the case here.

Donation pages for the victims of the Umpqua Community College Shooting

Umpqua

The following are the GoFundMe pages for many of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting. Some are survivors and unfortunately too many are not. All their families need assistance with various costs stemming from the shooting. Please consider donating. Any help they can receive would go a long way in helping not only the victims and their families heal but would help heal the Roseburg community as well.

Ana Boylan, 18 – Survivor
Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, 16 – Survivor
Chris Mintz, 30 – Chris was the man who threw himself in front of the gunman to protect others. On his GoFundMe page he asks that before you donate to him consider helping the other victims first.
Julie Woodworth, 19, you can read the extent of Julie’s injuries here.
Amber McMurtrey, 34 – Survivor
Rand McGowan, 18 – Survivor

Rebecka Carnes, 18, deceased.
Lucero Alcaraz, 19, deceased.
Quinn Cooper, 18, deceased.
Kim Dietz, 59, deceased.
Treven Anspach, 20, deceased.
Jason Johnson, 34, deceased.
Sarena Moore, 44, deceased, does not have a donation page as far as I know but this article needs to be read to see just how much of a coward the gunman really was.

There’s also the UCC Relief Fund through the United Way.

If you know of any more donation pages for the victims please let me know and I will have them added.

Why the Umpqua shooter’s manifesto should be released

Umpqua

During the Umpqua Community College shooting the gunman, Chris Harper-Mercer, is said to have spared one victim in order to hand them a manifesto to be made public. While the complete details of the manifesto have not yet been made public it’s been leaked that Harper-Mercer allegedly bemoaned that he wasn’t too successful with the ladies. I’ll be getting into his lack of social skills in a future post.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin has gone on record saying that he will not mention the gunman by name

Roseburg’s anonymity campaign — appearing in hashtags like #dontsayhisname — has been driven in part by Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who told reporters, “You will never hear me say his name.”

Hanlin reportedly does this in order to avoid giving undeserving fame to the shooter. I disagree with him on this point, but I digress.

It stands to reason that since Hanlin won’t name the killer he may not ever release the killer’s manifesto to the public. I think this is a mistake and the manifesto should be made public.

Several years ago a U.S. District Judge ordered depositions given by the parents of the Columbine shooters were to be kept sealed in the National Archives until 2028. Similarly former Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink had the infamous Basement Tapes destroyed in 2011 without notifying any kind of media. It wasn’t until earlier this year that anyone knew that the tapes had been destroyed. In both instances both decisions were made in order avoid any more copycat shootings. Unfortunately that has not been the case. Instead of having knowledge of how the gunmen acted and planned we have myths and legends born out of ignorance that some have used in order to stage their own killings.

Knowledge is power and the more knowledge we have about how mass murderers like this act and think the better chance we have of stopping the next possible shooting.