The father of Rocori High School shooting victim Aaron Rollins, Tom Rollins, testified yesterday in the trail of shooter John Jason McLaughlin. Mr. Rollins works as a responder, which I guess is some kind of EMT or paramedic, and he was the first on the scene in his own son’s shooting. He basically watched his own son die…
Tom Rollins became familiar with the look of death early in his 14 years as a Cold Spring first responder.
A doctor had suffered a heart attack, and Rollins was one of the first on the scene to try to save the man. It was his first call as a responder, and his job was to “bag him,” slang for squeezing a device that keeps air flowing into a stricken person.
That duty put him in close proximity to the doctor’s head, and he’ll never forget what he saw in that doctor’s eyes.
It’s the same thing he saw in his son’s eyes Sept. 24, 2003. Rollins was one of the first rescue workers to reach his son, Aaron, in a basement hallway at Rocori High School.
“Looking into his eyes, it was like his eyes would stare right through the back of my head, like he was looking into outer space,” Rollins said of that doctor’s eyes years ago.
What did that tell him, asked prosecutor Bill Klumpp, about what he saw when he looked into his son’s eyes?
“Aaron had the same look,” Rollins said. “Aaron was dead.”
There was also testimony from police on the shooter himself…
Two police officers and a school counselor testified Thursday afternoon that McLaughlin said nothing in the minutes after the shooting. McLaughlin was in the office of counselor Craig Lieser for about 15 minutes after the crimes, until a police officer led McLaughlin out of the school in handcuffs. McLaughlin stared at a wall and said nothing, Lieser said.
Cold Spring Police Chief Phil Jones and school liaison officer Kevin Hagen gave similar accounts of McLaughlin’s behavior after he was disarmed by a teacher and led to Lieser’s office.
Jones said he asked McLaughlin three times whether he had acted alone in the shooting before he could get a “yes” answer.
Jones then was asked to describe McLaughlin’s demeanor.
“I don’t know if I have right words to describe it,” Jones said before taking a noticeable pause. “Basically sitting in a chair, quiet. During the time I was asking questions and he wasn’t answering me, I interpreted it to be cocky.”
So now we have the shooter with a smirk on his face, using a two-handed grip, and being cocky towards police and we’re supposed to believe that some mysterious mental illness caused him to kill. Again, I don’t think so.