The Trench Reynolds Report

All Crime Is Personal

RHS shooting trial begins: ‘I felt like I was gonna die’:

Just some more details that weren’t in the last article…

RHS student Leah Sheppard, 16, said she’d met with fellow students, including Monti and Leodoro, in a group in the cafeteria before first period, though she didn’t talk with the suspect.

When the bell rang for first period, Sheppard said she, Monti and fellow student Kristina Sklenar, walked toward class talking and giggling. She was vaguely aware of Leodoro following them.

When she heard the first shot, like every other student who testified, Sheppard said she thought it was a prank, someone setting off firecrackers.

“I heard Joe screaming,” she said. “… I didn’t know he was serious and I just kept walking.”

She continued toward the school’s Main Building, leaving Monti behind. When the final three shots rang out seconds later and panic ensued in the crowded courtyard, Sheppard realized something was terribly wrong.

She instinctively took off running toward the parking lot, where she saw Leodoro. The teen, she said, reached into the pocket of his gray-hooded sweatshirt.

“He showed me the gun,” she said, adding that at that point, “I ran back to Joe.”

A Fremont Middle School student on the same bus as Leodoro that day said she overheard the suspect talking on a cell phone, saying, “I’ll meet you at school with the bullets.”

Sklenar, 17, spoke of a conversation she had with Leodoro a week or two before the shooting.

“(Leodoro) said ‘You better give me a hug because it’s my last day today,’” she testified. “He said ‘I’m going hunting.’”

When Sklenar asked if he meant hunting for animals, Leodoro said “No.”

“I just laughed it off,” Sklenar said. “I didn’t think he meant anything by it.”

I can’t wait to see how the defense will play this off.

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