The families of Seth Bartell and Aaron Rollins have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the school district that Rocori High is in, the former Rocori principal, the gunman John Jason McLaughlin, and McLaughlin’s father Stearns County Deputy Sheriff David McLaughlin. For those of you who may have forgotten about the Rocori shooting…
Jason McLaughlin was 15 when he brought a loaded .22-caliber pistol to school and shot Bartell, 14, and Rollins, 17. In 2005, he was sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
Some startling revelations have been made in the lawsuit that weren’t in the criminal trial…
The lawsuit claims the school district and principal were told a week before the shootings that “an unidentified student planned to bring a gun to Rocori for the purposes of carrying out a shooting.”
And on the day of the killings, the lawsuit alleges, there was another warning. It says a janitor found “4-20” written on the school, – a possible reference to the Columbine school shootings in Colorado on April 20, 1999, or 4-20-1999.
The lawsuit also alleges security equipment at the school was not in working order, and that the district didn’t have a crisis plan in place.
And it alleges that McLaughlin’s father, Stearns County Deputy Sheriff David McLaughlin, provided “virtually unlimited access to a cache of semiautomatic weapons and handguns in the home.”
Except for the 420 reference, which could just be from a stoner, I think that the lawsuit definitely has merit. In my opinion, I don’t think that this is a case of the family making a money grab but rather justice because of people who could not be punished during the criminal trial.