Last night in Antigo, Wisconsin, 18-year-old Jakob Wagner opened fire on two people leaving the prom at Antigo High School. A male and a female student were struck but both sustained non-life threatening injuries. A police officer who was already at the school patrolling the parking lot heard the shots and returned fire at Wagner. Wagner later died from his injuries at a local hospital. A school district administrator said that Wagner was supposed to have graduated last year but was continuing to work on his diploma. The same administrator also believed that Wagner planned on entering the prom and opening fire there. He doesn’t believe that Wagner was targeting his two victims. So far I have yet to hear of a motive however some reports say that Wagner had recently broken up with a girl who attends the school.
Not that anyone asked but on the Trench Reynolds classification scale I do consider this to be a school shooting rather than a shooting at school. The crime did take place at the school and seems to fit the description of a ‘typical’ school shooting. The only thing unusual about it was that it took place during a prom. To my recollection that’s the first time I can recall a shooting of that type taking place at a prom. While the victims’ injuries were not as grave as they could have been, if Wagner had not been stopped by the officer we could be talking today about a massacre instead of ‘just’ a shooting. Also please understand that my use of the words typical, unusual and just to describe this shooting is not meant to lessen the impact of this crime. Unfortunately in this day and age we do have ‘typical’ school shootings whether you want to believe that or not.
One thing that does appear to be typical about this shooting is that it seems another selfish man-child has thrown his life away by using violence to deal with his own inadequacies.