The mother of Antigo High School shooter Jakob Wagner is claiming that her son was not committing a school shooting but was there to commit what’s known as ‘suicide by cop’. She claims that her son was so adept with guns that if he wanted to kill someone, those he shot would be dead. I can’t dismiss that as a possible scenario but the fact remains that he did shoot two people who luckily survived their injuries. What would have happened if the police officer patrolling the school parking lot wasn’t there? Would he have continued shooting people until there was a police response? How many people was he willing to kill in order for the police to kill him? While I can’t dismiss that as a possible motive I don’t buy it either.
On another note however, the bullying trope is being wheeled out yet again…
Despite being an inquisitive, bright child, Jakob Wagner struggled in elementary school. He lacked focus in school, sometimes fell asleep in class and didn’t want to go to school because other children teased about the way he talked.
“He had a lisp, and there were kids who picked on him for that,” his mother said.
Initially, the bullying was about the lisp and progressed to taunts about his short stature, his personal hygiene, his reluctance to participate in class and sports and the simple fact that he was poor.
Yet later on in the article she talks about how many friends he had in high school and how the bullying had lessened.
What the news doesn’t seem to be fixated on is an incident where he killed the family pet bird with a BB gun in a rage, apologized to his mother about it, then had no recollection of it the next day.
But yeah let’s blame bullying rather than mental illness.
Wagner was very close to receiving his diploma. If he had just bided his time he wouldn’t have had to deal with the school anymore. Instead he gave in to his selfish desire to inflict violence on others. A hard life is no excuse for a mass shooting. If it were most of us would either be dead or in jail.
UPDATE 7/31/2016: Earlier this month, prosecutors cleared the police officer of any wrongdoing saying that lethal force was justified.