Department of Research



Conclusion, End of Study

Conclusion Infographic



Tasso da Silveira school, Brazil



Albertville-Realschule, Germany



Kauhajoki School of Hospitality, Finland

Northern Illinois University



Jokela HS, Tuusula Finland

SuccessTech HS, Cleveland OH

Mount Vernon Elementary, Newark NJ

Virginia Tech, VA

Geschwister Scholl, Germany
West Nickel Mines Amish School
Weston School, WI
Platte Canyon HS, CO
Dawson College, Montreal
Orange HS, NC
Columbine Papers

Roseburg HS, OR


Campbell County HS, TN
Red Lake HS, MN



Report Page Two

The School Shootings Report, written by Freydis

Synopsis & Conclusion of Study - 2012

When I started researching school shootings back in 1998, Kip Kinkel was the first shooter I remember reading about, I already began to detect some intriguing common factors that motivated me to start a long-term study collecting more examples. Now, after 14 years of research, the trends that have emerged make school shootings predictable enough that further research on my part is no longer justified.
It didn't all turn out the way I expected, but it isn't too far off either.

  • School shootings can be stopped.

  • Individuals, society and the government can solve the problem.

  • School shootings have nothing to do with “immorality”, lack of God, or some kind of similar spiritual failure of family or society.

School shootings are not an intractable dilemma, and are actually rooted in a few core problems. If individuals, families, and government actors seriously address these issues the prevalence of school shootings will be drastically reduced.

1.   Adults, and even children, that are “normal” or mentally balanced don’t spontaneously commit mass murder.

1.1.  Every school shooter has a mental health problem that existed prior to their attack.

1.2.  Interviewees may describe the culprit as “quiet” or “normal” but these descriptions are practically meaningless because mental illness is often not apparent through casual interactions, let alone what’s really going on in their family life.

1.3.  Most of the school shooter kids either had psychotropic drugs in their system during the attack, or had used them prior.

1.4.  These commercially-manufactured psychotropic drugs (Prozac, Ritalin, Paxil, Luvox, etc.) are probably triggering psychotic behavior in already unstable individuals, and this potential connection needs to be officially investigated immediately.


2.   The easiest way for an individual to commit mass murder is with a firearm.

2.1.  Guns laws in the United States have been steadily eliminated for decades and no restrictions are in place to purchase ammunition – you can buy and possess unlimited quantities of guns and ammunition!

2.2.  Guns and ammunition are so prevalent in the U.S. that stealing one is like taking an apple from a tree.

2.3.  Mass murder could still occur even with restrictions on gun ownership, but without an automatic firearm there’s no comparable way to easily kill large numbers of people.


3.   A Toxic mental environment inevitably produces toxic personal behavior.

3.1.  The necessity of clean air and water, a healthy physical environment, are commonly recognized, but the need for a healthy mental environment is even greater and is frequently ignored.

3.2.  The mentally ill and mentally weak are especially vulnerable to being harmfully influenced by images and words. For instance, school shooters frequently believe they’re acting out their favorite (violent) movie or first-person shooter video game. Parent’s call this effect ‘monkey see, monkey do’.

3.3.  Living in an omnipresent environment of violence (real or fictional) massively increases the chances of violent behavior.

3.4.  An inability to have positive social interactions with other people generates a downwards spiral into isolation. And the more isolated the (potential) school shooter becomes the more they perceive all of humanity to be a monolithic entity that they hate (misanthropy).

3.5.   America has a mental health care crisis and it’s getting worse as care funding at the local, state and federal level is continually being cut in the foolish belief that this saves money. In fact, the social and economic costs of untreated mental health problems are enormous – practically every day there’s another news story about a crazy person killing or attacking someone else. And mentally ill kids grow up to be mentally ill adults.


4.   Economic Instability leads to interpersonal and social turmoil.

4.1.  Economic instability, fear of losing a job or the loss of a job, increases stress on all family members; fights increase, divorces occur, and so on. These negative effects don’t stay within the family house; they spill out to the rest of society.

4.2.  With nearly no social safety net in the United States, Americans are just one job-loss away from losing their house, car and everything else they need to survive. In a harsh and punitive society that gives people no reason to live it's inevitable that desperate people will lash out in violent and random ways.



This is a research report about school shootings and it covers a time period from around 1997 to the present, focusing on shooting incidents, particularly deadly ones, carried out on school grounds both in the United States and around the world. Of course, school violence is a continually occurring problem in various degrees throughout the world but shootings are consistently reported on precisely because they are unusual and extreme events. Violence, particularly gun violence, is almost always picked up by the mass media and reported upon and thus school shooting incidents serve as a useful indicator for research purposes of the more dangerous forms of campus violence. These extreme incidents raise many questions about society, culture and the individual immersed within it all. What cultural factors do these incidents have in common? What common characteristics in personal backgrounds do the school shooters share? What motivates them to act out, physically injuring and even killing people around them?

The intent behind this research report is to discover the consistent elements within these seemingly disparate incidents of school violence by comparing and contrasting the people, places and events within them. In that regard the accuracy of the reporting for school shootings, as it is for most any other contentious and emotionally charged event, is both unreliable and inconsistent. However, through the construction of a composite consisting of multiple news sources it is possible to get the key facts pinned down to a reasonable degree of accuracy. I have not been able to capture every single incident that fits the main criteria but I have made an effort to collect as many as possible within the limits of the reporting that reaches the world through the Internet and before the event is collectively forgotten, because with the exception of Columbine incident, most all of these school shootings drop out of the range of public awareness as soon as the reporting stops. So, reaching rational and objective conclusions concerning the causes and solutions to school shootings is especially difficult without a substantive chronology of the key people and events related to school shootings, hence this report you are reading now.

Mindless Reactions

Every psychologist, every news anchor or opinion columnists, and every politician has an idea of what must be done to stop school shootings. Yet few of these ideas have any element of common sense and even fewer offer any strategic solutions. In a nation nearly devoid of critical thought ‘viable’ solutions manifest as banning trench coats, backpacks, black clothing and expelling students for nail clipper ‘weapons’ (Pensacola, Florida June 1999) or jailing 7th graders that write Halloween essays with violent overtones (Ponder, Texas October 1999). In this reactionary environment panic, paranoia and irrational thought pour down like monsoon season.

Much of these reactionary plans are quickly implemented because legal issues within public schools have always been fraught with uncertainty, indecision and a liberal dose of authoritarianism. Locker searches, clothing codes, and exorcising everything questionable or objectionable pretty much defines the legal standards and acceptable limits on school powers of authority and supported by Supreme Court decisions. But what may seem surprising is that despite the already authoritarian atmosphere in public schools, the cameras and the security guards, shootings and violent actions continue.

The U.S. Department of Education reports that during 1997, nearly 6,300 students were expelled from American schools for carrying firearms. Fifty-eight percent of the expulsions were for handguns and 17% for shotguns. As evidenced in many of the recent reports about school violence, many students have chosen to express their anger in destructive ways. Renate Caine, former educational psychology professor at California State University at San Bernardino, states that when students feel threatened, their brains shift into primitive, instinctive states for defending themselves (Easterbrook, 1999).

The way some schools have responded to the threats for greater violence has been tighter security. A few of the violence prevention measures include spiked fences, motorized gates, bulletproof metal-covered doors, metal detectors, and security guards who search student desks and lockers. Some complain that this only makes prisons out of the schools. Other schools have hired more counselors and violence prevention coordinators.¹

The Parents

Public schools can be very violent places, much in the same way that prisons are violent and dangerous places despite the omnipresence of authority. Intimidation, extortion, sexual harassment, assaults, drugs, and guns are just the tip of the iceberg for unapproved extracurricular activities that happen on campus every day across the country. This is not unusual, even the teachers get implicated in it. Parents must be totally oblivious of this because every time this hits the news they act like it was totally unknown to them before! Are they just covering their glaring inadequacies with ignorance or are they really that tuned-out? These must be the same parents that are unaware of their cute kid building pipe bombs in the garage or using the backyard as a firing range.

Part of the problem arises from the fallacy that since kids do these things, it must be inherently less harmful, less serious, ‘it’s just play’. But now that deadly force is involved, whoa it’s a different story. I guess assault and robbery is ok every now and then but a shooting isn’t, or perhaps it’s just because the news media has picked up on it in a thinly veiled effort to extenuate a gun control agenda? The last one seems the most likely because gang violence using guns, knives and clubs is so common in urban areas that it doesn’t even illicit news coverage, but it is certainly no less deadly.

Besides prescription drugs no preventative effort is being made to help students with psychological and emotional needs before they blow up into crisis and the teens see no alternative but violence to solve their accumulating internal and external problems. Unless you include metal detectors and ID cards as preventative solution, and if that’s the case you obviously haven’t learned anything on the issue yet. The United States has no public social services available to middle class families and only limited support for the poor. Parents rely increasingly on the public schools as educator, doctor and caregiver. Paradoxically school funding and training are woefully inadequate to deal with these additional roles, hell they have enough problems just trying to teach! Declining funds per student has also forced many schools to integrate ‘challenged’ kids i.e. the mentally retarded and even the autistic in with regular classes compounding the tasks of a traditional teacher but saving dollars for the school district. The school nurse is not a psychologist; likewise few parents can afford to have their child psychologically evaluated, even if they have the foresight to identify problems early on. Consequently, to say that Ritalin and other psychotropic medications are over-prescribed would be a serious understatement.


Parents are a big problem in this issue; some don’t care what their kids do and the rest are just oblivious. Parents are all too often just self-centered babies that never grew up themselves. They don’t want to discipline the brats or even appear as the ‘bad-guy’ by saying NO or denying them toys or food or not doing homework for them. Maybe it shouldn’t be too surprising that these 1960’s losers turn to drugs as the panacea for every childhood problem. The kids depressed, they’re too excited, they’re not paying attention, they’re not following teachers instructions, they don’t look right or act right, easy just dope ‘em up! And then we’re supposed to act surprised when they start shooting up the schools. Every school shooting has had one or more suspects mentally imbalanced due to psychotropic medications at the time of the shooting. The Jonesboro kids were on Ritalin, Kip Kinkel was fried too, and Eric Harris had Luvox (a powerful drug often prescribed for obsessive-compulsive disorder) in his brain, according to the autopsy. Harris, after lying on his Marine Corps application (wanted to fight in Kosovo) was rejected April 15 when the Marine recruiter interviewed his family and found out about the prescription drug’s. This was a significant blow to his self-image and probably did more than anything else to push him over the edge and into a shooting rampage shortly thereafter.

Between 1990 and 1995, use of methylphenidate more than doubled, according to a 1996 study at Johns Hopkins University. By mid-1995, it found, nearly 3 percent of American children and youths, or about 2.5 million, were taking it. And that number appears to have kept rising, so that by now, it may have hit 3.75 million, according to a rough estimate by Dr. Lawrence Diller, author of "Running on Ritalin" (Bantam, 1998).

"I think they give out more psychotropic medication than a psych hospital did when I did psych," she said. "Not just Ritalin but heavy-duty psychiatric medications." From NYT Jan. 28, 1999

"We do know, for example, that the 13-year-old in Jonesboro was being treated. Apparently they were saying he had been sexually abused as a child. They were saying he was now a sexual abuser. He had a hyperactivity type label put on him as well -- or 'attention deficit disorder.' So we had several different things working with him. There is no chance under the sun, moon, or stars that this kid was not on drugs," described Clarke.

Many of these kids have been on prescription medications from the day they first enter school and even earlier, literally their entire lives. Not only that but the schools and doctors alter and increases the drugs as they get older and more tolerant switching from Ritalin to Prozac to Luvox etc. Incidentally Prozac is not approved by the FDA for pediatric use but evidently that hasn't stopped any prescriptions. The use of these drugs is a relatively recent event, especially on the widespread almost universal scale that has been reached. The increase in suburban and rural school violence is directly related to the increase in psychotropic drug prescriptions to students in the public schools over the past 10 years. And tragically as long as the news media and many analysts focus on the side effects and accessories like guns or ‘Goth clothing’ nothing will be done about it. The use of these dangerous chemicals will increase as will school shootings. No one really knows what long term effects these drugs will have on brain chemistry and future adult behavior. The kids going through school now are the first generation fried on State administered mind altering chemicals and as they reach adolescence and the emotional and physical difficulties associated with it, unanticipated and unpleasant reactions are inevitable. Many things have been used as safe and effective but after several years they find out the long term costs of such chemicals; dioxins, DDT, asbestos the list is endless. And if that wasn’t bad enough the behavioral symptoms these drugs are supposed to cure are so vague that nearly any kid can qualify, it’s largely up to parental approval. Lazy parents have a troublesome kid (and what kid isn’t at times?), the school recommends this wonder drug, the parents say ‘why not’ and little Johnny gets his fix from the school nurse every day until he graduates. Any chemical that alters behavior will have have after-effects that will magnify mental imbalances - even after the prescription is discontinued. These reactions are difficult to predict but the fluctuations from extreme emotional peaks to troughs can be magnified by sudden and significant personal events like the Marine's rejection of Harris. These extreme points are when violent outbreaks are most likely to occur.

Too many people who should no better fall into the trap of believing ‘oh its the media, violent culture, TV and video games and guns that drive these perfectly sane, normal happy kids to do bad things’. That’s total bullshit, uh I mean specious reasoning because many more children play ultra-violent video games or watch R rated movies and even use guns but they don’t shoot up schools or kill their parents. These factors certainly may contribute to violence but they are not sole causes. A genuine cause is the fact they are so fried and parentally unguided from day one that they don’t know what the hell they’re doing and its not even they’re fault because the people who should be looking out for them are lazy and want a quick easy out so they just dope 'em up and then wonder what went wrong later..

A great deal has been written about all of these [school shooting] cases. There have, however, been no indications that all of these children watched the same TV programs or listened to the same music. Nor has it been established that they all used illegal drugs, suffered from alcohol abuse or had common difficulties with their families or peers. They did not share identical home lives, dress alike or participate in similar extracurricular activities. But all of the above were labeled as suffering from a mental illness and were being treated with psychotropic drugs that for years have been known to cause serious adverse effects when given to children. Insight Magazine June 28, 1999.

Students are in a crucible 24/7, under stress academically to get good grades and enormous social pressures, especially the ones that are ostracized or unpopular. Top that off with the usual litany of biological stresses then mix in a cornucopia of drugs to their brain and what do you get? Maybe now we're beginning to see the long-term consequences of a young life hooked up to a black rainbow of behavior altering drugs.


But we’ve shed enough tears for little Johnny, turns out he’s actually one sick case. Any psychologist will tell you that about the only sure sign of a future serial killer / psychotic is when they torture animals. Many of these cases do exactly that; anyone that tortures animals is about the lowest form of life I can think of, and from what I’ve found on the biographies of these school shooters that seems a pretty accurate description. If they hadn’t killed a few classmates they would be on death row in 10 or 20 years anyway.

Little Johnny was not a nice kid despite what his parents may say of him; and this is clearly borne out by classmate testimonials, psychological evaluations and court proceedings.

"Megan Conklin, a junior who took the same school bus with Kinkel, said after the shooting, "He said on the bus that he was mad and he was going to do something stupid. He's a mean kid. He'd said some horrible things to me before." Several students said Kinkel had been upset over teasing from older students, and that he had a temper and a troubled past. The police said that the boy had once been questioned by officers in a neighboring county for throwing rocks at cars from a freeway overpass.
Not to mention that he was caught with a stolen pistol in his locker or that he bragged about torturing animals.

Edinboro event:
Lucas and Mills [his friends] said Wurst had a troubled home life. They said he had recently argued with his parents over his poor grades.

From the trial of the Pearl High School shooting:
"In his closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Tim Jones described Woodham as "mean" and "hateful." CNN
The investigator also read portions of a manuscript, ostensibly written by the Woodham youth and labeled a manifesto by prosecutors, that described the gruesome torture of his dog, Sparkle, by Woodham and an accomplice. Eklund said he believed that the accomplice was Boyette. Last April, according to the document, the two teen-agers repeatedly beat the dog with a club, wrapped it in garbage bags, torched it with a lighter and flammable fluid, listened to it whimper and tossed it in a pond.
Oct. 15, 1997 NYT

And from Paducah Kentucky:
"Bond said, "He acted just like he had been caught with some minor offense." ...He [the Principal] said the teen-ager calmly inserted earplugs, then drew the pistol from a backpack and opened fire.
" From the AP

Those victimized hero’s of Columbine:
In February they completed a "diversion program" for first-time juvenile offenders, after their arrest for breaking into a van and stealing electronic equipment, the Jefferson County District Attorney said. April 22, 1999 NYT

Kid's say the darndest things...
Harris wrote:
"My belief is that if I say something, it goes. I am the law. If you don't like it, you die. If I don't like you or I don't like what you want me to do, you die."
He added, "Dead people can't do many things, like argue." And "Don't let me catch you making fun of someone just because they are a different color,"
May 1, 1999 NYT

Johnson from Jonesboro:
"He said, 'Everyone that hates me, everyone that I don't like, is going to die,' " recalled Dustin Campbell, also 13, who considered himself a "sometimes friend" of Mitchell.
From NYT March 26, 1998.

Conyers Georgia statements:
"He kind of had a natural high, pulling the trigger, like it was some kind of game to him, like he was having a good time." ABC news
One student who said he took a class with the suspect said he was disruptive, often forcing the teacher to repeat instructions. Another student, Chris Dunn, said he had seen guns at the student’s home but never heard him mention plans to shoot anyone at school. He did notice the boy’s grades had been falling. "He wasn’t even trying anymore, which I was kind of concerned about," Dunn said.
From MSNBC but credited to AP & Reuters

Alienation is not the sole cause either, many of these students use their separateness and alienation as a badge of honor. By wearing strange clothing and saying weird things they gain a solidarity amongst their clique and delineate themselves from the rest of the school, it’s as simple as ‘we are better than they all are’. "They were just a little weird," said Dara Ferguson, a 17-year-old junior and a cheerleader. "They wanted to be different." As was said of the Columbine High teens."

What we have here is a common theme of revenge against school, authority figures, parents, jocks and basically anyone that utters something the shooter doesn’t like. Just go back and read what Eric Harris wrote or Kip Kinkel. These teens have a stunted mentality that has been debased to the point where nothing else matters except what "I" want, ‘I should have absolutely everything I want right now and anyone that says otherwise or gets in my way I kill'. Are these teens nihilistic revenge seekers without remorse or awareness of good and evil? Or just schizoid, pharmacological basket cases waiting like time bombs to go off when sufficient provocation coincides with their drug induced emotional nadir?

Cultural Turmoil

How does someone reach that point, a level of total selfishness and self-interest where they care nothing about other people, society, church or country? It certainly starts with their parents, the original role models for ethics and morality. But everyone is influenced by collective social standards and expectations too. If you think about it America doesn’t really have too many expectations as far as civic duties go, no compulsory military service, no compulsory community service no compulsory anything except paying taxes and doing time from K-12. You don’t have to believe in a specific State religion, the Queen’s not going to give you a morality lecture, you don’t have to be part of the official Party for promotions, it’s an environment totally devoid of values like an undefined field without beginning or end, future or past, purpose or reason; welcome to America. All the traditional institutions of authority from Nixon’s White House to Janet Reno’s Justice Department to Jim and Tammy Baker’s Church have been discredited and I’m sure you can think of many more examples. The things that used to have value and significance no longer do, today little if anything has value besides the basics or survival like money, food, friends, clothing, or housing. Teens just like adults realize this and they realize the nature of the social order they live in. Adults have certain faculties and common sense that adolescents and juveniles just have not developed yet; they react to the same situation in less predictable and less mature ways. As they float in the sea of nothingness that is everyday American life they react in ways that are dangerous and foolish to themselves and others. They lose fear of authority because everywhere they look it’s either hollow or has been discredited. The public school teacher isn’t going to do anything to stop them, the Principal can only give them detention or perhaps suspension which is almost a gift to some kids. The Parents don’t care or don’t know what the kid does ‘that’s the schools responsibility’ , the police at worst send them to juvenile hall for a night and usually just release ‘em back to Mommy and Daddy for punishment (yeah right). A significant portion of growing up is learning that actions have consequences, but in this type of an environment what are kids really learning? Knowing nothing but ineffectual and inept authority they will say ‘I can do whatever I want, they can’t stop me, they can’t hurt me’.

Summary of important factors contributing to school shootings and other deadly violence often overlooked:
  1. Very large schools have more problems than small one due to the alienation factor and because of the greater personal distance between faculty and students.

  2. Pyschotropic drugs (like Ritalin) factor into most of the junior and senior high school cases but medical records are notoriously difficult to obtain to link all of them one way or the other.

  3. The school shooters nearly always have an inability to grasp the gravity of their drastic actions, that of their own situation or the repercussions that follow.

Trite targets include:

  • Video games and a 'violent culture'
  • Immorality (lack of God and religion)
  • Lack of security (metal detectors, security guards etc.)
  • Guns

But in reality...
The guns in these cases are almost always stolen anyway. The schools are increasingly heavily guarded but no connection can be found that this decreases violence; on the contrary it increases the sense of alienation and oppression which actually increases school violence. And finally if video games and a 'violent culture' are really to blame then someone has to answer why the vast majority of kids that are immersed in this don't act out.

It used to be reasoning would never even progress that far because of childhood discipline; enforcement of the rules and boundaries of conduct would keep unruly kids from crossing the line. And even if that didn’t work guilt was the next speed bump. Kids felt remorse when they stole or broke the rules because ‘it was a sin’ or it discredited the family or something along those lines. Guilt just like Church no longer works to force kids to do ‘the right thing’, largely because both the parents and the kids don’t really know what that ‘right thing’ is anymore.


Event Timing

Dates of school shootings listed in this report

January 13, 2004
January 15, 2002
January 16, 2002
February 23, 2006
March, 1998
March 22, 2005
April, 1998
April 14, 2003
April 20, 1999
April 24, 2003
May 19, 1998
May 20-21, 1998
May 20, 1999
August 30, 2006
October 22, 2002
October 29, 2002
September 13, 2006
September 24, 2003
September 27, 2006
September 29, 2006
November 8, 2005
December 1, 1997

When does the shooting start?

These are all the start times for the school shootings I’ve been tracking. In some cases I don’t have a time recorded, so those cases are not included.

2 pm
11:20 am
8:30 am
10:30 am
7:30 am
7:45 am
1 pm
12:41 pm
8 am

When these dates are sorted by season we can see that 9 out of 22 cases occurred in the spring around the end of the school year (March to May), while 13 out of 22 cases occurred during the first five months of the calendar year (January to May).

Out of 14 instances 7 occurred roughly between 11 and 1 pm. The time to be extra vigilant against school shootings is around the noon lunch hour.

The New Cultural Symbol

School shootings have become so common that these events have achieved a level of cultural symbolism all their own. And it isn’t very surprising that they do continue to occur since the source of the problem has not gone away – a society that generates large scale economic redundancy as well as personal isolation and alienation amidst an artificial and extremely hostile environment towards mental health. All of this is occurring amidst a mainstream culture that has its language and symbols defined by a commercial mass-media that perpetuates false expectations to motivate rampant consumerism. Fear, insecurity, and inadequacy are powerful marketing forces that have unintended psychological consequences on the unsuspecting public.

The homogenization of culture means that it doesn’t matter whether the school shooting occurs in Canada, Australia or the United States because it is the same mental-cultural environment with similar symbols and expectations being perpetuated by the same profit-motivated commercial forces.

The Revenge Motivation

Revenge seems to be a common thread that runs through all of these events. School shootings are primarily acts of revenge. Revenge is rooted in a sense of real or perceived injustice towards the perpetrator of the shooting and injustice is the feeling that ‘I should have something that I don’t'. Many school shootings are fomented by a desire for revenge against society and a simmering anger over being denied an entitlement such as respect or personal recognition.

Extensive research has shown that the teenage brain is not nearly as developed as an adult brain and because of this emotion, reason, and a proper sense of self and others are often in an acute state of imbalance. A sense of personal injustice to a teenager may stem from what an adult would consider to be a minor or inconsequential event, yet to a teenager this situation could be of extreme significance. Similarly, the way teenagers respond to violence is also of notable difference to the way adults respond to it. Put these two things together and mix them with the ever present general state of confusion and angst as the young person struggles to construct and define their sense of personal identity, and a very volatile cocktail is formed.

Teenagers are more selfish than adults because they use a different part of their brain to make decisions compared to adults, new research suggests.

The work has implications for the types of responsibility given to adolescents, Blakemore says: “Teenager’s brains are a work in progress and profoundly different from adults. If you’re making decisions about how to treat teenagers in terms of the law, you need to take this new research into account.” [1]

The psychological motivation for acting out in a violent way, such as through a shooting at school, is rooted in more than just the struggle to form an identity amidst a hostile culture of commercialized consumerism and social atomization. The reason it requires more is because even when these young people achieve a sense of acceptance and belonging in a clique it’s still not enough to stop them, as in the Montreal case in September 2006.

If they already have a group to belong to and a semblance of unique personal identity then does this new separate identity exaggerate their opposition mentality and drive them to attack a society seen as hostile towards them? Or is it all just a selfish and desperate attempt to sate a bruised ego by gaining attention and personal recognition even if they have to die to get it? Or maybe they are just so apathetic about existence and future prospects that they lack interest and concern for life in general and those around them. Lacking any sense of continuity and historical context, cut adrift and alienated, this seems a plausible explanation.

All of the teenage school shooters have been deeply influenced by mass media, usually in the form of video games and movies – and both media forms tend to be very vivid, intense and increasingly photo-realistic. As the artificial media increasingly comes to define the public’s sense of natural reality the negative consequences of this will only become more apparent and deadly. Teenagers growing up in the late 20th century and today in the 21st are immersed in an extremely hostile environment for the mind. This mental environment is especially hazardous for the young mind that is not fully developed and also lacking in the experience needed for balance and proportional decision-making. 16.09.06

1. Why adolescents put themselves first, New Scientist, September 8, 2006.


Two categories of school shootings: Class A / Class B

At this point I think it is important to distinguish between two categories of school shootings. The first class of school shootings are the ones perpetrated by students at their own school and against other students or faculty. I’m going to call these events ‘Class A’ school shootings. Class A events are the primary focus of research in this ongoing report.

The second category are the school shootings done by outsiders (non-students or faculty) who come to a school ground, for various reasons, with the intent of perpetrate a crime. I’m going to call these ‘Class B’. In the future if these events become too numerous I may have to remove them from the report, or put them in a separate location.

Risk Factors

Post-event interviews of students and faculty regularly express stunned surprise that a shooting occurred at their school with typical statements like ‘we thought it was a joke’ or, ‘it didn’t seem real’. Yet as the reader can see here school shooting events cut across most all social boundaries transcending race, class, religion and age, and have occurred across the globe from Australia to Finland. A student shooting can occur at your school - don’t expect that it won’t and don’t wait for it to happen!

Although Class A school shootings have many elements in common several critical factors significantly increase the likelihood of a violent outburst at school. After studying numerous examples of these events I, Freydis, have developed these ten primary risk factors useful in identifying a potential school shooter:

1. Male

2. Age 14-20

3. Troubled Home Life

4. Mental Health Problems

5. Pyschotropic Drugs

6. Bullied by Others

7. Poor Academic Performance

8. Social Fringe/ Rejected by Peers

9. Suspension/Graduation Timeframe

10. Frequent Anger/Rage

What’s going on here and what do we do about it?!

The past month has had the most school shootings for as long as I’ve been tracking them. Clearly something in the effort to stop them is not working. Even though every school administrator has to be aware of the chances of a school shooting or similar violent attack occurring on their school grounds, these events continue to happen with increasing frequency!

Many schools have enacted ‘gun free zones’ on, and around, campus but signs and rules are not going to stop anyone determined to use a gun in a school. It’s quite possible that these kinds of superficial responses to school violence actually make things worse because they just create a false sense of security. The ‘drug free zones’ around schools don’t really stop drug dealing but they do give judges the capacity to grant more severe penalties when the case goes to court. Yet a legal penalty is useless against a gunman that kills himself, or is killed, in the attack. Similarly, security cameras when and if they are in the right position to record events, are great for just that but they can’t stop any crime. Security cameras are only useful in prosecuting the crime after it has occurred.

If an effort isn’t delivering results it usually means it’s time to start doing something different. For instance, what if the teachers carried a firearm and were trained in how to use it? Other methods of self-defense desperately need to be explored and implemented. Personal self-defense classes should be offered in every school for all the students, teachers and administrators. Some kind of mental and physical training is  definitely needed here so teachers and students can fight back, or at least increase their chances of surviving a school shooting or other violent event by knowing how to react. It’s especially tragic to see students in a class of questionable life-utility totally helpless when attacked and even murdered, when they could have been taking a self-defense course that would have given them the right frame of mind to deal with a violent attack  while giving them a useful skill for the rest of their lives. Now that's a novel notion for a modern school.

Education Methods Deserve Enormous Blame For School Violence

I know this is a stunning news flash for most of you (that's sarcasm) but women and men are not the same and they aren’t interchangeable units - the have different ways of learning that are particularly pronounced at young ages. You can’t just toss out some books and lecture for eight hours a day and not expect the boys to go crazy from boredom.

School shooter Pekka-Eric Auvinen, 18, in his YouTube video clip, 2007.Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is just a slightly exaggerated symptom of normal male behavior. When an increasingly large percentage of the boys have to be drugged-up just to get them to sit through an average school day without causing disruptions then it should be obvious to even a half-wit that something is not right with that educational equation. Boys cannot be expected to sit in an uncomfortable chair for eight hours every school day and listen to droning lectures from teachers without reacting in a negative fashion. Mix in drugs to keep them sedated, violent pop-cultural imagery, plus chronic social pressures, and it’s no surprise that kids like Pekka-Eric in Finland flip out lusting for revolution in the classroom.

The girls aren’t getting much out of contemporary education methods either but crudely speaking women can be programmed, read this book and listen to this lecture then take this test, but men have to be trained, show then do then test. Yet it’s just so much cheaper and quicker to teach the female way than it is to do it the male way because the school system can buy a few books and hire some hack to talk to the kids all day and they don’t have to do any of the necessary but slightly more expensive hands-on, out of the classroom type experience-based education. Consequently school becomes a prison sentence for the boys who just get increasingly angry and agitated as it goes on and a gossip session for the girls waiting for the bell to ring. 09.11.07

The Psychology of School Shootings

Every Class A school shooting is basically about two things: power and revenge – the gun grants power to those that feel powerless, while pulling the trigger on someone confers revenge.

When kids suffer abuse at home from parents and siblings, then they go to school and suffer bullying from peers and an endless series of dictates from teachers, they begin to feel trapped because no matter where they are they can’t avoid abuse. And when they see that the authority at home is part of the problem and authority at school is either unconcerned or inept at helping them they gradually realize that authority is fundamentally hypocritical since it is not based on benevolent guidance as officially stated but is instead is based on controlling and exploiting the less powerful. Consequently these kids begin to perceive the world as the ‘strong’ towering over and abusing the ‘weak’.

Feeling trapped and powerless they naturally search for a way out. The easiest and most effective way to acquire power is to get a gun. Kids easily believe that using a gun is an effective method for resolving their problems because every movie and television show they watch depicts the world through this foolish one-dimensional lens of power expression and problem resolution via deadly violence. And these kids believe that it’s acceptable to act-out their drama as a school shooting because that’s what other students have done before.

This is the psychological basis for a school shooting. The only piece remaining is a sufficient triggering event to push them over the edge. 11.11.07

Same Violence, Different Weapon

The British government has announced plans to search every student for weapons in order to stop a knife-violence 'epidemic'.

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, will put the battle against illegal weapons at the top of her agenda when she unveils her Tackling Violence Action Plan tomorrow. The blueprint for tackling knife-related violence will include a radical move to give police hundreds of metal detectors to catch young people carrying hidden weapons in schools, clubs and pubs. ...

It has now emerged that the number of people sentenced for having an article with a blade or point on school premises has risen from just 12 in 1996 to 45 in 2005 – peaking at 106 in 2004. From: Body search plan to fight knife crime in schools, by Brian Brady, The Independent, February 17,  2008.

So instead of making any attempt to find out why kids are acting out in violent ways, or funding any program to prevent violence in the first place, the British government, already having banned pointy objects with obvious success (that's sarcasm), is going to buy thousands of metal detectors and hire more police instead! Well, I'm sure this plan will have just as much effectiveness at stopping violence with knives as it has been at stopping violence with guns, and every other weapon, elsewhere. 18.02.08


Oikos University, April 2, 2012 – Class A Event

Police photo of One L. GohCharged: One L. Goh, age 43

Where: Oikos University Oakland California, a small Christian  school founded in 2004 by a Presbyterian minister from Korea that specializes in nursing and Christian ministry, particularly for immigrants, with less than 100 students

When: Monday April 2, 2012 at about 10:30 AM

Weapon: one .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and four loaded clips of ammunition

Killed: Katleen Ping (24), Judith O. Seymour (53), Lydia H Sim (21), Sonam Choedon (33), Grace Kim (23), Doris Chibuko (40), Tshering Rinzing Bhutia (38)

Injured: Dawinder Kaur (19), Ahmad Javid Sayeed and Grace Kirika

Event & Background

A naturalized US citizen, Goh’s personal life had become increasingly troubled recently after moving from Virginia to the Oakland area while divorcing his wife and leaving his 12-year old daughter. He experienced several tragic deaths in his family and struggled with substantial debts, he reportedly owed over $23,000 to the IRS and more to banks and apartment owners, but he had no previous criminal record. After leaving Oikos University Goh purchased a handgun in February, then later went back to his school, held a female administrator hostage and forced her into a classroom were he threatened to kill everyone in the room, according to witnesses. After shooting several students pandemonium ensued and Goh reportedly fled in a stolen car; he was subsequently apprehended in a nearby grocery store.

One Goh was a nursing student at Oikos but he wasn't expelled, rather he left on his own in November 2011 claiming that other students teased him over his English language skills, while his father told reporters that his son witnessed other students cheating on a test and told the professor but was ignored. Others say that Goh’s English was fine and he had no reason to be criticized over it. The real reason appears to be that Goh couldn’t get a refund on his $6,000 in tuition and was trying to make excuses to justify his violent anger.

This case is a textbook example of a middle-aged revenge-seeker lashing out at the perceived source of their troubles after breaking under social and economic pressures, unable to achieve the things advertised to them, or that they believed they should gain in their own minds. The Oikos University shooting is very similar to Robert Flores Jr. (41) at the University of Arizona School of Nursing, and Peter Odighizuma (43) at the Appalachian School of Law.

Chardon High School, February 27, 2012 – Class A Event

Charged: T.J. Lane, age 17

Where: Cafeteria at Chardon High School

When: Monday at about 7:30 AM, February 27, 2012

Weapons: one .22 caliber pistol (ten shots fired), one knife (not used)

Killed: Demetrius Hewlin (17), Russell Kling Jr. (17), Daniel Parmertor (16)

Injured: Nickolas Walczak (16), Joy Rickers (18)


Seventeen-year-old T.J. Lane is reported to have brought a pistol and a knife to school, and while waiting for a bus to transfer him to Lake Academy, fired ten rounds into a group sitting at a cafeteria table early Monday morning. Apparently, after he ran out of ammunition, Lane was restrained by an assistant  coach at the High School.


Chardon High School has about 1,100 students and Chardon Ohio is described as an affluent, semi-rural town in suburban Cleveland with a population of about 5,000. Although Chardon High was Lane’s former school, at the time of the incident he was waiting in the cafeteria to catch a bus to the Lake Academy, a specialized school for kids with troubled academic (and probably personal) backgrounds and a student body of only 55. Lane is reported to have gone from failing in his grades to getting straight A’s after transferring to Lake Academy. T.J. Lane posing with handgunsThe true motive is unclear, but reports indicate that one of the students shot was dating Lane's former girlfriend.

Although T.J. Lane appeared to be a typical teenager to adults who knew him casually, and he wasn’t an outsider, loner, or friendless, he did not have a stable home life and was living with grandparents. Lane's father had multiple arrests for domestic abuse and attacks on women. [1] Guns were numerous and easily accessible for Lane; the pistol he used came from his uncle. In fact, the FBI found two dozen legally-owned weapons in Lane's relatives' homes. [2]

It’s seems likely that this shooting was not extensively planned, but was rather an impulsive action fueled by a violent and unstable family life, and made possible by easy access to guns and the ammunition to go with them.

1. Report: TJ Lane, alleged school shooter, grew up with family violence, CBS News, February 28, 2012

2. Ohio school shooting suspect "not well", CBS News, February 29, 2012


Tasso da Silveira school in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, April 17, 2011 – Class A Event

Who: Wellington de Oliveira, 23 (or 24, according to the New York Times) – Class A EventWellington de Oliveir, 5 April 2011

Where: Tasso da Silveira school in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, with about 1,000 students

When: Thursday April 17, 2011 between 8:15 and 8:30am

Weapons: .32-caliber handgun and .38-caliber revolver

Killed and Injured: Ten girls and two boys aged 12-14, as well as the shooter, while 12 other children and teenagers were injured and hospitalized


Oliveira was well-dressed when he entered his former school in a working class neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro on April 7, 2011 and targeted mostly girls, firing 66 rounds, often at point-blank range and to the head. After being injured by a police bullet, he shot himself, concluding the worst school massacre in Brazil's history.


Despite the reputation for a culture of violence, school shootings are reportedly rare, if not unheard of in Brazil. In the aftermath of the attack, no one has come to identify and claim de Oliveira's body. [1] The shooter, who had no criminal record, mentions in notes that he was alone, and he requested that his house, which was reportedly under police surveillance after vandals defaced it, be turned into an animal shelter "because the animals are being very despised and need much more protection and care than human beings." The planned attack seems to have been a statement against bullying he suffered while at the school years earlier; Wellington used a video to claim it was part of a struggle against 'cruel, cowardly people.' However, Wellington’s mental state was probably unstable, judging from reports like this:

Oliveira left a rambling and mostly incoherent letter at the scene indicating he wanted to kill himself and that he had the AIDS virus. He also wrote that he wanted to be buried in a white sheet he had left in a bag at the school. "The impure cannot touch me without gloves," Oliveira wrote. [2]

Oliveira was a Jehovah's Witness, like his adoptive parents and their five other children, writing:

If possible I want to be buried next to my mother. A follower of God must visit my grave at least once. He must pray before my grave and ask God to forgive me for what I have done," read the letter, which was posted on the Globo television network's website. [3]

Wellington de Oliveira wanted revenge and was probably desperate for recognition; school-age bullying incidents may have simply been something locked in his mind that he fixated upon. Children in school, being young and with large numbers in a crowded space, make for easy targets and big headlines.

In Brazil, public arguments in the media’s spotlight have been entirely focused on legally restricting gun possession in the wake of the shooting.

1. Arrests made in connection with Brazil school shooting, CNN, April 11, 2011.

2. Brazilian gunman executes 12 kids at his former school, AP via Today Online (Singapore), April 9, 2011.

3. 12 kids die as gunman stalks halls of former school, AP via Google news, April 7, 2011


Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn Michigan, April 10, 2009 – Class A Event

Who: Anthony Powell (28) of Detroit shot and killed Asia McGowan (20) of Ecorse Michigan, and then immediately committed suicide with his shotgun.

Where: Room F-111 in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Building, Henry Ford Community College, a 17,000-student commuter school in Dearborn Michigan.

When: Between 12:30pm and 1pm on Friday April 10th, 2009.

Weapon: shotgun


Anthony Powell walked into Room F-111 and shot Asia McGowan, then turned the gun on himself.


Anthony Powell had a long history of depression and mental illness. His mother stated that she considered him a suicide risk, but not a potential murderer. He had few friends and difficulty with basic face-to-face social interactions but was prolific in his online communications where he posted misogynistic profanity-laced rants on YouTube railing against black women for their supposed immoral behavior and use of abortion, hatred for atheists, and ridicule of evolution. [2] Like many school shooters Anthony exhibited a very toxic personality and had numerous online detractors. [3]

Powell’s mother stated that Anthony was deeply religious and that he had worked at a variety of jobs, including at restaurants and a grocery store. Further, the family didn’t keep guns in their house and didn’t know where Anthony got his shotgun. Reportedly Asia McGowan, an aspiring actress and dancer, was not romantically involved with Powell, but he had made several advances and was rejected each time, and may have even stalked her via Facebook and YouTube. [1] The two shared a theater course at the community college that was held earlier on the day of the shooting. 

1. Campus Killer Speaks Out On YouTube, ClickOnDetroit News, April 13, 2009.

2.  Dearborn murder-suicide suspect had hate videos on YouTube, by Paul Egan, The Detroit News, April 13, 2009.

3. Alleged shooter spread hatred, rants about atheists in online videos, by Amber Hunt, Detroit Free Press, April 13, 2009.


Albertville-Realschule in Germany, March 11, 2009 - Class A Event

Who: Tim Kretschmer, age 17

Where: Three classrooms in Albertville-Realschule with about 1,000 students, a clinic for the mentally ill, and a car-dealership, near Stuttgart Germany.

When: Wednesday March 11, 2009 about 9:30 a.m.

Weapon: 9mm Beretta automatic pistol

Killed and Injured: Nine students (eight girls and one boy), three female teachers, and three adults at a mental health clinic and a car dealership. The total yields 16 killed including Tim via suicide. Also, seven female students were injured at the school.


After stealing a pistol from his father, Kretschmer went to his former school and shot nine students and three teachers, then he left, ran into downtown Winnenden, a town of 28,000, shot two people at a clinic for the mentally ill where he used to receive treatment, killing one, then hijacked a car and went to a Volkswagen dealership in a nearby town of Wendlingen where he shot and killed a salesman and a man shopping for a car, then he shot himself.


Tim Kretschmer was the son of a wealthy businessman whose father was a gun-club member, thereby granting him license to own multiple firearms (15 guns reported) and ammunition. Tim’s father had all his weapons locked-away except the pistol that Tim used. Tim also was a gun-club enthusiast, having won shooting competition awards, explaining the head-shot wounds to many of the victims.

Peer descriptions of Tim imply that he enjoyed shooting games, played table-tennis, and had "thousands of horror videos at home". Witnesses described him as being in a trance during the school shooting. He was probably acting out his favorite shooting games affected by psychotropic medication, or withdrawal from it, based on his past experience with medical treatment for unspecified psychological trouble. 

Although Tim had friends he apparently didn't gain peer-acceptance or adequate social-recognition. “He was simply not accepted by anyone and just sat all day in front of his computer," according to one schoolmate. It’s not clear why he wasn’t accepted. Reports from family paint an unremarkable picture of a normal teen. Nonetheless, something was definitely wrong and the family and friends around Tim either made little effort to engage him directly about it, or they aren’t talking about it to the media.

His academic performance was between average and below-average, and he graduated from Albertville-Realschule in 2008. His sister still attends the school. “He was lower than average, and he wasn’t engaged in school events,” Mr Michelfelder said. Fabienne said the shooter claimed fellow students at the high school had mocked him, and that teachers there ignored him. [1] At the time of the shooting he was training to work as a salesman and eventually would have taken over his father’s factory. From April to September 2008 he was under psychiatric treatment. He attended a psychiatric clinic in Weissenhoff five times between April and September last year before his care was transferred to the centre in Winnenden and he broke off treatment. [3] Tim later returned and shot two people at the clinic, but it’s not stated in reporting whether they were people he knew or who just served as a symbol for his revenge.

‘It’s all fun and games until someone gets shot’

When Tim Kretschmer entered 9C's classroom, his expression was so normal that Fatin Darwiche thought his combat gear was a joke and the pistol in his hand was a fake.

It was when he began to use it, firing straight into the heads of her classmates, that she realised with horror that nothing could be more serious. [2]

Why do they say this? Almost every incident it’s the same sort of statement, witnesses say they thought it was a joke and it didn’t seem real -- and then bullets start flying! Maybe that’s part of the problem here: these kids are ignored and marginalized so frequently by their peers that they turn into school shooters out of desperate frustration for lack of positive peer attention? Partly a case of revenge, partly a misguided effort to gain attention, either way the bottom line is that ignoring people that need help, or failing to grant them the basic human recognition of their existence, can be a fatal mistake.

Police-State: False Sense of Security

Tim's killing-spree was certainly ambitious; it’s very rare for a school shooting to proceed far beyond the campus. The range of Tim’s violence is particularly ironic considering that Germany is police-state in everything but name. At one point between 700 and 1,000 police officers were chasing Tim! Although Tim only had one 9mm pistol the German police are armed to the teeth and the state is armed with an ever-expanding array of heavy-handed laws and banned expressions, actions and objects -- none of which did anything to stop this massacre. No matter how many security cameras and guns the police have they can never be everywhere at once, they can’t prevent a shooting, they can only mop up afterwards or maybe shoot the gunman in the process.

So what motivated Tim to go beyond just shooting-up his school? Immediately before Kretschmer perpetrated his shooting spree Michael Kenneth McLendon (28), described by authorities as an angry failed Marine and policeman, perpetrated his own shooting spree and suicide in Samson Alabama on Tuesday March 10. Considering that Kenneth McLendon’s violence has been classified as the worst massacre in Alabama history the widespread news coverage likely influenced Tim Kretschmer into spreading his violence beyond school and into town, probably as an effort to gain wider recognition for himself.

Kretschmer’s War on Women

Tim’s school shooting was a planned event but only in vague outline – he knew he wanted to take revenge but there’s no evidence, so far, that he went to any great preparatory lengths, ala Columbine. Notable is the fact that almost all of the people he killed were women. Everyone he shot at his former school was female, except for Ibrahim Yeniay, an Albanian. One source reports, friends have confirmed that Kretschmer was a misogynist with a particular grudge against one of his former female teachers, who had told him he would "end up on the rubbish heap". He had also become infatuated with a local girl who had snubbed his advances. [3]

Looking at it from the standpoint of the cultural landscape, basically all standard school shooting incidents are indirectly, or directly as in the case of Kretschmer, attacks on women. This violence is aimed at women as emblems of cultural development and a modern environment that favors the skills and aptitudes of women over those of men, while making male attitudes and traditional roles increasingly redundant. The words ‘male’ and ‘school shooter’ are synonymous, and whether the shooters recognize their greater meaning of their actions or not, the message,  as males that are unable, or unwilling to adapt to inexorable forces around them, remains the same.

1. German teen targeted females, say police, BreakingNews Ireland, March 12, 2009.  

2. Students mourn as they recall a killer in black who brought death to their school, Lizzy Davies, The Guardian, March 13, 2009.

3.  Germany school shootings: investigation rocked by Tim Kretschmer chat room 'hoax', John Bingham, Telegraph (UK), March 13,  2009.


Kauhajoki School of Hospitality, September 23, 2008 - Class A Event

Who: Matti Juhani Saari, age 22, AKA “Mr Saari”

Where: Classroom No. 3, Kauhajoki School of Hospitality, a vocational and catering school of 150 students and 40 teachers located in Kauhajoki western Finland northwest of Helsinki. Shootings took place in classrooms with testing occurring.

When: The shooting began just before 11 a.m. local time, Tuesday September 23, 2008.

Weapon: Walther P22 .22 caliber handgun, Matti set fire to the dead bodies and the school with 'petrol-bombs'.

Killed: eight female students, one male student, one teacher, and the shooter (self-inflicted).

Event: Matti arrived for his business skills exam 90 minutes into the test, opened fire on the classroom killing several students and a teacher, then set fire to the classroom and eventually shot himself, when police found him an hour after the shooting began.

Background: Matti Juhani Saari is considered a copycat killer because he imitated previous school shooters, particularly Pekka-Eric Auvinen also from Finland, who he had contacts with. Police searches of his computer and accommodation indicate that he harbored fantasies of killing other students as far back as 2002. Police interviewed Saari on Monday the day before the shooting about his YouTube videos suggesting violent actions, and where Matti is seen firing his handgun. The police took no further action.

Reportedly Saari was frequently bullied during his time at secondary school, and he had seen a psychologist and been prescribed anti-depressants. For his military service Saari was transferred to the ‘E category’, one common cause for this designation is mental health issues. The YouTube posting under profile Wumpscut86 by 'Mr Saari' stated that his interests and hobbies include "computers, weapons, sex and beer". His username is a reference to the German music group Wumpscut that Matti was enamored with, “whose songs refer to child murder, burned corpses and bloodshed and have titles including Slave to Evil, Death for the Masses and Line of Corpses.” [3]

Matti Juhani Saari has most all the typical elements of school shooter. He’s a school age male, he had a psychiatric history including the use of psychotropic drugs, had a chronic difficulty interfacing with those around him in healthy ways, and he was obsessed with guns, killing and death. Details of his home life are absent from the reporting I’ve been able to find, so we don’t know about that factor. His academic performance doesn’t seem to be particularly notable, apparently he was successfully passing his classes, but the specifics aren’t clear.

One obvious question is, why Finland?  For such a small country two major school shootings within a year seems surprising. A gun culture and social pressure are two reasons offered by the media. Finland has the most guns per persons in Europe, nearly one gun for every three people, due to the popularity of hunting.

For Finland-expert Tarja Laine this "low self-confidence" is due to "national low self-esteem" connected to Finland's rule by Sweden, then Russia and then its heavy compliance with the Soviets, as well as the influence of pietist religious groups.

Many researchers in Finland agree that education is crucially important to your place in Finnish society, putting young people under intense pressure and especially men (as women are becoming more educated than men). University is very hard to get into with some students trying four times before giving up and maybe studying abroad. [2]

 Teenage Wasteland

Pekka-Eric Auvinen and Matti Juhani Saari, school shootersEnough pity for Matti as a victim of society. In his own words and self-expression Matti was your standard dirtbag with an inflated infantile ego to match - an extremely arrogant, elitist, and fascistic attitude that valued himself far superior to everyone else in the world. He viewed events through a skewed lens and then failed to connect cause and effect through the reciprocal treatment  he received in return.

Claiming that the vast majority of people were merely “robots” and “vegetables,” he asserted that only three percent of society was suited to rule by virtue of their “natural” superiority. Upon raiding Saari’s flat shortly after the latest shooting, police discovered two suicide notes he had handwritten before leaving for the college. In one he describes his outlook on the world as “misanthropic,” stating, “I hate the human race, I hate mankind, I hate the whole world and I want to kill as many people as possible.” [1]

This kind of arrogant attitude reveals the entirely masculine problem of school shootings.  Matti, like many other school shooters, hates humanity for not conforming to his own standards and expectations; convinced they deserve to be gods and dictators and then when society fails to fulfill their demands they seek revenge. This kind of anti-social mentality might be permissible in a 15 year-old boy but by 22 it just doesn’t cut it. Being unable to adapt Matti sought a final solution through the perspective of power and violence, the only way he could comprehend forces and events. 12.10.08

1. Finland: Second school shooting in less than a year, by Jordan Shilton, WSWS, September 29, 2008.

2. Violent male culture may be at root of Finnish school massacre, by Edward Dutton, The Guardian (UK), September 23, 2008.

3. Finland school shooting: Gunman opened fire during exam, The Telegraph (UK), September 25 2008.


Northern Illinois University, February 14, 2008 - Class A Event

Steven KazmierczakWho: Steven Kazmierczak, 27, a dean’s award winning sociology graduate from Northern Illinois University.

Where: Cole Hall, Northern Illinois University, 25,000 student population.

When: 3:06 p.m. Thursday February 14 (Valentine’s Day) 2008.

Weapons: Remington 12-gauge shotgun, .22-caliber pistol, 9 mm Glock pistol, Hi-Point .380 pistol, and possibly a 45-caliber Glock semi-automatic handgun. 48 pistol casings and six expended shotgun cartridges reportedly found at scene.

Killed: Ryanne Mace, 19; Gayle Dubowski, Catalina Garcia, and Daniel Parmenter, all of whom were aged 20; and Julianna Gehant, 32, (five killed and sixteen wounded).

Event: Reportedly wearing black clothing, jeans, t-shirt, and carrying his weapons in a guitar case and hidden under his jacket a tall, thin Steven Kazmierczak entered Cole Hall auditorium at Northern Illinois University where class was being held and, armed with one shotgun and at least three handguns, opened fire on the audience from the stage, injuring 16 random people, killing five, and then himself. "It didn't seem like he was aiming. He just raised a gun and shot immediately," said Paul Sundstrom, a student who was sitting in the class with his brother Kevin when the gunman opened fire. [2]

Kazmierczak rented a motel room for three nights before the shooting at a Travelodge in DeKalb. He paid in cash and signed his name only as "Steven", according to the hotel manager. Items found in his room included empty cartons of cigarettes, containers of energy drinks, and cold medicine. More energy drinks were found in the refrigerator. [3] Kazmierczak likely planned his shooting-spree at least five days in advance. He left no known notes behind, said Donald Grady, the police chief at the university. He had no known relationships with any students or teachers inside the class. He had no previous run-ins with the police. [1]

Background: Kazmierczak seems to have had a fairly normal childhood but a few events are of note. Mr. Kazmierczak grew up on a tree-lined street of ranch-style homes in the suburbs of Chicago with a sister and parents who retired to Lakeland, Fla., in recent years, records show. His mother, Gail, died in 2006, at age 58. [1] His mother died from ALS, a form of motor neuron disease.

At one point Kazmierczak was in a mental health center. A former employee at a Chicago psychiatric treatment center said Kazmierczak had been placed there after high school by his parents. He used to cut himself and had resisted taking his medications … Kazmierczak spent more than a year at the Thresholds-Mary Hill House in the late 1990s, former house manager Louise Gbadamashi told The Associated Press. His parents placed him there after high school because he had become "unruly" at home, she said. ... He also had a short-lived stint as a prison guard that ended abruptly when he didn't show up for work. He was in the Army for about six months in 2001-02, but he told a friend he'd gotten a psychological discharge. [3]

Judging from the interviews Steve made a positive impression on those around him. He had been pursuing a masters degree in sociology at the University of Illinois in nearby Urbana-Champaign and self-described his academic interests as “corrections, political violence, and peace and social justice”. Also, Kazmierczak had served as a member of the NIU Academic Criminal Justice Association, was a teaching aid during his undergraduate years and in 2006 even received a Dean's Award from the sociology department. [2]

One of three tattoos on Steven Kazmierczak’s arms done within the last six months.One of three tattoos on Steven Kazmierczak’s arms done within the last six months.Kazmierczak was meeting cultural standards of behavior, getting good grades, was academically involved, had a girlfriend and employment at least intermittently. Nonetheless he had some underlying trouble that was being repressed. He liked violent gore-horror themes and films; he had some elaborate tattoos to show it. One interview claimed that he “was abusive, had a temper," she said. "He didn't actually hit her; he would push her [his girlfriend] around." [3]  Steven’s family stated that his behavior had become erratic recently after he stopped taking medication used to regulate an unspecified psychological disorder. No other overt indicators of impending violence have been reported besides that and his recent weapons purchases. Kazmierczak said nothing when he fired on the class and left behind no known written material or statements of any kind.

Survival is easy. Success is impossible.

It’s worth mention that the shooting occurred on Valentine’s Day and that Kazmierczak recently broke-up with his longtime girlfriend, although he was still sharing an apartment with her. This shooting could have been triggered by relationship trouble combined with preexisting psychological problems. Nonetheless Steven didn’t fit the stereotype as an ‘angry loner’ and his recent life did not appear to be particularly rough, certainly not to enough to initiate a sudden leap into mass-murder and violent suicide. So, why resort to such drastic actions, and so suddenly without even any effort to fix the things going wrong? This question can be asked of many other school shooting events. Are some people just too sensitive and too weak to deal with social difficulty and life trouble? Is it easier to pick the quick solution just like in the movies? In modern life survival is easy but success is impossible because of the skewed standards and expectations imposed upon us through an incessant avalanche of advertising pushing commercial values that profit from imparting a false sense of inadequacy.

For millions of people modern life is increasingly like a waking dream. The stereotypical school shooting event has permeated cultural consciousness to such an extent that it has become a symbolic act, a reflexive action even that plays out in the subconscious mind of millions -- the school shooting dream -- and if the connection to waking reality is broken such an event can be acted out for real by the mentally unstable. 18.02.08

1. Gunman Showed Few Hints of Trouble, by Monica Davey, New York Times, February 16, 2008.

2. Who Was the Illinois School Shooter?, by Emily Friedman, ABC News, Feb. 15, 2008.

3. Gunman's Contradictions Confound Police, by Ashley M. Heher and Caryn Rousseau, AP, February 17, 2008.


Jokela High School, Tuusula Finland, November 7, 2007 - Class A Event

Who: Pekka-Eric Auvinen (18), dubbed the You-Tube killer by mass-media for his videos posted on that website under multiple aliases such as Sturmgeist89 and naturalselector89 (account banned).

Where: Jokela High School in Tuusula with 400 students between ages 12 and 18, located in a small town 30-40 miles from Helsinki.

When: Wednesday November 7, 2007 at approximately 11:45 am. The shooting was probably timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution.

Weapon(s): Semi-automatic .22 Sig Sauer Mosquito pistol named Catherine by Auvinen, 69 bullets fired, police reportedly found 320 more bullets with him, also he had an flammable liquid that he tried set fire to a second floor corridor with.

Killed: School principal Helena Kalmi (61), nurse (42), five boys aged between 16 and 18, and a 25-year-old single mother. Twelve others injured. Except for the principal, the targets appear to be random. Eyewitness claims Auvinen forced Kalmi onto her knees and then shot her. “Helsingin Sanomat has been told that there had been an argument between Auvinen and the principal before Wednesday.” [6]

Event: Much of the event timeline remains undisclosed at this time. We know that Pekka-Eric Auvinen used his .22 caliber pistol to shoot multiple people and after about twenty minutes he shot himself in the head in a toilet stall beside the school cafeteria. About 90 minutes later police found him and took him to the hospital where he died eight hours later.

Background: Very little has been published on Pekka-Eric Auvinen's background but we have been told that he has a younger brother and that Auvinen's father worked on the Finnish railways for decades, is also a guitarist, and his wife is a vocalist.

Depressed in Finland

Pekka-Eric AuvinenPekka-Eric Auvinen was taking anti-depressant medications. “In a video that he placed on YouTube, Sturmgeist89 displays packages of Cipralex, Zoloft, Luvox, and Prozac pills.” The drugs were prescribed for depression. “The National Agency for Medicines recommends against prescribing SSRIs for people under the age of 18, because of the self-destructive or hostile emotions that they have been known to provoke.” [5] Fellow student Tuomas Hulkkonen states the he knew the gunman well and that he had been acting strange lately, "He withdrew into his shell. I had noticed a change in him just recently, and I thought that perhaps he was a bit depressed, or something. But I couldn't imagine that in reality he would do anything like this."

His 18 year-old (or 20 depending on source) girlfriend Tana Scheel recently left him, "He was my boyfriend. I have received many emails and phone calls claiming it is my fault and that I am a murderer because I rejected him. But many people are rejected without going out and murdering.”[4] She also claims that banning his YouTube accounts, "... would have done nothing but take away his ability to express himself through his videos, one thing which made him happy and curbed his homicidal tendencies." [7]

Gun Culture

“People using guns are hunters. They live in rural areas. It’s part of the life over there.”  [2] Auvinen had no previous criminal record and had no difficulty legally obtaining his handgun. He was a member of a hunting club and was practiced enough to direct most of his shots at the head and upper body of his victims during his 20-minute rampage. "With 1.6 million firearms in private hands, the Nordic nation is an anomaly in Europe, lagging behind only the US and Yemen in civilian gun ownership. According to a government study in 2002, only 14% of homicides in Finland are gun-related. [2] Finland has a strong history of armed self-defense, most notable in the collective Finnish effort to repel the invading Soviet Army over 60 years ago.

Misanthropic Malcontent

"Name: Pekka-Eric Auvinen Age: 18 Male from Finland. I am a cynical existentialist, antihuman humanist, antisocial socialdarwinist, realistic idealist and godlike atheist." Pekka-Eric's own words were decidedly aggressive yet equally unfocused. He wrote of his rampage in advance, "Targets: Jokelan Lukio (High School Of Jokela), students and faculty, society, humanity, human race.” [3] It seems that, online at least, Pekka-Eric was a hyper-aggressive and often bullying person that made more enemies than friends. He fixated upon weakness and believed that they should be killed by the strong. “This is my war: one man war against humanity, governments and weak-minded masses of the world! No mercy for the scum of the earth! HUMANITY IS OVERRATED! It's time to put NATURAL SELECTION & SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST back on tracks!” – Pekka from his ‘Manifesto.doc' [3] Pekka is clearly angry but why is less clear particularly because his expression doesn't explain the problems he rails against nor do they explain how killing students and faculty at his High School will resolve the issues he is most concerned about. He reportedly admired Stalin and Hitler indicating limited Ideological and historical understanding but rather a craving for power and desire to be a dictator. And now we are beginning to see the source of Pekka’s discontent, he felt powerless and/or controlled by others and his sudden, violent outburst was a desperate, and probably delusional, effort to express himself as a potent authority, hence his personal statement, "I am the law, judge and executioner. There is no higher authority than me." [1]

This is your teenage brain on drugs, any questions?

Witnesses describe him as running through the school hallways shouting "Revolution!" and shooting people. Indeed, despite his pleas to the contrary Pekka-Eric is convincing as being mentally unstable. He did take anti-depressant drugs, probably more than one kind, but we don't know the quantities or the timing.

Unfortunately many key details on this event remain unknown, for instance, how well was the shooter doing at his school work? What kind of home-life did he have? What did friends and other students see and think of him? Was he really bullied by other students and if so, why? Lacking these important pieces of information drawing any substantive conclusions remains difficult for this school shooting event. 

1. YouTube massacre: Schoolboy gunman posts threat on the internet then kills eight, by David Williams, Daily Mail (UK), 8 November 2007.

2. School massacre makes Finns defensive about gun culture, uncredited, Breaking, November 9, 2007.

3. [Copies of Pekka’s videos and documents maintained by an online friend]

4. Finnish School Shooter Was Bullied, by Peter Dejong, AP, November 8, 2007.

5. Jokela gunman said he used antidepressants, uncredited, Helsingin Sanomat, November 9, 2007.

6. School massacre: Ninth graders saw killing of school principal, uncredited, Helsingin Sanomat, November 9, 2007.

7. Ex defends school killer online, by Chloe Lake,, November 13, 2007.


SuccessTech Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, October 11, 2007 - Class A Event

Who: Asa H. Coon, age 14

SuccessTech AcademyWhere: SuccessTech Academy (High School) in Cleveland, Ohio. With an academic emphasis on technology and entrepreneurship, the school is a five-story converted office building with about 240 students, 85 percent are black, the remainder mostly Hispanic or white, and all are considered poor according to federal poverty guidelines. Although the school is equipped with metal detectors and 26 cameras, security was intermittent and, apparently, easily defeated.

When: Wednesday Afternoon, October 10, 2007

Weapons: One .22 caliber revolver, one .38 caliber revolver, one box of ammunition for each pistol, and three folding knives.

Killed: Asa H. Coon (suicide)
Injured: The first person shot by Coon was Michael Peek, age 14, who had punched Coon in the face right before the shootings began. Darnell Rodgers, 18, black, was grazed by a bullet on the right elbow. David Kachadourian, age 57, white, math teacher, was shot in the back. Michael Grassie, 42, a multicultural studies teacher, was the most seriously injured victim having been shot in the chest.

Event: Coon had been suspended for fighting on Monday and the same day his older brother, Stephen Coon, age 19, was arrested in connection with an armed robbery. The week before Asa had made threats to blow up the school and stab students but no one paid attention.

Coon began on the ground floor after changing clothes in a bathroom. The first shooting happened immediately after Coon left the bathroom when another student punched him in the face and he shot back. Coon went up through the first two floors of administrative offices to the third and fourth floor of classrooms. Coon proceeded to shoot one other student, grazing his elbow, and two teachers but only the teacher Michael Grassie seems to have been sought out by Coon. Coon fired eight shots, and shot himself in the head when the police arrived at the school.

Background: Even though the school was small it was nonetheless overcrowded and the teaching was impersonal. "I had him since the start of the school year. So that's been about a month and a half. So not a real long time. And the class is real large, so it's hard to know students individually very well or interact with them very much one-on-one.” – David Kachadourian, math teacher shot by Coon.

Asa Coon is a poster child for the dysfunctional family, coming from a single parent household with troubled siblings and a father that is nowhere to be found.

“His probation officer described the relationship between Coon and his mother as extremely poor, with both using foul and abusive language toward each other.” [1]

Mr. Coon’s troubles started early. In 1997, he was 3 and living with his family in Cortland, N.Y., in a house strewn with garbage, according to a report by a caseworker for the Cortland County Social Services Department.

His older brothers, Stephen and Daniel, threatened neighbors with weapons, including rocks, knives and a fake bomb, the caseworker reported.

Mr. Coon’s mother, Lori Looney, was found guilty of neglect by the county juvenile court. His father, Thomas Coon, was not involved with the family, the caseworker reported. [2]

Coon was new at SuccessTech Academy and was constantly being bullied and harassed by other students, often for his unkempt and disheveled appearance. In an attempt to belong and develop his personal identity he adopted the ‘goth’ look and told others that he worshipped musician Marilyn Manson as God. He was reportedly wearing black clothing, black-painted fingernails, and a Marilyn Manson t-shirt at the time of the shooting.

“He was chubby and short, and he was the only kid in school who dressed like a Goth,” said LaToya Sparks, 15, a sophomore.

Asa appeared to have potential for academic success but struggled to focus on his work.  At one point he was prescribed medication for his psychological stress/mental health problems, suspected to be bipolar disorder, but one source reported that he refused to take them, at least at that time.

Why: If anybody was going to crack and go on a shooting spree it was Asa. How many warning signs and telegraphed signals does a kid have to make to get help and attention?! In this case one really has to put much of the blame on the school administration for allowing so much bullying to occur and failing to recognize so many obvious signs of trouble in one of their students. It’s remarkable the lack of accountability and responsibility in these situations. I don’t remember ever reading of a school administrator being fired after a school shooting; well, Columbine HS had some turmoil afterwards, but that’s the exception really. If a Navy submarine captain has a sailor get killed, even in a training accident, the commander will probably not just lose their job but their career too. Yet if students get beat-up and assaulted on a daily basis, and even killed at a public school, it’s still just the usual paycheck for the Principal and the rest of the administration who are supposed to be providing a safe and educational environment. This kind of situation means that public school administrators have little personal incentive to really do something of substance to address the root of the problem and prevent school shootings before they happen, and so they keep happening.

“Coon was a new student at the school, but the district has a dossier on past problems. He had mental health problems, spent time in two juvenile facilities and was suspended from school last year for attempting to harm a student, according to juvenile court records.” [3]

It’s interesting to note that most of the people Asa shot were not hurt very badly except for the multicultural studies teacher Michael Grassie. In a school that was almost entirely black it’s doubtful that the multicultural lessons being taught did anything to improve the self-image and self-esteem of the white Asa and it’s quite plausible that they magnified his sense of alienation and persecution.

"That child was tormented from his classmates every single day. Everybody's making him out to be a devil, a demon, but nobody knows what was going on with this kid." - Christina Burns, a volunteered at one of the schools Coon attended.

Although the attack was planned in advance, sometime between Monday’s suspension and Wednesday’s shooting, Coon left no suicide note at the scene and reporting has not indicted the existence of any similar statements elsewhere from Asa.

1 School shooting spurs security review, by Joe Milicia, AP via, October 12, 2007.

2 Short but Troubled Life Ended in Shooting and Suicide, by Christopher Maag, New York Times, October 12, 2007.

3 School Gunman Had Access Despite Threats, by Joe Milicia, AP, October 11, 2007.

Mount Vernon Elementary, Newark New Jersey, August 4, 2007 - Class B Event

Who: Jose Carranza, 28, from Peru; Rodolfo Godinez, 24, and his half-brother, Alexander Alfaro, 16, both from Nicaragua; Melvin Jovel, 18, from Honduras; and two unnamed 15-year-old boys, all under arrest for murder. “Six people, including three juveniles, have been arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder and robbery in the shootings that horrified Newark and fueled national debate on illegal immigration. One of the suspects was in the country illegally, prompting New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram last week to order local police officers to check the immigration status of all suspects charged with serious crimes.” [1]

Where: Mount Vernon Elementary School, Newark New Jersey

When: August 4, 2007

Killed: Iofemi Hightower, 19; Terrance Aeriel, 18; and Dashon Harvey, 20.
Injured: Natasha Aerial, 19.
All four of them were current or soon-to-be students at Delaware State University.

Event: The shooting victims were lined up against a wall behind the elementary school and shot 'execution-style' in the back of the head.

Why: Likely gang related, the victims were black and the attackers Hispanic and probably members of the MS-13 gang judging from the style of the crime. Reasons beyond that are under investigation by the police.

Note: Although it did involve students the school in this case was merely the venue for a criminal event. The persons involved did not attend the school where the shooting occurred and the crime doesn’t appear to have anything to do with school work, academic trouble or social pressures, and therefore this is categorized as a Class B event.

1. Newark shooting survivor's voice inspires crowd at DSU, by Kasi Addison and Claire Heininger, New Jersey On-Line, August 28, 2007.


Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, April 15, 2007 - Class A event

Who: Cho Seung-Hui, 23, English major.

Where / When / Event: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg southwestern Virginia, student population 25,000; event occurred on Monday April 16, 2007.

Around 7 a.m. in West Ambler Johnston Hall, a coed dormitory housing 895 and described as being for students with health or related problems, on the fourth floor Cho Seung-Hui shoots resident assistant Emily Jane Hilscher and Ryan Clark with a handgun.

Officials say they know of no connection between Mr. Cho and Ms. Hilscher, and remain baffled about why he began there and why he chose not to end there. [3]

Cho then went back to his room where he used his computer to assemble an 1800 word statement, videos, and photographs of himself that he then packaged up and mailed for overnight delivery to NBC news in New York at the small post office near the main gates of campus,  package time-stamped 9:01 a.m. He then went back to his dorm room and collected his weapons.

Around 9:45 a.m. in Norris Hall Room 207 professor Christopher James Bishop is teaching Elementary German when Cho bursts into the room and shoots the professor and the students in the first row of the classroom. Cho leaves the room and heads down the hall. The students barricade the door, Cho returns and fires through the door trying to get back in to the room with about 12 people killed.

In the stairwell Cho fires at Janitor Gene Cole and misses five times, according to the janitor.

In Room 206 professor G.V. Loganathan is teaching advanced hydrology when he is shot and killed by Cho along with two students: Julia Pryde and Jarrett Lee Lane.

In Room 204 Cho enters the room (resistance reported) and proceeds to shoot and kill Professor Liviu Librescu while he lectures on solid mechanics. Nicole Regina White is killed while Matt Webster is injured, both students.

Cho Seung-Hui age 23 points a gun at his head in an image from a video he sent to NBC news.Cho proceeds into Room 211 where professor Jocelyne Couture-Nowak is teaching Intermediate French. Again people attempt to block the door but without success. Cho randomly shoots people in the second row, seriously injuring Colin Goddard. Cho temporarily leaves Room 211 then returns to fire again, probably on himself. The police enter the scene to find Cho dead and in possession a 9mm and a .22 caliber handgun as well as multiple rounds of ammunition and several knives. Among the items found in Cho's backpack are prescription medication for treatment of psychological problems and a note denouncing 'rich kids'.

The shooting spree is over by about 9:50 am. Confusion over events and persons ensues and the police do not arrive to search Cho’s dorm room until 7 pm that night.

Weapons: A Walther P22 .22-caliber pistol purchased  from an Internet gun site and picked it up at a pawnshop near campus on February 9th. Later on March 13 Cho bought a 9-millimeter Glock pistol at Roanoke Firearms using the required three pieces of identification with his Virginia driver’s license, his green card, and a personal check, also purchasing 50 rounds of ammunition.  [3]. Cho also had knives, and chains that he used to seal the main door to Norris Hall.

Killed: 27 students, 5 teachers, and the shooter for 33 people total.

  • Ross Abdallah Alameddine, 20, sophomore

  • Christopher James Bishop, 35, foreign-languages instructor, joined faculty in August 2005

  • Brian Roy Bluhm, 25, civil engineering graduate student

  • Seung-Hui Cho, 23,

  • Ryan Christopher Clark, 22, senior majoring in psychology

  • Austin Michelle Cloyd, 18, sophomore international studies,  member of the honors program

  • Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, adjunct foreign languages instructor, joined faculty in August 2001

  • Daniel Alejandro Perez Cueva, 21, of Peru, sophomore majoring in international studies.

  • Kevin P. Granata, 45, engineering science and mechanics professor, joined faculty in January 2003

  • Matthew Gregory Gwaltney, 24, graduate student in civil and environmental engineering

  • Caitlin Millar Hammaren, 19, sophomore majoring in international studies

  • Jeremy Michael Herbstritt, 27, civil engineering graduate student

  • Rachael Elizabeth Hill, 18, freshman

  • Emily Jane Hilscher, 19, freshman majoring in animal and poultry sciences

  • Jarrett Lee Lane, 22, senior majoring in civil engineering

  • Matthew Joseph La Porte, 20, sophomore

  • Henry J. Lee, also known as Henh Ly, 20, first-year student majoring in computer engineering

  • Liviu Librescu, 76, engineering science and mechanics professor, joined faculty in 1985. A self-described Holocaust survivor, he was killed on the same day as Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day.

  • G.V. Loganathan, 51, civil and environmental engineering professor, joined faculty in 1981

  • Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan, 34, of Indonesia, civil engineering doctoral student

  • Lauren Ashley McCain, 20, freshman international studies major

  • Daniel Patrick O'Neil, 22, first-year graduate student in environmental engineering

  • Juan Ramon Ortiz, 26, graduate student in civil engineering from Bayamon, Puerto Rico

  • Minal Hiralal Panchal, 26, of Mumbai, India, graduate student in architecture

  • Erin Nicole Peterson, 18, freshman international studies major

  • Michael Steven Pohle Jr., 23, senior majoring in biology.

  • Julia Kathleen Pryde, 23, graduate student in biological systems engineering

  • Mary Karen Read, 19, freshman

  • Reema Joseph Samaha, 18, freshman

  • Waleed Mohammed Shaalan, 32, of Zagazig, Egypt, doctoral student in civil engineering

  • Leslie Geraldine Sherman, sophomore history major and member of the honors program

  • Maxine Shelly Turner, 22, senior majoring in chemical engineering, member of honors program

  • Nicole White, 20, international studies major, listed by the school as a sophomore.

Injured: At least a dozen more people were injured in the attack.

Background: Cho Seung-Hui was a permanent legal resident from South Korea that came to Virginia in 1992 at the age of 8 with his family.

In 1992, they arrived in Detroit and then moved on to Centreville, Va., home to a bustling Korean community on the fringe of Washington. They found jobs in the dry-cleaning business and worked the longest of hours. Dry cleaning is a favored profession among Koreans — some 1,800 of the 2,000 dry cleaners in the greater Washington area are run by Koreans — because it means Sundays off for church and sparse need for proficient English, exchanges with customers being brief and redundant.

High school did not help Seung-Hui Cho surmount his miseries. He went to Westfield High School, one of the largest schools in Fairfax County. He was scrawny and looked younger than his age. He was unresponsive in class, and unwilling to speak. [3]

Social trouble in school

Long before he boiled over, Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui was pushed around and laughed at as a schoolboy in suburban Washington because of his shyness and the strange, mumbly way he talked, former classmates say. Once, in English class, the teacher had the students read aloud, and when it was Cho's turn, he just looked down in silence. "As soon as he started reading, the whole class started laughing and pointing and saying, `Go back to China,'" according to Chris Davids, a Virginia Tech senior who graduated from Westfield High School in Chantilly, Va., with Cho in 2003.

Stephanie Roberts, 22, a member of Cho's graduating class at Westfield High, said she never witnessed anyone picking on Cho in high school. "I just remember he was a shy kid who didn't really want to talk to anybody," she said. "I guess a lot of people felt like maybe there was a language barrier." But she said friends of hers who went to middle school with Cho told her they recalled him getting picked on there. "There were just some people who were really mean to him and they would push him down and laugh at him," Roberts said. "He didn't speak English really well and they would really make fun of him." [4]

Writings & Reading Material reveal state of mind

Last semester, he took a playwriting class in which he submitted two one-act plays, “Richard McBeef” and “Mr. Brownstone,” both foulmouthed rants. In “Richard McBeef,” a 13-year-old threatens to kill his stepfather. Steven Davis, a senior in the class, said he finished reading the play one night, turned to his roommate and said, “This is the kind of guy who is going to walk into a classroom and start shooting people.” [3]

Cho sold the books on the eBay-affiliated site They include Men, Women, and Chainsaws by Carol J. Clover, a book that explores gender in the modern horror film. Others include The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre; and The Female of the Species: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates — a book in which the publisher writes: "In these and other gripping and disturbing tales, women are confronted by the evil around them and surprised by the evil they find within themselves." Books by those three authors were taught in his Contemporary Horror class. [5] (italics added)

Sent to Mental Hospital

 Police photo of Cho Seung-HuiThe police said today two female students complained to them about him in 2005.

General District Court records show that a Montgomery County magistrate ordered Mr. Cho, 23, to undergo a mental evaluation in December 2005. The magistrate found probable cause that Mr. Cho was “mentally ill” and an “imminent danger to self and others” or is so seriously mentally ill as to be substantially unable to care for himself.

The two students complained to authorities about the behavior of Mr. Cho when he contacted them in separate incidents in 2005. Police questioned Mr. Cho and he was sent to a mental health facility, but no charges were filed against him.

Also in 2005, Lucinda Roy, an English professor, shared her concerns about Mr. Cho with the Virginia Tech police, but no official report was filed. The writings did not express threatening intentions, or allude to criminal activity, the police said today.

In the incidents involving the female students, the police said that in late November 2005, Mr. Cho contacted a fellow female student, by phone and in person, and she notified the campus police. She later declined to press charges, but officers spoke with Mr. Cho, who was referred to the University’s disciplinary system.

On December 12, 2005, a second female student complained to the police about an instant message Mr. Cho sent to her by computer. The police then spoke with Mr. Cho and asked him to have no further contact with the student. The police said the message was not threatening, and the student characterized it as “annoying.”

The police spoke with acquaintances of Mr. Cho’s and became concerned that Mr. Cho might be suicidal. Officers suggested to Mr. Cho that he speak to a counselor and he did so. He went voluntarily to the police department and, based on his meeting with the counselor, a temporary detention order was obtained and Mr. Cho was taken to a mental health facility, Carilion Saint Albans Behavioral Health Center.

Neither of the female students who complained about Mr. Cho were among the shooting victims, and the police said they did not know if they were in the vicinity of the shootings.

There were no further referrals to the police before Mr. Cho was named on Tuesday in connection with the deaths of the students and teachers on the sprawling campus. [2]

Cho's self-image as a victim

Cho repeatedly used religious language and compared himself to Jesus Christ in his video diatribe: "I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and defenseless people," and, "Do you know what it feels like to be humiliated and be impaled upon a cross and left to bleed to death for your amusement?''  One of the 'experts' interviewed on CNN was convinced Cho's writings indicated he was the victim of repeated sexual abuse, however so far this does not seem to be anything more than speculation.

Every piece of evidence indicates this attack was planned in advance, "In the last few weeks, Mr. Cho’s roommates noticed a few new oddities in this most odd man. He cropped his hair to a military buzz cut. In the evenings, he was working out with a certain frenzy at the gym." [3]

More killed than at Columbine High School

Called the “college Columbine” and considered the deadliest one-man shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, the flag was ordered to fly at half mast placing this event within the category of national tragedy. Americans pride themselves on their national insularity from world events but every so often something that can't be ignored seeps through the cracks. It's interesting to consider for comparison that 33 civilians die about every 6 hours in Iraq and 33 U.S. soldiers die about every month. Suicide attacks are common in Iraq and Afghanistan and these violent and bloody events receive continual coverage in the mass-media.

Previously, the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history was a rampage that took place in 1966 at the University of Texas at Austin, where Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower and opened fire with a rifle from the 28th-floor observation deck. He killed 16 people before he was shot to death by police.

The [Virginia Tech] campus is centered around the Drill Field, a grassy field where military cadets - who now represent a fraction of the student body - practice. The dorm and the classroom building are on opposites sides of the Drill Field. [1]

Why: It’s reasonable to conclude that Cho Seung-Hui was intensely frustrated by an inability to articulate his emotions and ideas to those around him and to have those feelings accepted and understood. As a Korean in the United States Cho was physically different than most of the people around him and this undoubtedly generated a sense of alienation that was compounded by his own inability to communicate with his peers.

So, this wasn’t something that happened overnight, it took years for Cho to reach a point where he was willing to go on a shooting spree and commit suicide. By the time of college it was too late for others to reach Cho, his mental state being too imbalanced and his attitude too embittered towards those around him. Intense family pressure on him to succeed and a constant comparison of his own abilities against those around him created chronic stress. His use of anti-depressant medication coupled with a string of difficulties with authorities such as professors, grades, and frustration with girls, led to an eventual psychological breakdown expressed in a final burst of violence against those around him and himself. Lacking attention and a sense of control over his life he bought weapons because guns give power and attention to those that have neither.

Cho is emblematic of a self-destructing society where individual human worth is measured on a monetary scale and intense social stress can only be relieved through mindless entertainment and hedonistic excess. Cho realized this as he railed against the rich in his diatribe: "You have everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats. The gold necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. `Your trust fund wasn't enough, your vodka and cognac wasn't enough, all your debauchery were not enough. Those were not enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You loved crucifying me, you loved inducing cancer in my head and terrorizing my heart"

In many aspects this is a classic school shooting case with most all of the common elements being present: psychotropic medication (anti-depressants in this case), an outsider rejected and ridiculed by peers while holding a strong sense of injustice perpetrated against the self, and pre-meditated action.

"This didn't have to happen." - Cho Seung-Hui

Many more like Cho will commit increasingly deadly acts of violent expression because they live in a society that can only summon hollow platitudes and misdirected anger while enacting foolish and reactionary pseudo-solutions, unable to recognize people like Cho and their troubles while remaining incapable of rectifying the serious social and economic problems that they symptomatically represent. 21.04.07

This school shooting is similar to the events at Monash University and at Columbine High School.

1. At Least 33 Killed At Virginia Tech Shooting, WTKR CBS Interactive, (undated).

2. Gunman Sent Photos, Video and Writings to NBC, by Christine Hauser, New York Times, April 18, 2007.

3. Before Deadly Rage, a Life Consumed by a Troubling Silence, by N. R. Kleinfield, NYT, April 22, 2007.

4. Va. Tech shooter was picked on in school, by Matt Apuzzo,  Associated Press, April 19, 2007.

5. Virginia Tech shooting probe focuses on Cho's online activities, USA Today, April 22, 2007.

  • Censored excerpts from Cho's 'manifesto' mailed to NBC news can be seen < here >.

  • Censored video excerpts of Cho can be seen < here >.

  • In August 2009 Cho's university counseling and medical records were discovered and released in two volumes. You can read them < here > and < here >.

Geschwister Scholl in Emsdetten, Germany - Class A event

Who: 18-year-old Sebastian Bosse

Possibly Sebastian Bosse with what appears to be a pellet (air) gun.Where: Geschwister Scholl in Emsdetten, near the Dutch border in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The school is reported to have about 700 pupils aged between 11 and 16.

When: 9:30 a.m. on Monday, November 20, 2006

Weapons: Volkmann said officers could see two sawed-off guns lying near his body and a knife strapped to his leg. Several home-made pipe bombs also were lying nearby and the man appeared to be carrying other explosive devices on his body. [2] he also used smoke bombs. The “sawed-off” rifles that he had were actually antique reproductions of muzzle loaders purchased off the Internet! [3]

Killed: Sebastian Bosse (suicide)

Injured: Three students aged 12 to 15, a female teacher and the head caretaker suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries. Approximately 32 were injured, most from smoke inhalation.

Event: The young man, wearing an all-black outfit with explosives attached to his body, entered the Geschwister-Scholl school in Emsdetten near the Dutch border on Monday morning and randomly opened fire at students. He injured at least 32 people, two of them seriously, before he raced off for the school's second floor after he ignited smoke bombs. [1] Police arrived six minutes later, or thirty minutes depending on source, and found the gunman dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Background: Bosse was not currently a student at Geschwister Scholl. He had reportedly worked part-time in a warehouse after leaving school.

He also said the man had been due to go trial tomorrow for weapons offences after being caught with a loaded pistol several months earlier.

Students at the school said the assailant was an aggressive and aloof individual who played violent computer games and had said he wanted to join the army.

Katja Weber, a 17-year-old student at the school, said he always wore a black hat and coat. [2]

Bosse had repeated classes three times, graduating last year among children three years his junior. [3]

Bosse felt ignored and alienated by his peers and this sense of rejection coupled with his poor academic performance created a perception of injustices being perpetuated against him by the people around him. "The only thing I really learned at school was that I'm a loser," the youth wrote in a letter posted on his Web site that was later removed by police. "I hate people ... I'm gone." [2]

Sebastian Bosse played video games, particularly first person shooters. Eventually he became so engrossed in his shooting games that they became a method of practice and mental conditioning to exact his revenge against school and peers. Completely ignoring the issues of mental health politicians in Germany, like so many other countries, look for the cheapest shot they can take and beat it for every point they can score from voters. Not surprisingly they identify video games and the source of the problem. The shooting has caused German politicians to call for stricter regulations against violent computer games and the need for school psychologists, who would be able to help outsiders at school. [2] Does anyone really believe that ‘stricter regulations on video games would have prevented this school shooting? Last time I checked, and this is hard to believe I know, many people play video games and very, very few of them shoot up their schools. Yes it is true that playing violent games repeatedly, to the point of obsession, can be a conditioning factor that can eventually lead to a mental acceptance of violent behavior as a means of rectifying serious internal problems when the individual descends into a debilitated psychological state, but this just demonstrates that the problem is with the mind (and society), not in the game console.

Josef Kraus, president of one of Germany’s teachers’ unions, the Lehrerverband, charged that German politicians, schools, the media and entertainment industry were too busy blaming one another to take any effective action to re-integrate loner youths like Bosse.
“We have a fundamental culture here of looking away if there is a problem,” he told N-TV.
In remarks to the newspaper Bild, he said, “Brutal computer games and videos con youths into the idea that the strong win. They don’t show the losers any way out. Drugs, consumerism and fun are the sole values that today’s pop and TV stars propagate.”

1. 'German kid injures 32 and kills himself', UPI, November 21, 2006.

2. 'German school shooter 'a loner' says prosecutor', Ireland Online, November 20, 2006.

3. 'School shooter in Germany shot himself, autopsy shows', Gulf Times, November 22, 2006.

West Nickel Mines Amish School in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - Class B event

Charles Carl Roberts IVWho: Charles Carl Roberts IV, age 32, a milk truck driver who worked nights. "He is 6-foot-2, short brown, you know like buzzed brown hair. Um, he is 32 years old, wears glasses, I guess he's like maybe 195 pounds." - Roberts' wife in 911 call.

Where: West Nickel Mines (one room) Amish School in Lancaster County, about 50 miles west of Philadelphia.

When: ~10:30 a.m.

Weapons: 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a 300,000-volt stun gun, two shotguns, 600 rounds of ammunition and an assortment of chains and restraining devices. [5]

Killed: Five girls, Naomi Rose Ebersole, 7; Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12; Marian Fisher, 13; Mary Liz Miller, 8, and her sister Lena Miller, 7. Charles Carl Roberts IV shot and killed himself. Others shot and seriously injured.

Event: “On Monday morning, Roberts ran his milk route as usual and walked his children to school, police said. Then he drove to the Amish school and walked inside.” [4] After entering the ‘one-room’ school around 10:30 he brandished a gun and ordered the 15 boys and several adults in the room to leave. He then had 11 girls line up facing the blackboard and tied their legs together with wire and plastic ties. A teacher, Emma Mae Zook, ran to the find the nearest phone and called 911 for help. Back at the school, Roberts barricaded the doors to slow down the police and allow him the opportunity to sexually abuse his captives. Roberts demanded the police leave ‘in 10 seconds’ or he would start shooting. The police heard a rapid series of shots and they proceeded to break into the room through a window where they found Roberts and several girls dead, most shot in the head. Roberts did not expect the quick arrival of the police and it was no evidence was found that any of the girls at the school were molested before being shot.

Of notable irony: “At the time Roberts' wife received the phone call, she was attending a meeting of a prayer group she led that prayed for the community's schoolchildren.” [4]

Gravestone of Elise Victoria RobertsBackground: Roberts had planned his attack in advance, gathering the supplies he was going to use and writing suicide notes. He was not Amish himself but rather he decided on going to the Amish school apparently because he thought they would be easy victims. One report states that, as a delivery truck driver into the Amish territory, Roberts did know some of his victims. Roberts did not have a criminal record.

Commissioner Miller said Mr. Roberts called his wife from a cell phone, saying he was "acting out in revenge for something that happened 20 years ago.”

Police said the gunman worked as a truck driver who collected milk from nearby farms for processing and sale. Police said he walked his own children at a nearby bus stop before borrowing a relative’s pick-up truck and heading for the Amish school. [1]

Police said Roberts might have sexually molested two female relatives when he was a teenager and they were 3 to 5 years old.

Police who spoke with the gunman's wife, Marie Roberts, and who read the suicide notes he wrote to her and his three children said he also expressed deep sadness over the death of his firstborn child, a daughter named Elise, in 1997. The baby was born prematurely and lived for about 20 minutes, police said. [2]

[Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeff] Miller: Apparently, he did make a statement to his wife on the phone that he was acting out in a way to achieve revenge for something that happened 20 years ago. And I think that the location, the school, was probably chosen because it provided a close opportunist -- you know, an opportunity to attack where he knew he had young kids. … That's the only reason we can figure that he went to the school. [3]

Although expressing outward signs of normality, Roberts had a wife and three kids, he definitely had some serious, deeply repressed psychological issues festering away in his mind. In the suicide notes he claims to have been tormented by the death of his prematurely born daughter in 1997 which he wrote caused him “hate toward myself hate towards God”, and his responsibility in (unsubstantiated claims of) sexually molesting two relatives 20 years ago and desire to repeat such actions. The news reporting on the previous shooting at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado on September 27th must have acted like a triggering event on Roberts. The coincidence in timing and the parallel criminal motives are too strong to ignore, and indeed the police consider this to be a copycat crime.

1. 'Students Killed by Gunman at Amish Schoolhouse', by John Holusha, New York Times, October 2, 2006.

2. 'Police unravel gunman's plans', by Lynn Anderson & others, Chicago Tribune, October 4, 2006.

3. 'Commissioner: Gunman tied children's feet together', (uncredited), CNN, October 2, 2006.

4. 'Coroner found gruesome scene inside Amish school', by Mark Scolforo, Canadian Press, October 04, 2006.

5. 'Amish Schoolgirls Knew the Gunman', (uncredited) Toronto Daily News, October 8, 2006.

Weston School Cazenovia, Wisconsin - Class A event

Eric HainstockWho: 15 year old Eric Hainstock, a special-education student” with a history of threatening people.

Where: In a hallway at Weston School Cazenovia, Wisconsin. The school is reported to have 370 students. "[This] small prekindergarten-through-12th-grade school is near Cazenovia, a community of about 300 people about 60 miles northwest of Madison." [2]

When: Friday September 29, 2006 before classes were to start, around 8 am.

Weapons: 20-gauge shotgun and a .22 cal revolver handgun

Killed: Principal John Klang, 49. “He was really nice,” she said, choking back tears. “If we had a problem he’d listen to us. He never raised his voice or anything to any of the students.” [3]


On Friday morning Hainstock pried open his family’s gun cabinet, took out a shotgun, retrieved the key to his parents’ locked bedroom and took a .22-calibre revolver, according to a criminal complaint.

He entered Weston School with the shotgun before classes began and pointed the gun at a social studies teacher, but custodian Dave Thompson wrested it from him, the complaint said. When Hainstock reached for the handgun, Thompson and the teacher ran for cover.

Headmaster John Klang confronted Hainstock. A teacher said that after the shots were fired, Klang, already wounded, managed to wrestle the shooter to the ground and sweep away the gun, the complaint said. Students and staff detained Hainstock until police arrived, District Attorney Patricia Barrett said.

School officials said Klang had given Hainstock a disciplinary notice Thursday for taking tobacco to school, and the student faced a likely in-school suspension, the complaint said. [3]

Janitor Dave Thompson said he saw the student come out of his truck carrying a shotgun. As the student entered the school, Thompson said he confronted Hainstock. According to Thompson, Hainstock told him, “I’m here to kill somebody.“

“The heroics of the people involved in this can never be (overstated),” Sauk County Sheriff Randy Stammen said. “The custodian who initially saw and acted has to be commended for his bravery. The people who subdued him, they’re heroes.“ [4]


Sophomore Shelly Rupp, 16, described the boy as a freshman with few friends and said he was "just weird in the head." [2]

"At this time it would appear he acted independently," Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett said of the gunman.

"He did not disclose his plans to anybody else," she said, though the boy had confided to a friend at least two days earlier "that he didn't believe Mr. Klang would make it through homecoming."

The school canceled its homecoming ceremony and football game scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Barrett said the suspect would be charged with murder and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Witnesses told local media the unidentified boy had reputation for behaving strangely and threatening violence. [1]

No comments from Eric's parents or relatives were available or reported. Eric Hainstock has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide with a potential penalty of life in prison. This event was immediately eclipsed in the news media by another one in Amish country…

Update April 2007: Eric Hainstock in court

Eric Hainstock, 16, also told investigators in the same interview hours after John Klang was fatally wounded that he had been in anger management classes for years but found them useless.

Hainstock told detectives he was upset with school chiefs because they did not stop other pupils from picking on him and calling him names.

Going to school with guns occurred to him just that morning, he said, and he just wanted officials to listen to him.

When Klang grabbed him from behind and put him in a bear hug, he put the revolver under his left armpit and shot the principal, he said. He said he did not mean to kill him, but “I just freaked out”. [5]

1. 'Principal killed in week's second school shooting', by Dan Whitcomb, September 29, 2006, Reuters.

2. 'Principal fatally shot at Wisconsin school', by Todd Richmond, AP news via Chicago Tribune, September 30, 2006.

3. 'Teased teenager shoots headmaster in US', (uncredited), Ireland Online, September 30, 2006.

4. 'Boy, 15, guns down Weston High School principal', by Lee Newspapers staff and wire services, LaCrosse Tribune, September 30, 2006.

5. I just freaked out, said teen gunman who killed school head, Breaking (Ireland), April 21, 2007.

Update August 2007: Eric Hainstock convicted of murder

Eric Hainstock was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years for shooting and killing his principle John Klang in 2006. In his trial Eric claimed that he brought the guns to school in order to get the attention of his principle and make him stop kids from teasing him. His attorneys argued that Hainstock is emotional and immature, suffers from attention deficit disorder, and was repeatedly harassed at school and abused at home. [1] "There is very little thought to anything he does," said Hainstock's attorney Rhoda Ricciardi. [2]

1. School shooter wanted teasing to stop, by Todd Richmond, AP, August 1, 2007
2. Hainstock sentenced to life in prison with chance of parole in 30 years, by Todd Richmond, AP via Wisconsin State Journal, August 3, 2007.
Once again note the lack of diversity in reporting on this news story – just one writer for the Associated Press is feeding all the major media outlets.

Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado - Class B event

Who: Duane R. Morrison, age 53.

Where: Room 206 Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado.

When: September 27, 2006 over a four-hour period from about noon to four in the afternoon.

Weapons: Reported as “a 367 revolver and a Glock” [1] or a semiautomatic pistol and a revolver. He did not have a bomb.

Killed: The police report that 16-year-old Emily Keyes was shot by Duane Morrison as she ran away during the police SWAT team’s entrance into the classroom. Morrison subsequently shot and killed himself, or was possible killed by the police.

Event: "Roman Tucker said he left the school about 10:45 a.m. to participate in a work program and said he saw Morrison sitting in a Jeep Wrangler in the school parking lot, staring straight ahead and appearing to be drinking." [2] Around noon Duane Morrison left his car and went into room 206, brandished a gun, selected six girls as hostages and told everyone else to leave the room.  "… he announced he had a bomb in his camouflage backpack, threatened their teacher and told the students to line up against the blackboard, their faces toward the wall." [1] Morrison then sexually assaulted some or all of the hostages and released four. With two hostages left he threatened unspecified action at 4 pm and the police SWAT team forcibly entered the classroom. Student Emily Keyes was shot and killed while Duane Morrison reportedly shot himself and was also shot by the police.


Morrison appeared to have been living out of his Jeep, Wegener said. Investigators found prescription medication and a key to a Denver hotel room in the vehicle. Investigators also found an assault weapon at a campsite a mile north of the high school. They believe Morrison may have been living beside the South Platte River. [2]

According to the apartment building's manager, Morrison lived on South Birch Street from Feb. 1, 2001, to April 12 of this year. Hoagland said he thought Morrison moved out because of a rent increase. Two-bedroom units there currently cost $600 to $700 per month. [3]

His family says the gunman at Platte Canyon High School was a hardworking carpenter who grew up in a large Baptist family of six children. [4]

Morrison’s hobbies: guns and scaring people?

There also is mention of Morrison in another article about haunted houses that appeared in October-November 2000 of online publication Go-Go Magazine.

That story identified Duane Morrison as one of the designers of haunted houses for Primitive Fear, and quoted him as saying, "We encourage the actors to take the initiative to come up with skits on their own, decide what would be scariest for the room they're in." [3]

Record of Minor Crimes

In 1973, he was arrested for larceny and possession of marijuana in Aurora, according to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation database. The disposition of the case was not known. He was also charged July 11 in Littleton for obstructing a police officer, the CBI records say. [4]

On Nov. 22, 2004, Morrison allegedly called Rocky Mountain Harley Davidson in Littleton, according to court records, in an agitated state and complained about having received one of the business's catalogs in the mail. In a message left on the firm's voice mail, Morrison "threatened to come to the store with an assault rifle to see if that would fix the situation," according to court records. Morrison was charged with harassment and subsequently was named in a fugitive warrant after failing to appear for a court date.

Records in California indicate that Morrison also resided in the Sacramento area for a number of years as a younger man, and that he divorced from his wife, Sharon, in Sacramento County in November 1984. A law enforcement source in Sacramento said Morrison was arrested there about 20 years ago on suspicion of auto theft, but charges never were filed. [3]

Reporting does not describe the security situation at the school, possibly because none existed. It's not clear that this crime was planned in advance because the 'suicide note' the gunmen left did not reveal any plans. or specific intent to his actions or what those actions would be. Sexual assault appears to be the primary motive of the assailant in this case, with suicide possibly the secondary motive. Beyond that no substantiated connection between Morrison and the school or the students has been reported. Morrison’s relatives offer no reason for his behavior and so far no reporting has indicated any specific reason for his targeting of Platte Canyon High School. Morrison's use of prescription drugs, and probably alcohol too, are a factor worth noting in this case; this may simply be a drug induced crime of opportunity.

1. 'Colorado Gunman Sent Letter Predicting Death', by Maria Newman, New York Times, September 29, 2006.

2. 'Dealing with the tragedy, then the aftermath', by Erin Emery and Steve Lipsher, Denver Post, September 29, 2006.

3. 'Shooter was living out of Jeep', by Charlie Brennan, Rocky Mountain News, September 29, 2006.

4. 'Shooter described as quiet, gruff', by Kirk Mitchell and Felisa Cardona, Denver Post, September 28, 2006.


Dawson College, Montreal Canada - Class B event

Kimveer Gill as posted on the websiteWho: Kimveer Gill, 6 foot 1inch tall and 25 years old, from Laval near Montreal, Canada.

Where: Dawson College, Montreal Canada. Approximate population: 10,000 students; "the first English-language institution in Quebec's network of university preparatory colleges when it was founded in 1969.” [2]

When: Wednesday September 13, 2006. One source claims the shooting began in Dawson College's cafeteria at 12:41 pm, while another implies the shooting began outside the school. Police reportedly arrived at the scene within three 3 minutes since they were already in the area for unrelated reasons.

Weapons: A .45 calibre pistol and a 'Beretta CX4 Storm' 9 mm semi-automatic rifle. "The weapons used in the rampage were all legally registered, and signatures from close family members were required to get permits." [4]

Killed: Anastasia DeSousa age 18, a student at Dawson College, and Kimveer Gill. 20 others were injured from gunshots. One news source claims Gill fired his last bullet into his own head while another claims he fired into his chest or that police killed him.

Background: Reporting states that Kimveer Gill’s father was a professor in Canada but no longer teaches and that his mother stopped working after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Ethnic and linguistic alienation is a powerful force in the cosmopolitan and urban region of Canada where this shooting occurred; Kimveer’s ethnic origin is South Asian, in this case from India. Not surprising then is the fact that this is not the first mass shooting in Montreal.

Canada's worst mass shooting took place in Montreal when gunman Marc Lepine, 25, killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnic in 1989, before shooting himself. That shooting spurred efforts for new gun laws, achieved mainly as the results of efforts by survivors and relatives of Lepine's victims. [2]

Some sources claimed Kimveer was a high School dropout yet a photo shows him in graduation outfit! This once again goes to show the challenge of trying to reconstruct an accurate sequence of events and characterization from mass-media news reporting where fact checking has long since vanished in the wake of quick profits. Apparently Kimveer was actually a graduate of Rosemere High School. Although he was unemployed at the time of the shooting reporting describes a record of successful employment in his past.

Kimveer Gill was in the Canadian military for a month of basic training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean, Quebec from January 17 to February 16, 1999. However, military officials claim he did not have weapons training and was prematurely removed from the program for reasons military officials will not release. More recently reports describe Kimveer as having problems with depression and suffering from a deteriorating state of mind.

She [his mother] insists her son was not the solitary, taciturn person the media have portrayed. "He had friends and everything," she said, but adds that he had changed lately. "Since Christmas, he became more sad, more tranquil. He started to spend more time on his computer, playing video games."

Her son, she says, once suffered from depression, overwhelmed by her illness [breast cancer]. He was treated at a local health clinic. [3]

In postings on a website called Vampire, weblogs in Gill's name show more than 50 photographs of the young man wearing a black trenchcoat and combat boots and holding a rifle. One picture has a gravestone with his name printed on it - below it the phrase: "Lived fast died young. Left a mangled corpse."

The last of six journal entries on Wednesday was posted at 10:41am, about two hours before the gunman was shot dead at Dawson. He said on the site that he was drinking whiskey in the morning and described his mood the night before as "crazy" and "postal".

He wrote that he hated jocks, preppies, country music and hip-hop. "Work sucks ... school sucks ... life sucks ... what else can I say? ... Life is a video game you've got to die sometime."

Another neighbour, Mariola Trutschnigg, said she noticed a changed in appearance in recent months. "He started wearing a mohawk and black clothes," she said.

The gunman opened fire at no target in particular, until he saw the police and took aim at them, Chief Delorme said. [2]

Kimveer Gill did not restrict his violent thoughts to the blog he kept on He posted disturbing comments on other Web sites and allegedly jotted them down in a diary, where the entries indicate his mind was deteriorating.

"From what he wrote, you could tell that he basically hated humanity as a whole. He hated everybody. He hated black people, white people, rich people. He hated everybody," a police source said.

"It was very obvious his state of mind was deteriorating greatly over the last three weeks." [5]

Why: No specific motive is apparent and there is no known  connection between Kimveer and Dawson College. The school appears to have been simply  a convenient forum for the rampage. "To my knowledge he was not a student [at Dawson] and was not in the past," said Lieutenant Francois Dore of the Surete du Quebec. [1] Further, some claims indicate this may have been a pre-meditated attack. The TVA network reported last night that security cameras inside the Alexis Nihon Plaza, the shopping mall across the street from Dawson College, captured Mr. Gill on videotape as far back as Aug. 10, presumably staking out the area. The report also revealed that police found a note on Mr. Gill's body that said he was targeting the junior college, but not offering any motive. [4]

Although the apparent lack of motive and purpose is a disturbing aspect of these types of crimes it helps to look at it as an elaborate suicidal action with a distinct element of revenge (against society) within it. Kimveer had no reason to die but no reason to live either, he was the stereotypically redundant individual: society had no need for him and he had no need for society.

1. 'Police find nothing linking killer, school', by Paul Cherry and Jeff Heinrich, CanWest News, September 15, 2006.

2. ‘College killer was website fantasist’, by Phil Couvrette and Robert Melnbardis, The Scotsman, September 15, 2006.

3. 'Parents 'knew nothing', by Hugo Meunier, Toronto Star, September 16, 2006.

4. ‘Shooter had brief military service’, by Tu Thanh Ha, Ingrid Peritz, and Andre Picard, Globe and Mail, September 16, 2006.

5. 'Blogs reveal a deteriorating mind, police say', by Siri Agrell and Paul Cherry, National Post, September 16, 2006.


Orange High School in Hillsborough, North Carolina - Class A event

Who: Alvaro Rafael Castillo, age 19. Castillo has been charged with murder and 10 other charges. [2]

Where: The Orange High School parking lot in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
Orange High School is reported to have about 1,000 students. Two unarmed guards at the school did not stop Castillo from entering because, "Our purpose is to just see that the children go in and out, and make sure nobody scratches up the students' cars or anything like that." [4]

When: August 30, 2006 during the school lunch break around 1pm.

Weapons: Multiple shots fired, with a  9mm rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun with a shortened barrel found at the scene of the crime. “…police found two pipe bombs and two rifles in the van he was driving and four additional pipe bombs at his home.” [2] Alvaro used a 'smoke bomb' before firing, apparently at random.

Killed/Injured: High School senior Tiffaney Utsman grazed by bullet. Unnamed student injured by flying glass. Alvaro’s father, Rafael Huezo Castillo (reportedly from El Salvador), was killed just before the school attack.

Why: The reason for the school shooting is unclear. My speculation is that the intent was not to kill anyone but instead to create a scene and  gain attention for the shooter.

Background: Alvaro was not a student in school but was a graduate. Castillo joined the North Carolina National Guard in 2004 and had finished basic training in August 2005. However he was being processed out for medical reasons, likely related to court records indicating that he was involuntarily sent to a state psychiatric hospital after telling his family he planned to kill himself with a shotgun. "He stated that he was not going to go back into the Army and was going to kill himself," he was released eight days later, according to court records. [2] No mention is made of medication or drugs, but in this case the use of psychotropic medication seems very likely, we just don’t have any information yet one way or the other.

Alvaro Castillo’s background presents conflicting messages, for instance his Myspace webpage (still active as this was being written) lists God, Mom, Dad and his younger sister Victoria, at the top of his list of heroes.  Interviews with other students did not describe any remarkable behavior on the part of Castillo. Yet Castillo sent a letter and video to the Chapel Hill News where he describes a verbally and physically abusive father. The letter ends with, "I will die. I have wanted to die for years. I'm sorry." [2] (View  Alvaro Rafael Castillo video excerpts) It’s possible that he was trying to present a false image of normalcy and stability to others, and perhaps even to himself, that was at odds with the inner turmoil that was really going on.

Of note, just like Jeff Weise in Red Lake High School, Alvaro also is reported to have fixated upon violent scenes in violent films.

Most of the hour-plus video shows Castillo aiming the camera at a small television playing violent movies. They include "Scarface," "Predator," "The Shining," "Natural Born Killers" and a documentary, "Zero Hour: Massacre at Columbine High." Castillo narrates the violence, sometimes chiming in word-for-word with actors. He repeatedly used the mute button to silence profanity. Grisly scenes are met with a throaty laugh. [3]

He also had a keen interest, perhaps even an obsession, with other school shootings widely reported by the mass media.

When asked why he fixated on the 1999 attack, in which two students wearing trench coats killed 13 people before committing suicide, Castillo said he didn't know. "He was obsessed with Columbine, the (Kip) Kinkel shooting in Oregon, the (Jonesboro) Arkansas high school shooting," the sheriff said. He said Castillo even traveled last year to Colorado to drive by the school and the homes of the two teenagers who carried out the shootings.” [2]

AP news reported that as he was being walked to jail and asked why he killed his father Alvaro replied: "We all have to sacrifice. Somebody had to put him out of his misery. He abused all of us." [1]

He definitely had a need for public recognition of his actions as evidenced by at least three factors: the fact he did not kill himself, the letter and video sent to the newspaper, and immediately confessing to killing his father while using the media attention to (vaguely) explain his actions.

All evidence so far indicates this school shooting was planned in advance.  However the injured students do not appear to have any connection to the shooter. Although he had pipe bombs and plenty of ammunition there is no reporting he resisted arrest after a school attack that seems half-hearted at best! This aspect is especially striking when considering that Castillo had been trained to kill by the U.S. military, he had just committed murder that day (his father), and there was no one around that had the force to stop him during his attack. Thus it appears that Alvaro's primary intent was to achieve notoriety; perhaps this is a new phenomenon in the history of school shootings: the effort to achieve infamy through imitation.

The trial should bring more facts to light in this case but in the meantime the real motivation and intent behind this incident resides in the mind and family history of Alvaro Rafael Castillo.

1. ‘School shooting suspect charged with killing father’, CNN, undated.

2. ‘Shooting suspect obsessed with Columbine’, by Estes Thompson, AP news, August 31, 2006.

3. ‘Family, friends shocked by killing, reasons’, Leah Friedman, Cheryl Johnston Sadgrove Jessica Rocha, Raleigh News & Observer, September 2, 2006.

4. ‘Parking lot guards didn't expect intruder’, By Meiling Arounnarath, News & Oberver, September 2, 2006.


The Columbine Papers

A very large collection of documents on the Columbine school shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, was recently released. All 946 pages and 32mb of it can be viewed < here >.These papers include homework assignments, personal drawings, grade summaries, police reports and more. The material released from Klebold and Harris’ notes paint a portrait of two individuals that are self-absorbed, insecure, and emotionally unstable, in short, they were teenagers. These two teenagers were however particularly obsessed with (pop-culture) violence in general and Nazism in particular, although it appears that they could not make up their mind whether they loved Nazis or hated them.

It’s interesting to consider that the cultural concept of the teenager is a relatively new phenomenon, mostly a 20th century creation. Before the 20th century there really wasn't that much a person needed to learn to become a productive member of society and children were put to work as soon as they were physically capable of doing anything productive to help. Around the time of High School most average kids would likely be apprenticed to an adult and have adult role models around them teaching them a craft or some kind of employable skill. But today that is not the case and kids are isolated all the way past age 18, 22 even in college, trapped in an isolation chamber called a school that serves to echo the same unreal messages and unreal expectations back and forth because there is no balanced and practical external anchor or reference marker set in the adult world. TV and entertainment fill the void and set expectations and standards. High School age kids lack any substance in their isolated world to connect them to the adult reality that they are hurtling towards largely unprepared, a world of things like utility bills, health insurance, car payments, working for a wage, and the self-discipline necessary for personal success.

Perhaps one reason we have seen a decrease in school shootings over the past year or so has to do with the rise of online social networking tools such as ‘friendster’, Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Myspace’ and other Internet based forums that allow people to meet and communicate outside of the confines of their school isolation chamber. 29.07.06

Drug Induced Homicides

Another update, the page < here > contains a listing of homicides and attempted homicides that have occurred while using anti-depressants, anti-ADHD pills, and other psychotropic drugs; sent to me by an alert reader. It does not include any references or dates on the events making independent verification more difficult. However, doing a spot check, the entry for Harris and Klebold matches with other information I've found as to the prescription drugs they were using.

Eric Harris aged 17 (Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Zoloft & Paxil) in Colombine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and injured 23 others, before killing themselves.

Roseburg High School, Oregon - Class A event

Where:  The shooting occurred in a courtyard on the Roseburg High School campus.


When: 7:45 am Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006


Who: Vincent Wayne Leodoro


Why: The motive remains unclear and is still under investigation.


Event: “After the shooting, two students followed Leodoro and flagged down a police car as he walked away from school. Police confronted him at a nearby restaurant parking lot, where Leodoro put a gun to his head before surrendering, police and witnesses said.” [1]


Shot: Joseph Monti (age 16) in the back. Three shots hit his torso and the fourth grazed his elbow.


Weapon:10 mm pistol” [1]


Trial: Leodoro is charged with felony counts of  attempted murder, first-degree assault, possession of a weapon in a public building, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm. ... If found guilty, Leodoro would face a maximum sentence of commitment to a youth correctional facility until age 25.”  [2]


“Police have said Monti was cited earlier this month on a misdemeanor harassment charge of spitting on a school bus rider, but that investigators had not found any obvious connection with the shooting.” [1] Teenagers who commit these extreme forms of school violence typically have an undeveloped sense of proportion, inadequate self-control and an inability to conceptualize the future consequences of drastic personal actions. These kids can’t distinguish between degrees of severity or form an appropriate response to the actions of those around them.


Drug use, prescription or otherwise, remains an unknown factor in this shooting, as does the security situation at the school.

1. Bail denied for suspect in Roseburg school shooting, The World newspaper, February 28, 2006.

2. School shooting suspect arraigned, by Chelsea Duncan, The News-Review, February 24, 2006.


Campbell County High School, TennesseeClass A event

Where: Campbell County Comprehensive High School. Student body: 1,400, located about 35 miles northwest of Knoxville.

When: November 8, 2005

Who: Ken Bartley Jr., 15 years old.

Why: The motive for the shooting remains unclear but at this point it seems likely it was simply the opportunity of the situation coupled with student rage.

How: Ken Bartley Jr. brought a .22 caliber handgun to school, reportedly hidden under a napkin. After showing off the gun to other students, school authorities became suspicious and called the freshman into the principal’s office where Ken shot the principal and two assistant principals, killing one and seriously injuring the others as well as himself in the melee.

Killed and Injured: Assistant Principal Ken Bruce was killed while principal Gary Seale was shot in the lower abdomen, and assistant principal Jim Pierce was shot in the chest. [1]

Weapon: One .22 caliber handgun [1]

Bartley was a known trouble-maker. "He has been in trouble before, but I just wouldn't expect something like this out of him," said classmate Courtney Ward, 17. "He is a big jokester. He is rowdy. But I just couldn't see him doing this." [2] At the age of 12, Bartley was placed by his parents at Kingswood School, a residential counseling program in Grainger County, for treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, Kingswood administrator Darrell Helton told WBIR-TV on Thursday.” [3]

Security at the school was sufficient to identify the boy with the gun but it did not prevent him from using it. Campbell County High has one unarmed school resource officer, a woman who also acts as a hall monitor. The school has video surveillance, though it apparently did not cover principals' offices. It has one handheld metal detector.” [3]

Apparently, all of the official reporting for this story has been conducted by one source: the Associated Press.

* * *

Update 2007: Ken Bartley Jr. sentenced to 45 years of prison in plea bargain

Kenneth Bartley Jr. (right) in the courtroom on April 10, 2007.Deputy Sheriff Darrell Mongar testified during a February hearing that Bartley told him the pistol was his father's and he planned to trade it for OxyContin, a powerful painkiller.

Pierce testified at that hearing that he told Bartley he wanted the gun the boy had in his pocket. "Kenny stood up with the gun waving it at all of us,'' Pierce said. "Mr. Seale asked him if it was real. He said 'Yes, it's real. I'll show you. I never liked you anyway."

Pierce said Bartley pulled out an ammunition clip, loaded the gun and fired. Seale was shot first, in the lower abdomen. Bruce was shot in the chest. Pierce was hit in the chest as he struggled to disarm the youth, he testified.

Bartley had been indicted on charges of first-degree murder and felony murder, both of which could have carried a life sentence - meaning a minimum of 51 years in prison. He also was charged with attempted murder, taking a gun to school grounds and possession of controlled substances, which could have added to his sentence if he were convicted. Jury selection was wrapping up when the agreement was reached. [4]

1. 1 killed, 2 hurt in Tennessee, by Duncan Mansfield, AP, November 9, 2005.

2. Wounded Principal Praised As Hero, by Duncan Mansfield, AP, November 9, 2005.

3. School shooting raises questions of safety, security, prevention, AP, November 11, 2005.

4. Boy Agrees to 45 Years in School Killing, by Duncan Mansfield, AP via The Guardian (UK), April 10, 2007.


Red Lake High School, Minnesota - Class A event

Where: Red Lake High School, Red Lake Indian Reservation in the northern part of Minnesota, approximate school population: 300 students. According to the 2000 census, 5,162 people lived on the reservation, and all but 91 were Indians.[2]

When: Approximately 3 pm on March 22, 2005.

Who: Jeff Weise, age 16, 6 feet, 250 pounds.

Why: At the time of writing Weise's motive remains unclear in the official record.

How: One 22 caliber and two police handguns as well as a police shotgun.

Killed: Weise shot his grandfather Daryl Lusierage, age 58, a tribal police sergeant,  and his grandfather's companion Michelle Sigana, age 32, with a.22-caliber handgun. Weise then took his grandfather's police weapons including two handguns and a shotgun and drove his grandfather’s squad car to his school, shot the unarmed security guard Derrick Brun, age 28, and then proceeded to shoot students at random and at close range for approximately ten minutes, killing five students including Alicia White (15), Thurlene Stillday (15), Chase Lussier (15). Neva Rogers (62) a teacher, while seven other students were also wounded in the attack. Reportedly, after police responded to the scene and began to fire back, Weise then shot himself. The shooting appeared to be pre-meditated in Weise’s mind even if the targets were not, Weise likely having gone over the routine multiple times in his daydreams.

Troubled Childhood

About five weeks before the shootingJeff Weise in an undated (but obviously younger than 16) photo. Jeff Weise was ejected from Red Lake High School due to a violation of school policy and was in a special program for off-campus education. Weise had a troubled childhood and a family history of alcohol abuse.

The administrator of one Internet site told The New York Times that Weise wrote that his mother, with whom he lived in the Twin Cities before returning to Red Lake, ''would hit me with anything she could get her hands on" and ''would tell me I was a mistake, and she would say so many things that it is hard to deal with them or think of them without crying." In another message, the administrator said, Weise wrote that ''I have friends, but I'm basically a loner inside a group of loners. I'm excluded from anything and everything they do. I'm never invited. I don't even know why they consider me a friend or I them." [1]

Psychotropic Drug Use

Given the family situation Weise came from it’s not too surprising that he dealt with issues of depression and had suicidal thoughts.

Relatives told the newspaper his father committed suicide four years ago, and that his mother was living in a Minneapolis nursing home because she suffered brain injuries in a [alcohol related] car accident. [2] In his 16 years, Weise had lost many relatives. He was estranged from other family members and had a strained relationship with Daryl Lussier, the grandfather. He was taking the antidepressant Prozac and at least once was hospitalized for suicidal tendencies. [3] “[Sky] Grant said he himself was taking 20 milligrams a day of Zoloft, another antidepressant, and the boys talked in detail about their medication. He said Weise told him he was taking 40 milligrams a day of Prozac: 20 in the morning, 20 at night. "Everybody changes when they start taking antidepressants," Grant said. "He was a lot more quiet. I wouldn't say any better." [4]

The shooting at Red Lake High School is one of the more useful ones from an analytical perspective because of the quantity of detailed information that is often lacking in other school shooting events, but not all of it was particularly useful. The mass-media outlets, especially outside the United States, were immediate in describing Weise as some kind of crazed neo-Nazi due to online messages attributed to him and his apparent belief in racial separation. However, since his targets were random it's difficult to make his beliefs out to be the reason for his shooting spree. It seems more likely that his ideas were simply another source of alienation since he lacked anyone to connect with or talk about his views, other than impersonal Internet message groups. This sense of disconnection from the people around him eventually drove him to act out in desperation to gain recognition and a sense of power over a personal situation he saw as extremely bleak and hopeless.

Jeff Weise displayed the psychological elements of a stereotypical school shooter. Suicide is an act of desperation - Weise felt desperate because he couldn’t see any way out of his troubles  while anger, alienation and resentment pushed him to act out. Weise hated his mother and had a tendency to skip ahead to violent parts in movies they rented. [3] The culmination of events in his external action took the form it did because, by immersing himself in thoughts and games of killing and retribution, he conditioned himself to view violence as an acceptable means of finally solving his troubles.

1. Shooter seemed to target victims, teen says, By Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe, March 25, 2005.

2. [Numerous updates], Associated Press via Newsday, March 22-25, 2005.

3. The clues were all there' School shooter depicted as deeply disturbed, ignored teen, by Ceci Connolly and Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, March 24, 2005.

4. Friend Says Minn. Teen Gunman on Prozac, by Joshua Freed, AP, March 25, 2005.




We sing the death song kids
Because we’ve got no future
And we want to be just like you
And we want to be just like you

- Marilyn Manson, The Death Song

Maybe I'm Inadequate?, 011901v6q000
 Maybe I'm Inadequate?

 Content & Design © Freydis
Updated: December, 2012
Created: 1999