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Entries in School Shooting (44)

Wednesday
Mar202013

How Ohio School Killer TJ Lane Snuck 'Killer' T-Shirt Past Authorities

ABC News(CHARDON, Ohio) -- Chardon school shooter TJ Lane likely got up in the middle of the night before his sentencing to scrawl the word "killer" across a prison T-shirt, a brazen move that shocked his attorney, victims' families and even the judge, according to the Geauga County Sheriff's Office.

After the convicted killer arrived in court for his sentencing hearing on Tuesday, he unbuttoned his blue button down shirt to reveal the T-shirt. There were gasps in the courtroom.

Shortly after, Lane, 18, spewed vile and unprintable words at the families of three students he killed, gave them the finger and then laughed and smiled as they described him as an animal and a monster.

Lt. John Hiscox, Jr. of the Geauga County Sheriff's Office said that inmates at the jail are allowed to have three t-shirts, underwear and socks in their room. They also have pliable rubber pens for writing letters and filling out commissary forms.

"What the sheriff thinks happened is in the middle of the night, prior to him going up to court, he had taken one of his T-shirts and wrote the word on it, put the T-shirt on under his jail uniform," Hiscox said.

Inmates wear street clothes to hearings, Hiscox said, so Lane's clothes were brought to the jail, checked and put in a changing room.

"Then they're patted down as they're being put in the back of the cruiser, but no one would have seen the writing on the shirt because it's already now concealed under his shirt for court," the lieutenant said. "Everybody in the whole courtroom was completely taken aback by that. No one in a million years would have guessed that that would happen."

Hiscox said that the shirt and Lane's statement both showed a "total disrespect" for the victims and their families.

"It was probably one of the ugliest things I've ever witnessed," he said.

Lane was waiting for a bus to an alternative school when he killed three students during a Feb. 27, 2012 rampage at Chardon High School. Daniel Parmertor, 16, Demetrius Hewlin, 16, and Russell King Jr., 17, died in the attack. Three other students were injured.

Lane chuckled when the judge sentenced him to three life terms in prison with no chance for parole.

Lane was transferred today to Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton, Ohio. The state will decide at what prison he will serve out his three life sentences from there.

When asked if Lane could be punished in any way for the T-shirt, Hiscox said, "It's pretty hard to punish somebody when you just gave somebody three life sentences."

Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge David Fuhry released a statement saying that he did not notice the T-shirt in the courtroom since Lane was seated for the sentencing aside from when the judge entered the chamber.

"Had the court noticed the shirt, the court would have immediately stopped the proceedings, adjourned the court and the court would have ordered the defendant to put on proper attire," the judge's statement said, according to ABC News' Cleveland affiliate WEWS.

In regards to Lane's verbal statement, the judge wrote, "However disgusting it may be, the defendant has a right to make a statement at sentencing."

Lane's attorney Ian Friedman was also stunned by the vulgarity.

"I think everyone in that courtroom was shocked," Friedman told WEWS. "It was something that was not expected and something that I hope no one ever has to experience again."

Friedman expressed his sympathy for the victims and their families, saying that it was "painful" to be in courtroom, even as a defense attorney with a job to do.

"I've stood in a lot of emotional courts, but this specific act and turning to the families of the deceased like that with a message similar to that, I have not seen that before," he said

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb102013

Student in Custody after Email Warned of Mass School Shooting

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO, Calif.) -- A 12-year-old middle school student was taken into custody Saturday after allegedly sending an email to a school administrator threatening to shoot 23 students and a teacher, the San Diego Sheriff's Office said in a press release Sunday.

Deputies from the Poway Sheriff's Station learned Saturday morning about the email threat that had been sent to the administrator the previous night. The message made reference to 3,000 rounds of ammunition and numerous firearms and said the shooting would take place on Monday, Feb. 11. Officials from local, state and federal agencies launched an investigation and identified a 12-year-old Twin Peaks Middle School student as a possible suspect. Upon serving a search warrant at the student's residence Saturday at about 5:30 p.m., detectives seized several computers, along with numerous handguns and rifles.

The student was taken into custody and admitted to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation, according to the press release.

The case is being turned over to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan232013

Wounded Man Charged in Texas College Shooting

ABC News(HOUSTON) -- One of three men wounded in a shooting at a Houston college campus has been charged with assault.

Detectives identified the alleged shooter as Carlton Berry, 22, and charged him with aggravated assault.  Berry remains in the hospital and is being treated for a gunshot wound, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Shots were fired on the campus of the Lone Star College shortly before 1 p.m. CT Tuesday, causing the campus to go into lock down and some students to be evacuated, according to police.

Police have not identified the other man involved in the fight, but he was also taken to a hospital.

Alan Bernstein with the Harris County Sheriff's Office told ABC News affiliate KTRK that Berry and the other man involved in the fight are in police custody at the hospital.  Bernstein said criminal charges are still possible against the unidentified man.

A bystander who was identified as a maintenance man in his 50s was injured by gunfire and also taken to a hospital.  The family of the maintenance worker told the college that he is expected to make a full recovery, according to KTRK.

A fourth individual, a woman in her mid-50s, suffered from a medical condition during the incident and was hospitalized and is in stable condition, the college said on Tuesday.

Major Armando Tello of the Harris County Sheriff's Department said on Tuesday that one of the men involved in the altercation had student identification, but police did not specify who.

Police said they received a call at 12:51 p.m. CT that there were shots fired on the campus.  When police arrived at 12:53 p.m., there was no longer an "active shooter situation," they said.

Police immediately apprehended one person of interest and took another into custody within about 90 minutes.  The shooting took place in the center courtyard of the campus between two buildings, according to Richard Carpenter, chancellor of the Lone Star College system.

The campus reopened about an hour and a half after the gunshots.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan112013

Calif. School Shooting: Gunman Told Teacher 'I Don't Want to Shoot You'

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TAFT, Calif.) -- A California teacher's brave conversation with a 16-year-old gunman who had opened fire on his classroom bullies allowed 28 other students to quickly escape what could have been a massacre.

Science teacher Ryan Heber calmly confronted the teenager on Thursday after he shot and critically wounded a classmate who authorities say had bullied the boy for more than a year at Taft Union High School.

"I don't want to shoot you," the teen gunman told Heber, who convinced the teen to drop his weapon, a high-power shotgun.

Responding to calls of shots fired, campus supervisor Kim Lee Fields arrived at the classroom and helped Heber talk the boy into giving up the weapon.

"This teacher and this counselor stood there face-to-face not knowing if he was going to shoot them," said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood.  "They probably expected the worst and hoped for the best, but they gave the students a chance to escape."

One student, who police say the shooter had targeted, was shot.  He was airlifted to a hospital and remains in critical, but stable condition, Youngblood said.  He is expected to undergo surgery on Friday.

Two other students received minor injuries.  One suffered hearing loss and another fell over a table while evacuating.  Heber received a wound to his head from a stray pellet, police said.

Police said the teen, whose name has not been made public because he is a minor, began plotting on Wednesday night to kill two students he felt had bullied him.

Authorities believe the suspect found his older brother's gun and brought it into the school just before 9 a.m. on Thursday and went to Heber's second-floor classroom, where a first-period science class with 20 students was taking place.

"He planned the event," Youngblood said.  "Certainly he believed that the two people he targeted had bullied him, in his mind.  Whether that occurred or not we don't know yet."

Within one minute of the shooting, a 911 call was placed and police arrived on the scene.  An announcement was made placing the school on lockdown and warning teachers and students that the precautions were "not a drill."

The school had recently announced new safety procedures following last month's deadly shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school in which 20 young children were killed.  Six school staffers, including the principal, were killed as they tried to protect the children from gunman Adam Lanza.

Taft Union High School employs an armed security guard, but he was not on campus Thursday morning.

Youngblood said the student would be charged with attempted murder, but the district attorney would decide if he was to be tried as an adult.

Some 900 students attend Taft Union High School, located in Taft, Calif., a rural community in southern California.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan112013

Teacher Talks Shooter into Dropping Gun at California School

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(TAFT, Calif.) -- A California high school teacher is being hailed a hero for talking a 16-year-old shooter into putting down his gun and turning himself in after opening fire on a classroom and wounding another student, police said.

The student victim was taken to a nearby hospital and remains in critical but stable condition, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told reporters on Thursday.

The teacher, whose name has not yet been officially released by authorities, helped evacuate nearly two dozen students out a door at Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., while calmly engaging the young gunman, who is a student at Taft Union, in conversation.

The teacher and a campus supervisor, who responded to the gunfire and arrived at the classroom, helped convince the teenager to stop shooting.

"They talked him into putting the shotgun down," Youngblood said.

The shooting began around 9 a.m. Thursday in the school's science building and sheriff's deputies were on the scene within one minute of the call.  An armed security guard who is typically at the school was not on campus because he had been snowed in, the sheriff said.

Two other students received minor injuries: One reported hearing loss and the other fell over a table.  The teacher was shot with a pellet, but refused medical treatment, according to police.

The school's 900 students were evacuated from the building and many of them were met by parents within minutes of the first 911 calls.

Thursday's shooting comes less than month after 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire on an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children and six adults.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec312012

More Teachers Learning How to Handle Guns in Wake of Newtown Shootings

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BENNETT, Colo.) -- With the shootings in Newtown, Conn., still fresh in the minds of most teachers across the nation, some have decided to take matters of protection into their own hands.

In Bennett, Colo., for instance, police officer Graham Dunne is offering courses in the handling and use of firearms and acknowledges that a number of new students are local teachers.

Dunne admits, "I think there’s a certain amount of hysteria anytime something comes up.  After the last school shooting, I got a mass influx of teachers and other school employees wanting to take my course."

The cop runs a one-day course through his site, ColoradoConcealedPermit.com, that normally charges $160.  But seeing how many teachers are now scared about what happened in Newtown, Dunne gave 20 teachers a free lesson and charged others half-price.

One middle-school teacher from Jefferson County said, "When something happens it kind of hits close to home like that, it's just that added reminder that gives you that extra push, to just make the right choices and prepare yourself, just in case."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec282012

Woman Arrested in Newtown School Shooting Scam

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- Authorities say a New York City woman who pretended to be an aunt to one of the 20 children killed in the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has been arrested and charged with lying to federal agents.

The FBI and a U.S. attorney in Connecticut say 37-year-old Noeul Alba of the Bronx solicited money for the child’s funeral, then steered the funds into her own PayPal account.  The criminal complaint does not state how much money was collected.

Authorities say Alba “used her Facebook account, telephone calls and text messages” during the alleged scam, and then lied to investigators.  Alba was charged Thursday in federal court in Hartford with making false statements and was released on $50,000 bond.  She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Authorities say Alba could potentially also be charged with wire fraud, “access device fraud” and “interstate transportation of stolen property.”

Federal prosecutors in Connecticut say they are investigating a number of scams connected to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec242012

Newtown Shooting Inspires Country to Spread Kindness

ABC News(NEWTOWN, Conn.) -- While the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School have left many in the nation shaken, they have also inspired an outpouring of acts of kindness from across the U.S. and around the world.

The central hub of many of these is on display in the U.S. Post Office in Newtown, Conn., a community grieving over the killing of 20 children and six school staff members by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who also killed his mother and shot himself.

Mountains of mail and packages are flowing in from all over the world.  Some are simply addressed to "Newtown" or specific families who lost people in the shootings.

"I think I saw Brazil, Australia, (one addressed to) 'Anybody in Newtown who needs a hug.'  It is just amazing," said a postal employee in Newtown.

In the town hall, donated toys are piling up just in time for Christmas.

Kindness is even flowing from victims of other tragedies like Hurricane Sandy, who sent hundreds of teddy bears to hand out to children in the community.

"We've had so much help, we wanted to pay it forward and try to help somebody else," one woman said.

Now, Newtown is hoping people everywhere "pay it forward" in their own communities, with the memory of those lost in the shooting serving as inspiration.  It's a concept that seems to be spreading across America.

In Michigan, a secret Santa of sorts paid off everyone's layaway items at a store there.

Reports are streaming in on Twitter from around the nation of others receiving coffees or meals paid for anonymously by others.

In New Jersey, Kristen Albright told ABC News she found an anonymous card in her shopping cart at Target, where she had gone to buy ingredients for holiday cookies.

She looked down, and found a gift card to Target inserted into a greeting card that asked her to pay it forward to others, in honor of Newtown shooting victim Catherine Hubbard.

"It really made me stop.  I was frozen.  It made me think about that little girl," Albright said.

Inspired, she did what the card asked, and gave it to a bank teller at the other end of a deposit she was making.

Stacey Jones of Surprise, Ariz., wrote to ABC News to say she too has been inspired.

"I went to Target, purchased two gift cards, put them in separate envelopes along with the message and handed them to strangers as I exited the store and entered the parking lot," Jones said.  "It really felt good to do a small kind deed for someone."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec242012

Donations Pour into Newtown, Connecticut

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(NEWTOWN, Conn.) -- As the final victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were laid to rest on Saturday, the United Way of Western Connecticut reported receiving close to $3 million in donations since the tragedy devastated the Newtown community on Dec. 14.

CEO Kim Morgan said that the charity was "overwhelmed by the generosity of caring people from across the nation and around the world who are supporting the Newtown community."

Morgan also made it clear "a structure that will manage and administer" the funds will be created to ensure that 100 percent of the $2.8 million in donations would go directly to the community affected by the loss of 20 children and six adults.

Since Sandy Hook Elementary may never reopen due to the shootings committed by 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, it's possible the funds could go toward a new facility, although a separate foundation may be set up for that task.

Meanwhile, the parents, relatives and friends paid their final goodbyes Saturday to Josephine Gay, 7, and Ana Marquez-Greene, 6, who were buried in Connecticut, while a service was held for 6-year-old Emilie Parker in Utah.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec212012

Fathers Stand Guard Outside Kids' Schools After Newtown Shooting

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Two protective fathers on opposite sides of the country donned their uniforms -- one military, one police -- for off-duty appearances as they accompanied their children to school and stood guard outside the school building this week to help them and other students feel safe.

Maryland police officer Frankie Stephens, 30, decided on Monday that he would accompany his daughter on her first day back at school since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six staff members were fatally gunned down last Friday.

Monday was Stephens' day off, and, dressed in his Cecil County Sheriff's Office uniform, he drove his daughter, 7-year-old Ava Stephens, to Perryville Elementary School in his patrol car.

"Initially, he planned to go and hang out in the parking lot for a little bit, but he decided to hang out and go in at lunchtime and so he had lunch with the first- and second-graders," Stephens' wife, Christie Stephens, said.

"We felt completely helpless when we heard about what had happened [in Connecticut], and here we are sending our kids back to school two days later.  He wanted her to get there safely, so he went and he gave his business card to her teacher and the principal.  It made us feel better," Christie Stephens added.

Ava and her two sisters, who do not go to the school, were aware of the shooting in Connecticut, their mother said, and were somewhat frightened about returning to school.  Christie Stephens said she thought that having her daughter, her classmates and the teachers at school interact with a local police officer, who was also a "nice guy and a dad," might help everyone feel better.

Christie Stephens said she is sure her husband will drop by the school for lunch again.

On the other side of the country, former Marine Sgt. Craig Pusley stood outside Hughson Elementary School in Hughson, Calif., in his Marine uniform Wednesday morning.

Pusley told ABC News affiliate KXTV that his actions were a direct result of the school shooting in Newtown.

"I'm part of a Marine Corps fraternity, and I started noticing online postings that if Marines stood in front of schools, we never would have had the Connecticut problem," Pusley told KXTV.

Hughson Elementary School Principal Laura Fong said, "He approached me and asked me if it would be OK if he stood in front of our flag pole this morning to make sure our parents and kids felt safe today as they arrived on our campus."

"There's no policy for something like this, but I didn't see why he couldn't stand in front and keep us safe," she told the station.

Pusley, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan while in the Marine Corps, said he hopes other Marines will follow his lead.

"Whether you're on active duty or not, this is an opportunity to stand up for what you believe in and show America this is what we do," Pusley said.

He said he plans to continue standing guard in front of Hughson Elementary School for the next 30 days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio