School gunman kills girl, himself

  1. Megs and I welcomed our baby boy earlier this month and wanted to share the news with the TPF community. Come say hello to Baby Vaughn!
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  1. School gunman kills girl, himself

    By Keith Coffman Wed Sep 27, 10:45 PM ET

    DENVER (Reuters) - An armed man took two girls hostage at a Colorado high school on Wednesday, fatally shooting one of the students and then himself when police stormed the classroom where he was barricaded, authorities said.

    The wounded girl was rushed by helicopter to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver but died there, hospital spokeswoman Bev Lilly said. Her classmate and fellow hostage was apparently not hurt in the incident, which drew comparisons to the 1999 Columbine massacre that took place 30 miles away in Littleton, Colorado.

    Police raided the classroom building after the gunman, who initially held six people, broke off negotiations. The incident began shortly before noon when the man, whose identity was not immediately known by police, walked into Platte Canyon High School in the small mountain town of Bailey and opened fire.

    "We tried talking to this individual and had some success," Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener told reporters. "He started to release hostages, but eventually he gave us a deadline of 4 o'clock (to back off) and ceased talking to negotiators, at which time we decided a tactical solution needed to be done.

    "Entry was made, the suspect shot one of hostages and then shot himself," an emotional Wegener said. "That's what it looks like, although the investigation is still ongoing."
    Earlier, officials had said the gunman was killed by police when they entered the school.

    The gunman had told police he had explosives, but none were found at the scene, where investigators recovered a handgun and an empty backpack.
    His connection to the school was not immediately clear and police said they had not found a motive for the incident, which prompted the evacuation of hundreds of students in a scene reminiscent of the Columbine school massacre, the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

    State and local police and federal agents descended on the 460-student school and surrounded it for several hours before the raid.

    In 1999, students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris went on a shooting rampage at Columbine, killing 13 people and wounding 21 others before they committed suicide.

    (Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles)

    Even only one fatality is too many! My heart goes out to the victim and her family, as well as the students that were held hostage in the school.
  2. This is very tragic.:crybaby:
  3. another tragic story.. i hope that the girl's family get some kind of justice... oh the guy kills himself too.. how selfish..
  4. jennifermarvin from the PF knows teh girls family...

    apparently they said that they want everyone in the world to some act of random kindness in memory of thier daughter... *tears*
  5. Baby Boo, thanks for telling us that. I will keep them in my prayers and thoughts. It is very tragic.
  6. It happened here in Canada too. A guy ran into a college and shot a bunch of people. Before the police had gotten there he had shot a girl once and then shot here again like 6 times before putting the gun on himself and committing suicide.

    "The pews filled quickly, leaving many people outside in the drizzle. A speaker system broadcast the English-language service to those gathered outside.

    The funeral was closed to television cameras and journalists, but many people stopped to pay tribute to De Sousa. She was studying international business at Dawson College when she was killed in the rampage on Sept. 13 that also injured 19 people and left the gunman, Kimveer Gill, dead after shooting himself in the head."

    What is this world coming to?
  7. ^ Yeah... and he shot at plenty other people too. My aunt was there, she works at Dawson. She works in the cafeteria actually, and she saw everything... she's so lucky to be alive and relatively well... I feel for all the Dawson students and their friends and families :sad:

    Shootings are horrible... :crybaby:I'll definitely keep the poor girl and her family in my thoughts. Sending much love their way.
  8. What is this world coming to? That poor girl and her family. :sad:
  9. My question was: What in God's name possessed him to do something like that?

    The shooter was a homeless man, living out of his car. He had no known connections to the students.

    And now there's new evidence saying the attack was 'sexual in nature':

    BAILEY, Colo. (AP) - The gunman who killed a student and committed suicide during a high school standoff methodically selected six girls as hostages - apparently favouring blonds - and sexually assaulted at least some of them, authorities and witnesses said Thursday.

    Sheriff Fred Wegener said the assaults went beyond touching or fondling.

    "It was pretty horrific," Wegener said, without elaborating.

    The killer was identified as 53-year-old Duane Morrison, a petty criminal who had a Denver address but had apparently been living in his battered yellow Jeep when he walked inside the school Wednesday with two handguns and a backpack that he claimed contained a bomb. Investigators did not immediately say what was in the backpack.

    Authorities said they knew of no connection between Morrison, his hostages or anyone else at Platte Canyon High School in this mountain town of about 3,500.

    During the siege, he took the girls hostage in a second-floor classroom and eventually released four of them. Morrison, still holding two girls, soon cut off contact and warned that "something would happen at 4 o'clock," authorities said.

    About a half-hour before the deadline, a SWAT team used explosives to blow a hole in a classroom wall in hopes of getting a clear shot at him, but they couldn't see him through the gap, and they blew the door off the hinges to get inside, said Lance Clem, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

    Morrison fired at the SWAT officers, shot 16-year-old Emily Keyes in the back of the head as she tried to run away, and then killed himself, authorities said. During the lightning-fast gun battle, police said, they shot Morrison several times.

    A sorrowful Wegener defended the decision to try to take Morrison by force.

    "My decision was to either wait, with the possibility of having two dead hostages, or act to try and save what I feared he would do to them," the sheriff said. "We have confirmed he did traumatize and assault our children. . . . This is why I made the decision I did.

    "We had to go try and save them."

    Classes were cancelled for the rest of the week as the community tried to come to grips with the bloodshed, which evoked memories of the 1999 shooting rampage at Columbine High School, less than an hour's drive away, that left 15 dead.

    "This is - this is something that has changed my school, changed my community," the sheriff said. "My small county's gone."

    Louis Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Keyes family, said the girl's father was among scores of parents anxiously awaiting word from their children inside the school during the standoff. John Keyes had just bought Emily and her twin brother cellphones for their 16th birthdays.

    "How are U?" a volunteer text-messaged Keyes on her father's behalf.

    At 1:52 p.m., she messaged back, "I love you guys."

    Police stormed into the classroom less than two hours later.
    "In memory of Emily we would like everyone to go out and do random acts of kindness, random acts of love to your friends or your neighbours or your fellow students because there is no way to make sense of this," Gonzalez said. "It's what Emily would have wanted."
    Student Chelsea Wilson said she was in the college prep English class when the gunman came in and told the students to line up facing the chalkboard.
    "All the hairs on my body stood up," Chelsea said. "I guess I was somewhat praying it was a drill."
    One by one, the gunman started letting students go, and Chelsea, a tall brunette, said she was the first girl to leave. Her mother, Julia Wilson, said she thinks the gunman made all the blond, smaller girls stay. Keyes' yearbook photo shows a smiling blond girl with blue eyes.
    Chelsea said she heard what might have been a gunshot after she left the classroom.
    "He's a pervert," Chelsea said. "I'm not sure of motivation. I just knew it wasn't good."
    A 16-year-old student at the school, Cassidy Grigg, initially said in interviews with network morning shows that he was in the classroom and offered to stay with the girls - but the gunman threatened to kill him. His father, Tom Grigg, gave a similar account of what his son had told him to The Associated Press. But Thursday, the teen's mother said he made the entire story up.
    Larina Grigg said her son told her he fabricated the story because he wanted it to be true.
    "He said, 'Mom, all those kids were my friends and I just wanted so much to help them. . . . I guess I just made it up in my mind. I just wanted it to be true so bad.' "
    Morrison was arrested in July in the Denver suburb of Lakewood after he failed to appear on a 2004 harassment charge in Littleton, another suburb. He was also arrested on suspicion of larceny and marijuana possession in 1973.
    "He's a weird dude. It was a telephone harassment. He left some messages at a business in the city," Littleton police Sgt. Sean Dugan said. He declined to release details of the charge, but said Morrison received a nine-day jail sentence in August that was suspended.
    At their home in Tulsa, Okla., Morrison's stepmother said she and her husband, Bob Morrison, "have no record of him being, having any trouble before."
    "We just know the way he was raised," Billie Morrison said, declining to elaborate. She said the last time she saw him was three to four years ago, she doesn't know what prompted the violence in Colorado.
    "We don't know why," she said. "We don't know how."
  10. All I can say is, the shooter escaped justice from the police, but he can't escape justice from God. I hope the killer rots in Hell for what he did!
  11. I agree caitlin! He's burning in hell right now.

    He apparently told the kids that there was a bomb in his backpack. In actuality, he had sex toys.

    He had done some "sexual" things to the girls but not rape, so that's at least something. The police were worried he would do something more. :sad:
  12. But still! Those poor hostages! They're going to need therapy!
  13. That's just so sad.
  14. I about puke when I hear about things like this. My prayers go to the families who were victimized by this disturbed man. OMG, how horrifying for these girls!!
  15. I guess yesterday morning in Wisconsin a kid brought a gun into school and shot the principal three times. (There was also a girl in St Cloud, Mn who sent a threatening e-mail to her school while at her school so she could avoid doing a speech she wasn't prepared for and that caused chaos... also in Green Bay, Wisc. a plot done by two boys was foiled by a friend and some 17,18,19 guns and thousands of rounds of ammo were found in a bedroom of one of them).

    My brother and I discussed all of these school shootings that have been happening lately, it's disturbing. Very disturbing. I wish the people who have done these sorts of things weren't such F'ing cowards to go kill themselves.

    I feel terribly for all of the families affected by these events.