Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

9-year-old shot by stray bullet while walking on rural road

9-year-old Luke Knight, of Fulshear, Texas, was walking on a rural road with this grandfather and younger brother when he was hit in the leg by a bullet. From an article:
"You could hear it. It went POW! And I fell over and that was when it hit my bone," said Luke.
Luke spent the weekend at the hospital recovering from a bullet that was just millimeters away from killing him.
"The bone was completely split in half. The bullet had gone thru one side of his leg," said Luke's mother. "The bone was side by side and they knew it was near the artery."
Detectives are still trying to figure out where the bullet came from.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grandmother shoots and kills two young grandsons and self

47-year-old Debra Denison, of Preston, Connecticut, picked up her grandsons, 2-year-old Alton Perry and 6-year-old Ashton Perry, from daycare and was supposed to take them home for a birthday celebration for Alton.  Instead, she shot and killed both boys before turning the gun on herself.  From an article:
Family members said Denison had bipolar disorder and a history of mental health problems.
Denison was armed with a gun when she left her home Tuesday afternoon and had permission to pick up the boys from daycare.
The bodies were found at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, about two hours after state police issued a statewide Amber Alert for Denison and the boys.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

4 year old Texas boy shoots himself with father's gun

A 4 year old boy found his father's loaded gun after they fell asleep on the couch. When the boy woke up, he shot himself in the stomach with the gun and died. From an article:
A 4-year-old boy in Houston died early Sunday morning after finding his father’s handgun and shooting himself in the stomach.
Houston Police Sgt. Harris told KTRK that 4-year-old Jaiden Pratt’s weekend with his father, 23-year-old Marquez Pratt, ended in tragedy. The father and son had gone to sleep on the couch. After waking up, Jaiden picked up the gun and accidentally fired a round into his own stomach.
Paramedics tried to revive child, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This is not a case of a responsible homeowner having a weapon for protection,” Harris said.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the serial number of the handgun was listed as stolen. Marquez Pratt was expected to face charges resulting from drugs and several weapons found in the home.
Harris said that the father had been cooperative with police.
“He kept saying, ‘I messed up. I messed up,’” Harris explained. “He’s in mourning. He’s in pain and feels a lot of self guilt… Despite the choices he made and the lifestyle he was leading, it doesn’t take away the love a father has for a son.”
At one point, police had to restrain a grieving family member who later arrived at scene and began yelling.
“I’m gonna kill him! I’m gonna kill him!” the woman shouted as she crossed the yellow crime-scene tape.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2 year old Pennsylvania boy shoots self with mother's gun

A two year old Pennsylvania toddler found a gun in his mother's purse and shot himself in the face. From an article:
Richard Harris said he was angry when he found out his 2-year-old son got a gun from his mother's purse and shot himself in the face on Thursday night.
“Who leaves loaded guns around with 2- or 3-year-old kids?” Harris, 25, of Centerville, Washington County, said on Friday afternoon. “I have guns in my house, but they're locked up.”
State police said Owen Harris shot himself in the face with his stepfather's gun around 8:50 p.m. at his home along Second Street in Isabella, Luzerne Township.
Trooper Stefani Plume said Owen somehow got the gun, which was in his mother's purse, and shot himself.
His mother and stepfather were home at the time, Plume said.
Owen was taken first to Uniontown Hospital and then flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where he was in critical but stable condition Friday.
Plume said no charges have been filed in the case.
“It appears as though the incident was just a tragic accident,” Plume said in a news release.
Fayette County District Attorney Jack Heneks said the incident remains under investigation.
from triblive.com
Richard Harris said he has “a thousand questions” about the shooting. He said his ex-girlfriend told him she and her husband were asleep when Owen woke up and got the gun.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

16-year old girl injured, and 16-year old boy caught with gun, in Memphis shooting

A teen party was being held at the Zodiac restaurant and lounge, at night, across from a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Memphis, Tennessee, when around 300 of the teens were turned out of the club.  From an article:

“When we reached capacity, we had our courtesy officers to tell every child to leave our lot, call their rides or whatever they needed to do. We are just trying to give back to the community and we are giving them something to do,” said manager at Zodiac Restaurant and Lounge Anita Poplar.

Several dozen of those teens then went over the to Walmart store, where there were then reports of "looting and vandalizing" of the store by the teens.

Then shots were fired inside the Walmart store.  When police responded, they found a 16-year old girl shot in the leg, and a 21-year old security guard shot and injured.

A 16-year old boy was caught with a rifle, and another was arrested for disorderly conduct and evading arrest.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Washington fifth grade boys plot to kill classmate and teachers

Two fifth grade boys from Colville, Washington were caught in a plot to kill classmates:  From an article:
Two fifth-grade boys armed with a stolen semi-automatic gun, ammunition clip and knife plotted to kill a classmate in Washington state but were thwarted when another student informed a school employee, authorities said Thursday.
The two boys, who told police they considered the girl rude and annoying, won't be tried as adults and will be in court next Wednesday for a capacity hearing, said Tim Rasmussen, the Stevens County prosecuting attorney.
The two boys, ages 10 and 11, told authorities that they were also going to kill, or "get," six more students at Fort Colville Elementary School in Colville, Washington, and even identified them from a class list provided by school employees, according to court documents.
The boys' plan called for the older to stab the girl off-campus with a 3.25-inch knife last week, and the younger boy would scare off any responders with a .45-caliber Remington 1911 semi-automatic handgun, court documents said.
The younger boy had been in "a short dating relationship" with the girl, but he told authorities that "she's rude and always made fun of me and my friends," court papers said.
"Yes, I just want her dead," the younger boy told authorities. He brought the gun and knife to school, documents said.
The older boy had been friends with the girl for several months, but he wanted to kill her because she picked on and annoyed him, court papers said.
"Yes, and I wanted to kill her alone at first," the older boy told a police officer.
The officer noticed in his interview with the older boy that he "did not display any emotion or remorse during the interview," court papers said.
The younger boy took the gun from his older brother by finding a hidden key to the gun case kept in the brother's bedroom, and the older brother told authorities that he stole the firearm from their dead grandfather's home, court papers said. The older brother is also a juvenile, Rasmussen said.
The two boys told another student two weeks earlier about the plot to kill the girl and were going to pay him $80 to keep it secret, the court filings said.
The two boys were going to kill the other six students by luring them away from school one at a time, court papers said.
When authorities were transporting the arrested boys to the Stevens County Courthouse, the juvenile probation department staff told a detective that they overheard the older boy telling the younger: "If I find out who told them about our weapons, I'm going to kill them. I don't care; when I get out of jail I'm going to come back and kill them," according to court papers.
Under Washington state law, children between the ages of 8 and 12 are presumed to not have a capacity to commit a crime, prosecutor Rasmussen told CNN.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

16-year-old killed in unintentional shooting

Two brothers, ages 14 and 16, were playing with a shotgun at their home in Lumberton, North Carolina.  According to reports:
"The gun did not fire initially," said a spokesman from the Sheriff's Office. "However, as the two brothers continued to play with the shotgun, it fired and struck the 16-year-old in the chest area."
The victim was unresponsive at the scene and later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police are still investigating the incident.

17-year old girl finds loaded gun in church bathroom left overnight

A 17-year old girl in a church in Lebanon, Oregon, found a loaded, holstered handgun in a church bathroom in Lebanon, Oregon.  It had been left there overnight by an off-duty deputy who had been visiting the church from out of state.

The article doesn't say if the weapon was conceal carry or open carry.

Luckily, the girl was fine and the gun was retrieved.

No charges were filed.

From an article:
A church group chaperone got sick to his stomach and put his loaded gun on the window sill in the church bathroom, where it remained until a 17-year-old girl found it the next morning. 
No one was hurt, and the holstered weapon had its safety on, Rev. Frank Moloney of First Christian Church told KVAL News. 
The church made an announcement about finding an "expensive item" in the bathroom, and the man - visiting with a church group from Washington state, where he works as a sheriff's deputy - claimed his gun. 
Moloney said a churchgoer filed a complaint with the sheriff's office in Washington state over the incident. 
He declined to name the deputy or the county in Washington where he works.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

3 year old Kentucky boy shot accidentally

Braydion Scott Matlock, age 3
A 3 year old Kentucky boy was shot unintentionally by his mother's boyfriend. From this story:
WBTV reports that 3-year-old Braydion Scott Matlock was shot and killed late Saturday afternoon at his family home on North 12th Street in Paducah. According to police, Matlock was shot by his mother's boyfriend, 21-year-old Nicholas D. Barbee of Paducah. Barbee, who allegedly confessed to accidentally shooting the boy, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Officers responding to a call about the incident reportedly found Braydion lying on his back with a single gunshot wound. The child was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Kathy-Marie Lopez, the slain toddler's grandmother, told WPSD that Barbee recently purchased a gun in response to increasing break-ins in his neighborhood.
"The gun was bought to protect those children due to the area deteriorating where they lived," Lopez said. "He (Barbee) stepped up to the plate and took over."
From his obituary:
Braydion’s favorite movie was “Cars.” He enjoyed all types of sports, especially baseball and basketball and loved “Alex,” the lion from the movie Madagascar.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

19-month-old shot in parking lot

22-year-old Heather Wilson, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was putting her 19-month-old son Tyson in her car when Ronald Farr,a friend of her boyfriend, shot them.  According to news reports:
Police said Wilson and Tyson were shot in the parking lot while Wilson was putting Tyson into the car. Her other child was already inside. Police believe Farr unloaded at least 11 gunshots from a close proximity. 15 shell and bullet fragment casings were found at the scene.
Wilson suffered multiple gun shot wounds. Tyson was struck in the arm.
Wilson's injuries were described as critical; however, investigators said both she and her son are expected to make a full recovery.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


As we chronicle here at the Kid Shootings blog, violence against children, by other children, is all too common. It is incredibly easy for teens and young children to get their hands on guns and other weapons due to their widespread ownership and lack of safe storage.  And minors typically have not learned enough life lessons or developed significant self control to keep from acting out violently when things do not go their way.  These two characteristics, when combined, can lead to tragic results.

Recently, the legal guardian of one young shooting victim, Tiana Montgomery (whose passing was posted on our site), started an important website, called Words Not Weapons, which is dedicated to Tiana's memory.  Instead of only lamenting Tiana's passing and pulling away from society, which is all-too-easy to do when you suffer the pain of a lost loved one, she instead focused her family's grief on making a positive change to help keep it from happening to others.

From the mission statement of the site:

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to giving teens words,a substitute for weapons, when dealing with confrontal situations.

We will be holding "Words Not Weapons" workshops in middle and high schools throughout the year.  Educating our youth of the consequences and the effects felt by their communities when guns are used to resolve conflict.  We will address the life decisions and factors that contribute to violent events and introduce alternative behaviors and redirect thinking toward a more positive path.  We want to prepare our children now and of the next generation, the use-less-ness of weapons as communication.

The site also lists help lines for those in crisis.

I urge you to visit the site and find ways to help.

Violence is never a good option.  Peace and nonviolence start with ourselves, then must first extend to our own families, then to our community.  Together we can find ways toward a peaceful solution, and teach this to our children.

16-year old New Jersey boy shot and killed

A 16-year old boy, Marcus Hunter, was shot and killed in North Trenton, New Jersey.  The motive is unknown.

From an article:

Marcus Hunter was shot dead by one suspect on the first block of Beakes, Lt. Steve Varn said this evening. Police called out to investigate shots fired on the street found Hunter on the sidewalk near the Donnelly Homes housing complex. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Varn said. 
Nearby residents said they heard several gunshots. 
Police did not have a full description of the gunman, but said they believe just one shooter was involved. The motive in the crime was not immediately clear.


12-year old California boy threatens mass shooting at school

A 12-year old boy in Poway, California, was taken into custody after making an email threat to commit a mass shooting at his school.  He gave specific plans about how many he intended to kill, with a list of targets, and the weapons he would use.

His home had 11 firearms owned by his father, though they were stored locked up.

From an article:

A 12-year-old boy faces possible felony charges after authorities say he threatened via email to carry out a mass shooting today at Twin Peaks Middle School, setting off a scramble to identify and stop him. 
The boy, a seventh-grade student at the Poway school, was being evaluated Sunday night at a hospital after investigators tracked him down and served a search warrant Saturday at his family home. 
Eleven guns were found there under lock and key, and the boy didn’t have access to them, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said. 
In the email, the boy listed one of his teachers by name and 23 unidentified classmates as his targets. 
He also wrote about several types of firearms and said he had 3,000 rounds of ammunition. ... 
The boy sent the email to a school administrator on Friday evening, authorities said. In it, he identified a specific teacher as a target and “at least 23 children” and made references to several firearms, including a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and an M-16 rifle. 
He also gave locations on campus for the shooting and wrote that it would take place today during second period, or about 9:30 a.m. .... 
Sheriff’s Capt. Bill Donahue said the student was identified and authorities were at his family’s Poway home with a search warrant by 5:30 p.m. Saturday. 
The boy’s father owned several guns — all of them locked up and not accessible to the teenager — including five rifles, three shotguns and three handguns, all of which were confiscated, officials said. 
Donahue said the boy’s parents were shocked and cooperated fully. There was no evidence that anyone else was involved in the threat. 


15-year old Chicago boy critically injured in shooting

A 15-year old boy in Chicago, Illinois, was shot in the back and critically injured.

The article didn't say if the boy was specifically targeted or the shooter's motive.

From an article:

The boy was shot in the lower back in the 3600 block of East 106th Street about 5 p.m., Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Joshua Purkiss said. 
Following the shooting, the boy stumbled into a Walgreens Drug store at 2611 E. 106th St., seeking help, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Chief Joe Roccalva said. 
He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition following the shooting in the 10500 block of South Avenue L about 4:50 p.m., Roccalva said. 
Police said the boy's condition was stabilized at the hospital. .... 
In the East Side neighborhood where the first shooting happened, a resident said his 13-year-old daughter told him she saw a man in a black sweater fire two or three shots, then run into an alley nearby. The girl did not see the shooter's face or who he was shooting at, and immediately went to the back of the family home after the shooting, to avoid getting hurt, her father said. 
“She knows not to stay in front of the house,” he said.  “I told her when…you hear something just go to the kitchen.” 
The man said violent crime is not uncommon in the East Side neighborhood. 
“This is nothing new. This happens a lot of times in this neighborhood,” he said.  


10-year old boy killed in random Minnesota shooting

A 33-year old man stood in the street in Oakdale, Minnesota, firing at random passing cars.

In those cars were a 10 year old boy and two other individuals.  The boy was killed.  The others were wounded.

The motive of the shooter is unclear, and his targets were apparently random.

From an article:

The 33-year-old gunman, who was in police custody Monday night, began firing a handgun about 6:10 p.m. while standing in the street near Hadley Avenue N. and 7th Street N., said Oakdale police Capt. Jack Kettler. 
At least two vehicles struck by bullets sped into the parking lot of the nearby Rainbow Foods at 7053 10th St. N. seeking help. 
Kettler said the shootings appeared to be entirely random and the motive of the gunman, whose name was not released, was unclear. 
"God only knows what motivates someone to do this," Kettler said. "It's happening way too often," he added, referring to recent random shootings across the country. 
Residents of homes near the intersection of Hadley and 7th said they heard two bursts of gunfire, each consisting of four to six shots, about a minute apart. 
"We have three victims that we know of at this time who received gunshot wounds," Kettler said late Monday. He said that other vehicles could have been struck by gunfire and their drivers may not know it yet. 
Kettler would not say more about the victims, where they were shot or what vehicles they were in. They were taken to Regions Hospital, where one, a 68-year-old woman, was listed in good condition late Monday. 
About 10 minutes after the shooting, the gunman was taken into custody by officers, who subdued him and retrieved the weapon, Kettler said. No one was hurt during the arrest.
From another article about this shooting:
Kettler said the shootings appeared to be entirely random and the motive of the gunman, whose name was not released, was unclear.
"God only knows what motivates someone to do this," Kettler said. "It's happening way too often," he added, referring to recent random shootings across the country. (...)
Oakdale Mayor Carmen Sarrack expressed shock and grief at the shootings, saying such events are rare in the east metro suburb.
"It's sick," said the mayor, thinking of his own five grandchildren. "What can you say when a 10-year-old is killed. ... You just feel so bad for the family. They were just out driving by on a February night. It's just a shame. People here are devastated that this could happen in our city, especially when the nation is grappling with gun control."
Jennifer McNeil, a spokeswoman for the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, said school officials will have a crisis team, including social workers and psychologists, available for students on Tuesday.
The name of the 10 year old shot and the shooter have now been revealed in this article: 
from Minneapolis Star Tribune
A 34-year-old man is in jail Tuesday, accused of randomly shooting at passing vehicles in his Oakdale neighborhood, killing a 9-year-old boy and wounding the child's mother and another woman.
Nhan L. Tran, whose home is a few blocks from the two shooting scenes near 7th Street N., began firing a handgun about 6:10 p.m. Monday while standing along the road, police said.
Melissa Aryal identified her son, Devin, as the boy who was shot while the two were in the same vehicle. Melissa Aryal, 39, also was wounded, then taken to Regions Hospital, treated and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Witnesses gave different accounts of how the shooter was behaving -- one saying he appeared calm and another describing him as paranoid. Cheryl Russell, who lives across the street from the suspect's home, said Tuesday that she looked out a window from her home and saw the man shooting at vehicles at two locations.
In an interview from her home, Melissa Aryal said she and Devin were just leaving day care, when the shooting began.
"He was so proud because he did all his homework at day care," said the mom, who goes by Missy. "He wanted to come home and play for the evening."
She said they both heard a noise under the hood, and as she braked to turn onto Hadley Avenue, she felt her arm go numb. She swerved into the Rainbow parking lot a half-block away, called 911, got out and then saw Devin slumped in the back seat.
Tuesday morning, officials at Devin's school called and wept on the phone with his mother, Aryal said.
"The kids are having a hard time because he was just a lovable little boy," she said. "Everybody knew him and loved him." (...) 
"He was walking very erratically," Lowen said, offering a different perspective on Tran's demeanor than what Russell described. "He kept doing full 360s looking behind him, looking very paranoid. He was making sure no one saw him, is what it looked like."
Lowen said the suspect walked in circles about four times before crossing Hadley into a parking lot.
Police are coordinating their investigation with the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. More information from authorities was expected to be released Tuesday afternoon.
At Devin's home, Aryal hugged his only sibling, 18-year-old Savanna LaVenture. Behind them on the living-room television was a newscaster speaking about 151 mass shootings in 2012.
"I don't know how anyone can do senseless shootings," the sobbing mother said, her bullet-wounded arm in a sling, her hospital slippers still on from the evening before.
She talked of Devin, the bespectacled boy who liked ice cream for supper.
He looked up to his older sister, often showering her with gifts, the teen said, including some of his dozens of stuff animals.
Devin loved soccer, and he also loved gazing at the night skies with his telescope, dreaming of becoming an astronaut, said his family and a family friend.
"Everybody knew him and loved him," Aryal said. "He would talk to anyone and everyone."
UPDATE (2/12/13): Another article describes the anguish of Devin's mother:

Missy Aryal was driving up 7th Street in Oakdale, Minn. on Monday night when she heard a sound, then felt blood running down her arm. 
While tending to her arm, the mother looked into her rear view mirror and saw her son – 9-year-old Devin Aryal – slumped over in the back seat. She pulled into the Rainbow Foods parking lot, held her dying son in her arms and cried for help. 
"I was just holding his head in my arms until the ambulance came, just crying hysterically and I just kind of held onto him," Aryal said. 
Devin, a fourth grader at Oakdale Elementary, had a gunshot wound to the head. All his mother could do was hold him in her arms and hear him take his final breaths.  
"I told him 'I love you, hold on,'' and I just kept screaming for more help," Aryal said. "He was a remarkable boy. He loved life, he loved everybody. Everybody loved him."


Monday, February 11, 2013

9 year old Minnesota boy killed when gunman randomly shot at cars

It's a scary world when someone with a gun starts shooting randomly at cars in parking lots. That is what happened in a St. Paul, Minnesota suburb today. A 9 or 10 year old boy was killed after being struck by a bullet as a man was shooting randomly in a grocery store parking lot:
A young boy was fatally shot and two people were wounded Monday night in a chaotic and apparently random spurt of gunfire near the Rainbow Foods store in Oakdale, Oakdale Mayor Carmen Sarrack confirmed.
Police scanner reports and witnesses said that an armed man on foot apparently was firing randomly at vehicles in the area of Hadley Avenue N. and 7th Street N., near the Rainbow Foods at 7053 10th St. N., when the victims were hit. Sarrack said the boy who was killed was 9 or 10 years old.
The unidentified male suspect was taken into custody after multiple police officers established perimeters and began searching for him just minutes after the shooting was reported Monday evening, according to scanner reports. A weapon was retrieved, those reports said.
A swarm of investigators from Oakdale police, Washington County and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were at the scene late Monday.
Sarrack said the gunmen reportedly shot at four vehicles. People in two of the cars weren't hurt, he said.
"The police are still sorting things out," Sarrack said.
"It's sick," the mayor said. "What can you say when a 9-year-old or 10-year-old is killed. ... People here are devastated that this could happen in our city."

4 year old Tennessee boy killed while playing with gun

It's happened again. A four year old boy from Tennessee was shot to death while playing with a gun in his home. From an article:
A 4-year-old boy is dead after a gun went off while he was playing with it, according to the Memphis Police Department.
Officers responded to the call at an apartment complex at 3988 Camelot Lane.
When they arrived, they found the 4-year-old had been shot. The child was pronounced dead on the scene.
Police believe the child was playing with a gun when it accidentally went off.
"It feels sad. Very sad. Yeah, I hate to hear that," said neighbor Carol Maris, who has played with the little boy before. "He's very active. Just like a child. Very active. Loved to play toys, stuff like that. He be outside sometimes playing with his trucks and stuff. Real good kid."
A good kid, who is now dead after a heartbreaking sequence of events.
Investigators were on the scene for more than three hours, discussing the situation with several people, one of whom was in the back seat of a police car.
At this point, no arrests have been made, but detectives are still working to figure out where the gun came from, how the boy got it, and who, if anyone, was supervising him at the time of the shooting.
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Mentally ill woman attempts to shoot school teachers at South Carolina school

A woman who was dangerously mentally ill, and who had previously threatened to kill the president during an incident with a Customs official, was nonetheless able to buy a gun.  Alice Boland, 28, was at the gate of the Charlston, South Carolina girls' preparatory school when she pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot two school faculty.  

The only reason she failed was because she didn't understand how to unlock the firing mechanism.

From an article:

Alice Boland, 28, who was charged in 2005 with threatening to assassinate President George W. Bush and members of Congress as she waited in line at U.S. Customs, is again charged with plotting a violent attack. On Monday, after pacing in front of the school gates during car pool and visibly swinging a gun, she tried to shoot two faculty members: the director of the high school, Mary Schweers, and an English teacher, Chris Hughes. 
The police charged Ms. Boland with attempted murder and unlawful carrying of a firearm. The only thing that stopped her, they said, was that she did not realize the gun was locked. 
“We were very fortunate she did not know how to take the lock off, or this could have been a tragedy,” said Earl Woodham, a spokesman in Charlotte for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 
The authorities are investigating whether Ms. Boland was required to disclose her history of mental illness when she bought the gun. A small firearms store in Walterboro, 50 miles from Charleston, sold her the Taurus PT-22 pistol on Feb. 1. She filled out a federal background check form and was approved. 
She appeared to have bought the gun legally, Mr. Woodham said. Gun buyers nationwide are required to disclose mental illnesses only if they have been committed to an institution or found “mentally defective” by a judge, he said. 
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are mentally unstable but who would not technically be declared mentally defective,” he said. 
Ms. Boland’s 2005 brush with law enforcement came when she became upset with the slow process of getting through Customs in Montreal. 
“I am going to kill President Bush with a gun,” she said, according to federal court papers. “Just give me a gun. I am going to come back and shoot you all.” 
The federal charges were dropped after she pleaded not guilty by reason of mental incompetence. ... 
Parents were grateful for the quick action by administrators, who used a well-rehearsed emergency plan to secure the campus and stalled Ms. Boland at the gate. Two weeks ago, in response to the Newtown, Conn., massacre, the police met with school officials to rehearse the protocol for a school shooting. 
The mayor of Charleston, Joseph P. Riley Jr., said that the incident was a “wake-up call” and that he would encourage South Carolina legislators to tighten restrictions on background checks for mental illness. 
“If you threaten to kill a president of the United States, so many alarm bells should sound when you go to buy a gun,” he said. “We could easily be talking about a homicide or multiple homicide. It’s a miracle we’re not.”


3-year old boy unintentionally shot to death by mother's boyfriend

A 3-year old boy was at his Paducah, Kentucky home when the boyfriend of his mother unintentionally discharged his gun, striking and killing the boy.

From an article:

Paducah police are investigating the apparent accidental shooting of a three-year-old child Saturday afternoon at a home in the 1500 block of North 12th Street. The child died at about 8:30 p.m. at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. Detectives have charged, the mother's boyfriend, Nicholas D. Barbee, 21, with second-degree manslaughter.  
Police were called to a report of a "young male shot."  When officers arrived, the child was lying on his back on the floor with a single gunshot wound.  The child was taken to a local hospital, then airlifted to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. 
Barbee admitted, after questioning, that he accidentally shot the child.  He was booked into McCracken County Regional Jail.


5-year old Alabama boy survives bus shooting and kidnapping

"Ethan", age 5
A 5-year old boy with Asperger's Syndrome, named Ethan, was riding the bus home in Midland City, Alabama, when the driver stopped the bus at the end of a road to turn around.  That's when a mentally-unstable loner with a history of making violent threats, Jimmy Lee Dykes, age 65, boarded the bus with a gun, demanding to take two boys hostage.

The bus driver, Charles Albert Poland Jr., heroically blocked the way, despite threats of being killed, allowing time for many of the kids on the bus to exit the rear door.  Dykes then shot Poland to death and kidnapped young Ethan.  Poland was one of Dykes' few friends.

Dykes then took Ethan to an underground shelter that was booby-trapped with bombs.  What followed was a 6-day standoff with law enforcement, during which Dykes became increasingly unstable.

On the sixth day, when Dykes opened the trap door to get some requested items, a team moved in and a firefight took place.  Dykes was killed.

Ethan was physically unharmed.  He turned six years old only a couple days later.

From an article:

The subject was 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, who boarded a school bus last Tuesday afternoon, killed the driver and took the boy into a bunker he had installed in his backyard. 
Neighbors speculated that Mr. Dykes had kidnapped the boy as part of a scheme to air his thoughts and grievances on a larger platform, and at a news conference earlier Tuesday, Sheriff Wally Olson of Dale County acknowledged that to be a major motive. ... 
For some time, officials had been able to monitor movements within the bunker using high-tech surveillance equipment, said two people who had been briefed on the operation. They had also built a mock-up of the bunker nearby, where the authorities could test various options while devising a rescue plan. 
On Monday afternoon, sensing that Mr. Dykes was becoming rattled and that the threat to the boy was growing, the authorities dropped two devices into the bunker that created loud explosions, heard by people across a highway. The explosions disoriented Mr. Dykes, and immediately afterward two or three members of the F.B.I. Hostage Rescue Team went into the bunker and retrieved the child. Mr. Dykes was killed. 
Ethan and his mother were relieved to be reunited, Mr. Richardson said. “He’s laughing, joking, playing, eating — the things that you would expect a normal 5- to 6-year-old young man to do. He’s very brave. He’s very lucky.”


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Two 5th-grade Washington boys brought gun and knife to school in murder plot

Two fifth-grade boys, ages 10 and 11, brought a loaded gun and a knife to their Colville, Washington elementary school, intending to kill an "ex-girlfriend" and others in their class.  Luckily, a fourth-grader saw one of them with the knife and reported it.  A third boy was also charged with hiding the plot.

From an article:

The 5th graders at Fort Colville Elementary School were taken into custody Thursday morning after a search revealed one of the boys had a knife and a handgun in his backpack. Interviews by police revealed that the boys intended to use the weapons sometime Thursday, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said. 
“These young men conspired to kill,” Rasmussen said. “It was interrupted by the bravery of a 4th grader who saw something and said something … and interrupted a murder.” 
Both boys have been expelled in addition to a third, unidentified boy who knew about the two weeks of planning and intended targets but agreed not to say anything after he was promised $80 for his silence. 
The plot was discovered prior to the start of school Thursday, Colville School District Superintendent Michael Cashion said. 
“We’ve been told that the boys had a plan to kill an ex-girlfriend – I don’t know what a girlfriend means in 5th grade – and harm other students,” Cashion said. “There was no list, but names were given to the police. I can’t get my mind around it.” 
Deputy Stevens County Prosecutor Lech Radzimski asked the judge to order that the boys have no contact with eight other children identified only by their initials. Fort Colville Elementary Principal Clayton Allen said all of the alleged victims were part of the same 5th grade class.

One of the boys said the gun was stolen, but it doesn't say from whom.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Friday, February 8, 2013

7-year old Virginia boy threatens kids on bus with loaded gun and brings it to school

A 7-year old, second-grade boy brought a loaded handgun onto his bus, in Richmond, Virginia, and threatened other students with it.  He then brought the gun into his school before being discovered.

Luckily, he did not fire the weapon.

From an article:

A 7-year-old boy brandished a loaded handgun Monday morning on a school bus bound for a Henrico County elementary school, according to police. 
No one was injured in the incident, which involved a second-grade student at Ratcliffe Elementary School, but the boy displayed the gun while on the bus and threatened other students, Henrico police officials said. 
"He brandished it at several students while making a threatening statement," said police Lt. Linda N. Toney, who declined to elaborate on the nature of the threats. 
The gun wasn't discovered by officials until after the boy got to the school, located on Thalen Street in East Highland Park. 
School officials learned the boy had a gun at about 8:40 a.m., according to police. The gun wasn't discovered until after the students were unpacking their bags at the school, said schools spokesman Andy Jenks. Upon further investigation, officials learned the gun had been brandished on the bus. 
"To my knowledge, nobody said anything to the bus driver or immediately coming off that bus," Jenks said.  .... 
The incident occurred less than a week after school officials held a public forum on school safety and security as part of the local response to the mass shootings at a Connecticut elementary school. 
At the forum Thursday night, Henrico schools Superintendent Patrick J. Russo told a crowd of several hundred that Henrico schools are in the upper echelon when it comes to security.

The article didn't say where he got the gun.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Oregon school bus hit by gunfire, with kids onboard

A school bus was going down the road, near St. Paul, Oregon, when a bullet struck the windshield, just above the driver.  Luckily, neither the driver nor the two elementary children on the bus were hit.

It wasn't determined if the bus was targeted or if it was a stray bullet, but it is thought to be unintentional.  No one has yet been caught.

From an article:
The St. Paul School District bus was westbound on St. Paul Highway at about 1 p.m. when the driver heard the impact.   
The bullet hit the windshield about 10 inches above the driver's head but did not penetrate the glass. The impact left a spider-web like crack in the windshield. 
There were two elementary school age children on the bus at the time. Neither the children nor the bus driver was injured.  
Sr. Deputy David Wagner inspected the damage to the bus.   
Wagner determined that the bus was struck in a very open, flat area, but the driver saw no one in the area.  Given that it was a single shot, Wagner suspects the incident was non-intentional.  It more likely came from someone shooting a firearm in the fields surrounding the area where the incident occurred.   
Wagner was unable to identify the caliber of the projectile, but he suspects it was a 22 caliber or a pellet from a pellet gun.

15-year old Oklahoma boy shoots self to death in school bathroom

Triston Stephens, age 15
A 15-year old ninth-grader, Triston Stephens, brought a loaded gun to school, in Coweta, Oklahoma, went into the bathroom, and shot himself to death.

From an article:

The ninth-grade boy died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound about 8:35 a.m., Superintendent Jeff Holmes confirmed at an afternoon news conference.  
The school was placed on immediate lockdown, and police arrived within seconds, he said.  
Police Lt. Donnie Krumsiek said the student died of a single gunshot wound just as the first-hour classes had started. Police don't think anyone else was in the restroom at the time.  
"Unfortunately, a life was lost, but it could have been a lot worse," Krumsiek said, referring to other school shootings in which multiple people have been killed.  
The state Medical Examiner's Office identified the boy as Triston Stephens.  
"According to his principal and counselors, he was a very fine young man," Holmes said.  
Authorities don't know how the teenager carried the gun into the building or where he kept it, Holmes said. He also said they did not know how or where he obtained the gun.  
Krumsiek said the school was not equipped with metal detectors.  
Police have not received any information indicating that Stephens had been bullied, and they are continuing to investigate the circumstances of his death, he said. 
At a candlelight vigil Monday night just outside Coweta High School, students, parents and area residents wept openly, still in shock over the tragedy that hit too close to home.  
"I'm sad and depressed," said freshman Jeremy Summers, who described Stephens as "a good friend" who participated in activities just as his peers did. "He was a happy guy. Triston would always make people laugh."  
Griffin Qualls, a freshman, said Stephens appeared to be well-liked and that no one saw any indication that the boy would take his own life. 

It is not known where the boy got the gun and ammo.

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

3-year old South Carolina boy killed when playing with pink handgun

Tmorej Smith, age 3
3-year old Tmorej Smith and his 7-year old sister were in their parents' bedroom in their Greenville, South Carolina apartment when they found a loaded, unsecured gun and began playing with it.

One of them discharged the gun, and a round hit Tmorej in the head, killing him.

The parents were gone at the time, but their grandparents were in another room of the apartment.

No charges have been filed.

From an article and news video:

Police responded to a call about a shooting at Haywood Plantation Apartments in Greenville, S.C., at 7:30 p.m. Friday night, the Associated Press reported. There, officers found 3-year-old Temorej Smith dead from a single gunshot wound to the head. 
On Monday, police reported that the shooting occurred while Smith and his 7-year-old sister were in a bedroom at home, playing with a pink handgun they might have thought was a toy, according to CBS local affiliate WCSC. 
"If you have guns, if you own guns mostly we would prefer you have them in a lock box," Johnathan Bragg of the Greenville Police Department told the news station. "At least have them out of the reach of children." 
Smith lived in the apartment with his parents, grandparents and sister. The parents were not home at the time of the shooting, the county's deputy coroner Jeff Fowler told Greenville Online
The shooting has been ruled an accident. No charges have been filed yet, but the investigation is ongoing.

The gun was pink, and could have been mistaken as a toy.  This is the risk of making lethal weapons "cute."

(a related article)

Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Three Denver children shot, two fatally, by mother in possible murder/suicide

The Perez children, with mother
Around 5 AM, residents in a Denver neighborhood heard gunshots.  When police investigated, they found that a mother, 22-year-old Mayra Perez, had shot three of her young children and then herself.  

From an article:

Two children and a woman were shot and killed Wednesday morning in a possible murder-suicide at a Denver home. 
A third child was rushed to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries sustained during the shooting incident, according to KDVR-TV. The child, who was seen by neighbors being wheeled out of the house on a stretcher, is currently listed in critical condition at Denver Health Medical Center. 
Authorities appeared to be zeroing in on the theory that the tragic incident was a murder-suicide involving the mother and her children, according to KDVR. 

The names of her two slain children are Erick Perez, who was 2 years old, and Nevaeh Morales, who was 6, the Post reported. Three-year-old Isabel is the third child, who is clinging to life at a local hospital.

However, there may be evidence of another person involved:

A neighbor, 21-year-old Rosalinda Bustillos, told the Post that her father-in-law heard a gun go off around 5 a.m. 
“Right after that a truck took off really fast,” Bustillos said. 
Perez, along with her husband Ricky and their children moved to the neighborhood from Canutillo, Texas, more than a year ago for his job in construction, Perez’s cousin Irene Nuñez told the Post. 
"I think they were having arguments," Nuñez said, speaking from Perez's mother's home in Texas. “We just know they had been having problems."
(a related page with news videos).

Two California teens shot and killed by father in murder/suicide

Alex Marshall, age 17
Two teens, Alex Marshall, age 17, and his sister, Macaila Marshall, age 14, were asleep on the couch in their Forest Meadows, California home when their father, Philip Marshall, 54, came in and shot each of them one time in the head, killing them. He then turned the gun on himself, committing suicide. A group of teens, who came to visit the home, looked through the window and discovered the scene, alerting 911.

The father, Philip, was estranged from his wife, Sean, who, along with her sister, had filed battery charges against him.

Philip had been an airline pilot who had also worked with the CIA and DEA, and had co-authored a book about a 9/11 conspiracy theory.

From an article:
A Murphys man killed his two children with a Glock 9mm handgun before turning the weapon on himself at his home in Forest Meadows late last week. 
Macaila Marshall, age 14
Former airline captain Philip Marshall, 54, killed his son Alex, 17, and daughter Macaila, 14, each with a single bullet to the head, as they slept nestled under blankets on the living room couch. He then pointed the gun at his head and committed suicide. Both children attended Bret Harte High School. 
Alex was active on the Bret Harte football team, known for his good sense of humor and well-liked by his classmates. Macaila was very outgoing. 
“She was just one of those girls who was full of vim and vigor and so much fun,” said Mike Brown, who lives two doors up the street. “The first time she came over was to borrow a cup of sugar,” he remembered fondly. ...

“The investigation revealed there was no foul play involved in this crime,” Hewitt said. “All evidence and information at the scene confirmed this was indeed a double-murder suicide and there was no evidence to suggest there was an outside party who entered the house and committed a triple murder.” 
It is not clear exactly when or why the incident occurred. Hewitt said investigators believe it occurred sometime between Thursday night and Saturday. 
School friends exchanged text messages with both Alex and Micaila as late as midnight Thursday and nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary, parents said. Neither of the children showed up for school Friday. 
When asked whether Marshall had a history of mental illness, Hewitt said he could not comment, however he did say Monday that he discovered both Philip and his estranged wife, Sean, had a history with law enforcement. 
“Philip Marshall filed a burglary report against his estranged wife in November 2008,” Hewitt said. “Sean Marshall and her sister Erin Chamberlain filed a report against Philip Marshall in December 2008 for battery, annoying phone calls and disturbing the peace. He was arrested for battery against Erin Chamberlain.” 
Hewitt said investigators believe the murders occurred sometime between Thursday and Saturday morning. Hewitt said the coroner will take a liver temperature to get a more accurate time of death.