(Story broke 4/13/2017)
To be honest, I never heard of the Frontier Middle School shooting until recently. To surmise, back in 1996, 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis shot and killed one of his teachers and two students. One of the students, Manuel Vela, was his intended target. Loukaitis was tried as an adult and was sentenced to two life sentences and an additional 205 years without the possibility of parole. More recently, that sentence was reduced to 189 years.
What makes this story more interesting than some of the others that have happened over the years is that Barry Loukaitis has actually apologized for his actions. While it was a popular belief that Vela bullied him, Loukaitis dispels that notion.
“Manuel Vela’s father told me I’m not fit to tie his son’s shoes,” Loukaitis wrote. “He’s correct. Manuel Vela was a better person than I am, and I know it.”
This comes as a refreshing change as most school shooters who are sentenced to prison are constantly looking to either have their sentences reduced or their convictions thrown out entirely.
Maybe if more people know about this, more kids will recognize their flaws as their own instead of trying to blame everyone else before acting out in violence.