Once again, I have to apologize for taking so long to post this story. I’ve been having my own personal issues to deal with which has kept me from working on the websites. But that’s neither here nor there.
Back in September, 15-year-old Caleb Sharpe entered into Freeman High School in Rockford, Washington, with two guns. He shot and killed a student of the school who was trying to talk him out of committing a school shooting. Sharpe then fired on other students wounding three. During the initial reporting of the story, bullying was mentioned as a motive.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich declined to identify the suspect or discuss what may have motivated the gun violence in detail but said: “It sounds like a case of a bullying-type of situation.”
Personally, I think that’s rather irresponsible of the good Sheriff by mentioning bullying as a motive so soon because it perpetuates the myth that most school shooters were bullied.
Sharpe was able to be subdued by a school staff member.
Again we have another parent saying ‘it can’t happen here’.
“He called me and said, ‘Mom, there are gunshots.’ He sounded so scared. I’ve never heard him like that,” Moser told the newspaper. “You never think about something happening like this at a small school.”
School shootings in the middle school to high school level almost always happen in small towns. In the biggest city in the country, New York City, they just recently had the first in-school murder of a student in 25 years and not a school shooting in that time, so stop thinking it’s a big city issue because it isn’t. In my opinion, that’s because kids who are raised in cities are exposed earlier to the reality of life not being fair.
The deceased victim was later identified as sophomore Sam Strahan and was said to be close friends with his killer.
And what do we have here? According to a classmate of Sharpe’s, Sharpe was obsessed with school shootings. I wonder if his parents were aware of this or were they of the clueless variety? That same classmate said Sharpe was not bullied. However, according to a police affidavit, Sharpe told detectives he was not targeting anyone specific but wanted to teach everyone a lesson about what happens when you bully others. Again, the question has to be asked if he was known to be a columbiner before he was allegedly bullied. Also what did the alleged bullying consist of? Sharpe also allegedly claimed that Sam Strahan bullied him, but did not target him specifically. According to this report, psychologist Peter Langman studied 83 school shootings and only four shooters were actually bullied, and I personally dispute some of the shooters he claims were bullied, but he’s the professional.
Not only was Sharpe said to be obsessed with school shootings, but he also allegedly posted videos online of himself playing with guns. And speaking of the parents, Sharpe’s father told police that Sharpe knew the combination to their gun safe. Considering that Sharpe was said to be under the care of a school counselor for suicidal leanings, that probably wasn’t the best idea. Parents need to be held responsible under the law for allowing their guns to be used by their kids in crimes like this. In my recollection only a handful of parents have actually been charged and that was usually either for obstruction or illegally purchasing the gun for their kid. Here we have a report of a witness claiming that Sharpe bragged about owning guns, making homemade bombs, and that his father bought guns for him. When you brag about things like this, like a psychopath, you kind of invite any kind of bad treatment toward you. In that same article, Sharpe’s mother says she allegedly found a suicide note from her son which was written a week before the shooting, so he may have been planning on taking the coward’s way out like most school shooters who came before him. Prior to the shooting, Sharpe was suspended from school for passing around notes to friends saying he was going to ‘do something stupid’. The day of the shooting was his first day back from suspension. Again, what did his parents do about this?
Sheriff Knezovich goes on to blame video games and other entertainment for the shooting but I’m not even going to dignify that kind of ignorance with a response. Oh wait, I guess I did.
Not surprisingly, police say they found a ‘manifesto’ in Sharpe’s bedroom and a school yearbook with Xs over some of the pictures.
As an aside, 33-year-old Nicole D. Jensen was arrested for allegedly stealing a purse out of a car of one of the mothers who went to the school to find their kid. Jensen reportedly ran up $36,000 in fraudulent charges. As far as I’m concerned this woman has no soul. Anyone who throws salt on the wounds of tragedy like this deserves more than whatever the legal punishment is for such a crime.
Sharpe has pleaded not guilty which is to be expected. It will be interesting to see what defense his legal representation will try to use.
That’s all I can do today. Remember, the sources I used are all from September around the time the shooting happened. I’ll make any corrections in a future post, but I’ll close with a question. Outside of the Pacific Northwest, did anyone even hear about this shooting?
UPDATE FROM SEPTEMBER: Two additional people were arrested for allegedly stealing the purse and running up fraudulent charges. They have been identified as 37-year-old Renee Mann and 39-year-old Larry Flett.
UPDATE 11/16/2017: Renee Mann has pleaded guilty to one count of second degree theft and one count of identity theft in the second degree.
UPDATE 1/18/2018: Nicole D. Jensen has pleaded guilty to identity theft charges. She’s looking at a sentence of 22 to 29 months.