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Old 03-21-2005, 08:54 PM   #1
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School Shootings in Red Lake

RED LAKE, Minn. - A high school student went on a shooting rampage Monday, killing his grandparents at their home and then five people at his school on an Indian reservation. The gunman himself was later found shot to death, authorities said.

It was the nation's worst school shooting since the Columbine massacre in 1999.

Before the shootings at the school, the suspect's grandparents were shot in their home and died later. Two students were critically wounded.

Six people died in the mid-afternoon shooting at Red Lake High School in far northern Minnesota, including four students. Also killed were a teacher and a security guard, FBI (news - web sites) spokesman Paul McCabe said at a news conference in Minneapolis.

He declined to talk about a possible connection between the suspect and the couple killed at the home, but Red Lake Fire Director Roman Stately said they were the grandparents of the shooter. Stately told several media outlets that the grandfather was a police officer whose guns may have been used in the shootings.

Students and a teacher at the scene, Diane Schwanz, said the shooter tried to break down a door to get into a room where some students were.

"I just got on the floor and called the cops," Schwanz told the Bemidji Pioneer. "I was still just half-believing it."

All of the dead students were found in one room. One of them was a boy believed to be the shooter, McCabe said. He would not comment on reports that the boy shot himself and said it was too early to speculate on a motive.

Fourteen to 15 other students were injured, including two critically, McCabe said.

The school was evacuated after the shootings and locked down for investigation, McCabe said.

"It will probably take us throughout the night to really put the whole picture together," he said.

It was the nation's worst school shooting since two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 before killing themselves on April 20, 1999.

The last apparent fatal school shootings involving a student also happened in Minnesota in September 2003, when two students were killed at Rocori High School in Cold Spring. Classmate John Jason McLaughlin, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, awaits trial in the case.

That shooting was the first major incident reported since 2001.

Red Lake High School, on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, has about 300 students, according to its Web site.

The reservation is about 240 miles north of the Twin Cities. It is home to the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.


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