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School gunman stole police pistol, vest

Student killed 9 before turning weapon on himself


story.jeff.weise.kare.jpg
Jeff Weise, the 16-year-old shootings suspect, apparently visited a neo-Nazi Web site.
more videoVIDEO
How Jeff Weise shot and killed nine people.

The Red Lake tribal community is devastated.

A town sees the worst school massacre since Columbine.

The FBI recounts what authorities think took place in Minnesota.
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Minnesota

RED LAKE, Minnesota (CNN) -- A student authorities say killed seven people at his Minnesota high school first shot his grandfather and the man's girlfriend before taking his police-issued weapon, bulletproof vest and squad car to Red Lake Senior High School.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Tabman said Tuesday that 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed his grandfather, 58-year-old Daryl Lussier, and his grandfather's 32-year-old girlfriend, Michelle Sigana, with a .22-caliber gun before driving to the school Monday.

FBI agents would not confirm reports that Weise had posted comments on a neo-Nazi Web site.

But a person who posted on the site of the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party identified himself as "Jeff Weise, from the Red Lake 'Indian' Reservation." The writer said he disliked interracial mixing among the American Indians on the reservation where he lived.

Federal investigators, however, said that while the postings may provide clues to the rampage, it was premature Tuesday to speculate on a motive. The shootings at the school appeared to be random, Tabman said.

He said authorities believe Weise stole his grandfather's police-issued pistol and a shotgun, as well as a gunbelt and vest. Authorities said he had three guns in all.

As Weise entered the school through a doorway with a metal detector, he was confronted by 28-year-old Derrick Brun, an unarmed guard. Weise shot Brun to death before proceeding into the school, Tabman said. A videotape shows Weise in a hallway, but doesn't capture any of the shootings, he said.

Weise fired shots toward 62-year-old teacher Neva Winnecoup Rogers, as well as some students, who fled into a classroom, Tabman said. He pursued them and opened fire, killing Rogers and "a number" of students, then "continued to roam through the school, firing randomly."

Four police officers entered, and Weise fired on them as well, Tabman said. At least one officer returned fire, but it was unknown whether Weise was wounded. Shortly afterward, Weise went back into the classroom and shot himself in the head, he said.

In all, Tabman said, Weise spent "less than 10 minutes" inside the school, firing many rounds: "There was a lot of damage."

According to Tabman, Weise shot and killed five students -- Thurlene Stillday, 15; Chase Lussier, 15, Chanelle Rosebear, 15, Alicia Spike, 14, Dwayne Lewis, 15.

Police do not know how much earlier Lussier and Sigana were killed.

FBI Special Agent Paul McCabe would not say if Chase Lussier was related to Daryl Lussier.

The death toll made it the nation's worst school shooting since April 1999, when two students killed 12 classmates, a teacher and then themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. (Full story)

Authorities said Weise did not live with Daryl Lussier, but they would not release where he was living. There was no suicide note, Tabman said.

The school remained closed Tuesday. Counseling was being offered to tribe members, said Floyd Jourdain, chairman of the Red Lake Ojibwa Nation.

"Our community is devastated by this event," he said. "We have never seen anything like this in the history of our tribe. Without a doubt, these are some of the darkest days for our people."

About 5,000 members of the Ojibwa tribe live on the reservation. The Ojibwa are also known as the Chippewa.

The shootings occurred about 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) in Red Lake Senior High School, a school of about 300 students located on a sovereign Indian reservation near the Canadian border about 240 miles north of the Twin Cities.

Seven wounded

In addition to the fatalities, seven people were injured, the FBI said Tuesday, and five remained hospitalized.

Six of the wounded -- all males younger than 18 -- were taken to North County Regional Hospital in nearby Bemidji, Minnesota, by ambulance, arriving within a half-hour, hospital spokeswoman Sherri Birkeland said Tuesday.

Red Lake Fatalities
  • Derrick Brun, 28
  • Dwayne Lewis, 15
  • Chase Lussier, 15
  • Daryl Lussier, 58
  • Neva Winnecoup Rogers, 62
  • Chanelle Rosebear, 15
  • Michelle Sigana, 32
  • Alicia Spike, 14
  • Thurlene Stillday, 15

    GUNMAN:

  • Jeff Weise, 16
  • One died in the hospital emergency room from a gunshot wound to the head, and two others -- one with a gunshot wound to the head, a second with a gunshot wound to the face -- were flown to a hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, she said.

    One of those required neurosurgery and the other facial surgery, both of which are offered in Fargo, said Dr. Joe Corser of the Bemidji hospital.

    The other three were all admitted to North County, Birkeland said. None of them were in critical condition. Two had been shot in the chest and one had a hip injury. They were expected to survive, Corser said.

    The head wounds were at close range, said Tim Hall, emergency nursing director at the hospital.

    'Admiration for Hitler'

    The Libertarian National Socialist Green Party issued a statement on its site Tuesday confirming that Weise posted messages there.

    The writer of those messages assumed two user names: NativeNazi and "Todesengel," which means "Angel of Death" in German.

    "I stumbled across the site in my study of the Third Reich as well as Nazism," says a March 2004 post. "I guess I've always carried a natural admiration for Hitler and his ideals, and his courage to take on larger nations."

    Another 2004 posting says, "As a result of cultural dominance and interracial mixing, there is barely any full-blooded Natives left. Where I live, less than 1 percent of all the people on the reservation can speak their own language."

    "Under a National Socialist government, things for us would improve vastly," it said. "That is why I am pro-Nazi. It's hard though, being a Native American National Socialist, people are so misinformed, ignorant and close minded, it makes your life a living hell."

    The group issued a statement on its site Tuesday confirming that Weise posted the messages.

    "The Libertarian National Socialist Green Party ... refused to wring hands over a 'tragedy,' instead pointing out that such events are to be expected when thinking people are crammed into an unthinking, irrational modern society," it said.

    NativeNazi said he was a member of the Ojibwa tribe and "both my parents were Native American, though from what I understand I also have a little German, a little Irish and a little French Canadian in my blood as well."

    The idea of Weise's joining a neo-Nazi group is not as surprising as it may seem, said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama. The center tracks hate groups.

    "Believe it or not, we run across this all the time," he told CNN. "We've found Jewish Nazis, gay Nazis, blacks who wanted to be white supremacists. The reason it isn't so unusual -- these are powerless people to whom images of powerful people are appealing."

    Todesengel said in a May 2004 posting: "Because of my size and appearance, people don't give me as much trouble as they would if I looked weak."

    "I'll defend myself if someone tries something but other than that I'm a peaceful person."

    The last posting was made in August 2004, according to an archive search.


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