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Tribe leader opposes Columbine-like funerals in Minnesota shootings


more videoVIDEO
Shootings prompt memories of Columbine.

What the FBI thinks took place in Red Lake.

How a gunman shot and killed nine people.
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Gallery: School shootings

• Shootings stir Columbine memories
• Reservation remote, poor
RED LAKE FATALITIES
  • Derrick Brun, 28
  • Dwayne Lewis, 15
  • Chase Lussier, 15
  • Daryl Lussier, 58
  • Neva Rogers, 62
  • Chanelle Rosebear, 15
  • Michelle Sigana, 32
  • Alicia White, 14
  • Thurlene Stillday, 15

    Suspected gunman:
  • Jeff Weise, 16
  • YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
    Minnesota

    RED LAKE, Minnesota (CNN) -- A tribal leader in an American Indian community where a shooting rampage left 10 dead said Wednesday he was opposed to public funerals like "another Columbine," urging that families of schoolchildren and other victims be allowed to mourn in private.

    Floyd Jourdain Jr. said his tribe will comply with an FBI request to aid the investigation by delaying funerals. Tradition requires a tribal funeral be held two days after a death.

    All 10 of the dead -- including the suspected teen gunman -- were undergoing autopsies after a shooting spree Monday at Red Lake High School on a reservation about 240 miles north of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

    It was the nation's worst school shooting since two students killed 12 classmates, a teacher and themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999. (Full story)

    Mourners held a prayer service Tuesday night on the steps of the state Capitol in St. Paul to honor the victims and show support for Red Lake.

    About 5,000 members live on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, home to the Ojibwa, or Chippewa, tribe.

    The shootings shocked the tight-knit community.

    Red Lake High, which has about 300 students, remained closed Wednesday, but teachers and staff met while the FBI continued to investigate the crime scene.

    Authorities also collected evidence Wednesday at the home of 16-year-old Jeff Weise -- who police said opened fire at the school after killing his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend.

    The grandfather, Daryl Lussier, 58, and his girlfriend, Michelle Sigana, 32, died at home after being shot with a .22-caliber handgun, FBI agent Michael Tabman said Tuesday.

    Lussier was a tribal police sergeant, Tabman said. Weise took Lussier's .40-caliber handgun, a .12-gauge shotgun, a flak jacket and his police car, and drove to the high school.

    Tabman said Weise killed unarmed security guard Derrick Brun, 28, at the school. The boy then chased a teacher and students into a classroom before opening fire. The slain teacher was identified as Neva Rogers, 62.

    Seven people were killed at the school before Weise shot himself in the head, police said. Seven others were wounded, including two who were shot in the head.

    Authorities declined to speculate publicly on possible motives for the attack. Red Lake High principal Chris Dunshee said Wednesday that additional information was "coming to light" but wouldn't elaborate.

    "I'm sure these things will be coming out as the investigation proceeds," he said, declining comment on whether Weise had undergone treatment for mental or emotional issues.

    Weise kept largely to himself and often didn't make eye contact with others in the halls, students said.

    They said he was the target of teasing and produced "messed-up" drawings of "people dying" and Nazi swastikas.

    Among the leads authorities were following were postings -- attributed to Weise -- on a neo-Nazi Internet site. The postings professed admiration for Adolf Hitler and decried interracial mixing on the reservation.

    Authorities said Tuesday they could not confirm whether Weise wrote the passages, but a group that runs the site -- the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party -- issued a statement saying the author and the suspect were the same.

    A 2004 posting apparently from Weise said: "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, and among the youth wanting to be black has run ramped [rampant]. We have kids my age killing each other over things as simple as a fight, and it's because of the rap influence. ... Under a National Socialist government, things for us would improve vastly."

    The writer introduced himself as "Jeff Weise, from the Red Lake 'Indian' Reservation" and assumed two user names: NativeNazi and Todesengel, which means angel of death in German.


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