Bullied student shot, brain dead in California

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    Feb 14, 2008 9:16 PM GMT
    Bullied Student Shot at California Junior High School
    A 15-year-old who boy was shot and wounded in an Oxnard, Calif., junior high school computer lab Tuesday was declared brain-dead on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., according to the Associated Press. The Oxnard medical examiner said Lawrence King was declared brain-dead by two neurosurgeons and is clinically dead but remains on a ventilator for possible organ donation.

    After the shooting Tuesday, worried parents gathered outside the 1,150-student E.O. Green Junior High School, which was locked down. Students were released classroom by classroom.

    The alleged attacker, another eighth grader, was taken into custody, authorities said.

    King had improved since arriving at St. John's Regional Medical Center in extremely serious condition, police spokesman David Keith said. He was initially classified as being in critical condition upon arrival. However, as school let out at 3 p.m. Wednesday, students learned about his updated condition.

    The 14-year-old suspect was being booked for investigation of attempted murder, Oxnard police chief John Crombach said.

    The victim was a constant target for other boys, as he would reportedly wear women's jewelry and makeup and had declared himself gay, according to the Los Angeles Times. Investigators have not verified if the boy is indeed gay.

    The shooting occurred near the end of the first period, during an English class that had moved from a classroom to the computer lab, said Jerry Dannenberg, superintendent of the Hueneme School District. Dannenberg said 22 other students were in the lab at the time.

    The one-story campus, which includes grades six though eight, does not have metal detectors.

    ''I still think the school is safer than any other place in society,'' Dannenberg said.

    Keith said 40 officers arrived within minutes of getting calls of a shooting. The victim was found on the ground, and the suspect was apprehended a few blocks away, Keith said. There was a dispute between the boys but it was premature to state a motive, Keith said. ''This appears to be personal in nature, some bad blood between them. It was not random,'' he said.

    Keith said the weapon was a handgun but he did not know how many shots were fired.

    ''This kind of incident is the most difficult for police officers,'' Keith said. ''A 15-year-old should be allowed to go to school and be in a safe environment, but this sort of thing happens all over the country.''

    The school is in south Oxnard near a Navy base at Port Hueneme in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles. (AP)
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    Feb 15, 2008 1:42 AM GMT

    Moral of the story: don't bully people. Damn, I need to find a new hobby then.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 15, 2008 2:30 AM GMT
    GuiltyGear said
    Moral of the story: don't bully people. Damn, I need to find a new hobby then.


    I'm confident Guilty, that you have other interests that could catch your attention....


    Very sad story. I appreciate your sharing that with us Lone Wolf
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    Feb 15, 2008 2:34 AM GMT
    I live in Oxnard. But I work in Camarillo, a neighboring city. Everyone at work was talking about it as soon as it happened. Some of the kids that are in sports at that school go to my gym and i heard the guy that got shot was a somewhat of a crossdresser and was after the guy that shot him. Its still all over the news and all the major news stations from LA are stationed outside the school.
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Feb 15, 2008 2:36 AM GMT
    The way this story is being reported by the local media here in LA (or at least the media reporting I've seen) the child killed is being referred to as being "different." The media is not using the word "gay," or at least not that I have seen. The shooter is going to be charged with a hate crime.
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    Feb 15, 2008 2:38 AM GMT
    Nowadays, it seems many young people are bold enough to not only know who they TRULY are, but feel an element of pride in projecting who they are despite possible (dire) repercussions.

    Unfortunately, the public school systems (and to some extent, private, too) are almost powerless to stop the wave of bullying occurring on school grounds. Why? Parents, both responsible and irresponsible ones, are over-reactionary and adamantly believe their kids can do no wrong. And if they're bullying someone -- especially a young 15 year boy possibly proclaiming his homosexuality while donning feminine apparel -- the bully's parents will consider being called into the school's offices as a complete joke more than a serious matter, regardless if it was a punch in the face or a gunshot. Amazing how these parents -- most of them people my age no doubt -- only continue to uphold intolerance and homophobia in all its glory in today's society.

    But at most, this bully was apprehended, and will hopefully receive the punishment of an adult convict, while the parents are made to pay restitution.
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    Feb 15, 2008 7:02 PM GMT
    Murder, Hate-Crime Charges Filed in California Bullying Case
    Prosecutors on Thursday charged a 14-year-old boy with attempted murder and said he committed a hate crime in the classroom shooting of an Oxnard, Calif., eighth-grader who was declared brain-dead.

    Prosecutors would not say why they filed a hate-crime enhancement with the attempted murder count, but several classmates said the 15-year-old victim, Lawrence King, sometimes wore makeup, high heels, and other feminine attire.

    Prosecutors want the suspect tried as an adult and expect to upgrade the charges after King is taken off a ventilator for organ donation.

    ''It is inevitable that this is going to become a murder case,'' Ventura County prosecutor Maeve Fox said.

    King was shot in the head Tuesday morning during a class at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard, police said. More than 20 other students were in the room at the time.

    Fox said she could not discuss the facts behind the allegation of a hate crime because those details of the case have not been publicly disclosed. Oxnard police have not specified a motive but said there appeared to be a personal dispute between the two.

    King sometimes came to school wearing makeup and high heels, eighth-grader Nicholas Cortez, 14, told the Associated Press.

    Another eighth-grader, Michael Sweeney, said King's appearance was ''freaking the guys out,'' the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

    ''He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry, and painted nails -- the whole thing,'' Sweeney told the Times.

    King was pronounced brain-dead at St. John's Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy medical examiner in Ventura County. Doctors planned to remove some of his organs for donation Thursday, Stevens said.

    ''I think that's what he would have wanted,'' King's father, Greg King, told the Ventura County Star.

    Lawrence King had been under the care of the county foster care system and lived at Casa Pacifica, a nearby center for abused and neglected children, said Steve Elson, the facility's chief executive.

    ''We're are all stunned, and it's just an unspeakable tragedy,'' Elson said Wednesday. ''This is a very big traumatic experience for all of us.'' (AP)

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    Feb 15, 2008 7:11 PM GMT
    Something like this happens in a liberal part of CA.

    Then in relatively conservative Colorado you have a middle school accommodating an eight year old trangender student.

    Hate and compassion can appear anywhere.
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    Feb 15, 2008 7:16 PM GMT
    Sucks not knowing the whole story huh.
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    Feb 15, 2008 7:19 PM GMT
    This makes me sick to my stomach!
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    Feb 15, 2008 7:27 PM GMT
    I am glad they are really prosecuting the shooter both for murder and a hate crime, so the kids will get the message that how the victim looked or dressed, or how freaked out the other guys were, doesnt matter.
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    Feb 15, 2008 7:49 PM GMT
    Oh god bless the boy what a thing to happen.

    But you are all a Gun Loving Nation i guess?



    Sorry ROY ROGERS!
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    Feb 15, 2008 8:24 PM GMT
    There are two very disturbing points to this story: that kids have access to leathal weapons and feel no compunction on using these weapons on those they hate. God, this sort of thing makes me sick.

    That said, I still think the bigger problem is condoned homophobia. Until society stops belittling and (to be frank) murdering lgbt or gender-deviant people this is the norm, not the exception. Perhaps if the larger society knew gays would riot/act out every time something like this occurred, they'd be less likely to encourage this hatred? In this way, imho, gays are way too accomadating than society gives us reason to be.

    Anyway, tragic shit.
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    Feb 15, 2008 9:09 PM GMT
    This story hits me a bit differently - you see, a few months ago, my partner's nephew, a 14-year-old in Las Cruces, NM, who was (we have strong reason to believe) gay, and who was being verbally abused by a teacher and harassed by a number of students, hung himself in his back yard.

    To me, even though he technically took his own life, he was just as clearly a victim of violence as the poor kid in Oxnard.

    I think the parents and the teachers who oversee these kids are partially culpable here. It's the responsibility of adults to safeguard kids as well as teach them.

    I suppose the shooter in the Oxnard case will get the attention, and the parents and teachers will look on and shake their heads about what went wrong with him - but I'd hold them all up to close scrutiny (my sister-in-law included) because they ALL failed these kids - even the shooter, whose life is essentially ruined.

    It's a waste.
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    Feb 16, 2008 5:24 AM GMT
    PSBigJoey saidThis story hits me a bit differently - you see, a few months ago, my partner's nephew, a 14-year-old in Las Cruces, NM, who was (we have strong reason to believe) gay, and who was being verbally abused by a teacher and harassed by a number of students, hung himself in his back yard.

    To me, even though he technically took his own life, he was just as clearly a victim of violence as the poor kid in Oxnard.

    I think the parents and the teachers who oversee these kids are partially culpable here. It's the responsibility of adults to safeguard kids as well as teach them.

    I suppose the shooter in the Oxnard case will get the attention, and the parents and teachers will look on and shake their heads about what went wrong with him - but I'd hold them all up to close scrutiny (my sister-in-law included) because they ALL failed these kids - even the shooter, whose life is essentially ruined.

    It's a waste.
    Yeah I was gonna say that the family maybe should have or could have done more. He obviously felt like he had nothing at home or at school. Sad
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    Feb 16, 2008 5:32 AM GMT
    PSBigJoey saidmy partner's nephew, a 14-year-old in Las Cruces, NM, who was (we have strong reason to believe) gay, and who was being verbally abused by a teacher and harassed by a number of students, hung himself in his back yard.
    Well I hope that weighs on his harassers' minds, thats just pathetic when an adult is abusive to impressionable young people.