updated 2-14-03

Lewis Carroll

(Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), 1832-1898)

"Born at Daresbury, Cheshire. Was educated at Yorkshire, Rugby, Oxford. Lived and worked in Oxford as Math Lecturer."

2-8-03 - DREAM - I was told that two women were going to put on the play 'Alice in Wonderland'.

I then saw an American woman go into room 4 and start saying the lines to someone, but she was supposed to go into room 3.

I then saw a young woman go on stage and start saying the Jabborwocky speech in Russian. I could see the words while she was saying them.


Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought -
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came wiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through, and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
A frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

I then went somewhere where I was telling other people this amazing thing about the play being put on.

I decided to go down the main street to watch a race - there were thousands of people there. I went down some steps to get closer to the racers and there stood my Mom. She looked like she was about age 50 or 60 (she is now 86)

I gave her a big hug and we talked about the miracle of finding each other in a crowd this size.

We went home together so she could rest.

I decided I wanted to go find my kids who were also at the race, but two little boys came running into the room and threw themselves into my arms. They were so cute.

After they settled down and went over to play with their toys, I went into the next room and a huge white owl came from behind me and landed on my head. He wasn't heavy, but I could feel his feet entangled in my hair. There was another large colorful bird there, like a parrot, sitting on top of a large cage, who was scared of the owl sitting on my head and he came towards my chest like the children had, spread out his wings and feet and clung to me in fear like the little boy had previously. I held him to calm him down.

I may have woke up at this point as I started dreaming I was writing down the dream about the two women doing the Alice in Wonderland play and seeing the words to the second girl's play in Russian.

I then started to dream that I was telling someone about the two women doing the Alice and Wonderland play.

I then realized I had never written it down, that I had only dreamed that I wrote it and really needed to get up and write it down.

Remus explained: "Owls carry wizards' mail, kind of like our own personal postal service."

From: Harry Potter

2-8-03 - VISION - I saw a business card announcing the play and across the top was written, "Lord of the Flies"

2-8-03 - VISION - I saw a business card announcing the play and a large black fly was crawling across it.

2-8-03 - VISION - I then saw two rows of text, referring to the play and it was repeating wider and wider

2-8-03 - VISION - I saw an e-mail receipt  from ARRES OF 11. It was about a school.


A movie that came out in 1961

In 1954, Golding published his first novel, Lord of the Flies, which details the adventures of British schoolboys stranded on an island in the Pacific who descend into barbaric behavior. Although at first rejected by twenty-one different publishing houses, Golding's first novel become a surprise success. E.M. Forster declared Lord of the Flies the outstanding novel of its year, while Time and Tide called it "not only a first-rate adventure story but a parable of our times".

1. On a literal level, Lord of the Flies deals with what happens to a group of boys stranded on an island with no adult supervision.

2. On a symbolic level, Lord of the Flies investigates what happens to civilized people when the structures of civilization disappear.

Short summary of the novel

The novel begins in the aftermath of a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean during an unnamed war in which a group of English schoolboys are isolated on what they assume to be an island under no adult supervision. The pilot died in the crash and the plane has been swept to sea by a storm. Among the survivors are a young, fair-haired boy of twelve named Ralph and a pudgy boy referred to only by the derisive nickname from school that he dislikes: Piggy. Piggy insists that he can neither run nor swim well because of his asthma. Ralph insists that his father, a commander in the Navy, will come and rescue them. Both of Piggy's parents had already died. Piggy doubts that anybody will find them, and suggests that the boys should gather together. Ralph finds a conch shell, which Piggy tells him will make a loud noise. When Ralph blows the conch, several children make their way to Ralph and Piggy. There were several small children around six years old and a party of boys marching in step, dressed in eccentric clothing: black cloaks and black caps. One of the boys, Jack Merridew, leads the group, which he addresses as his choir. Piggy suggests that everyone state their names, and Jack insists on being called Merridew, for Jack is a kid's name. Jack, a tall thin boy with an ugly, freckled complexion and flaming red hair, insists that he be the leader because he's the head boy of his choir. They decide to vote for chief: although Jack seems the most obvious leader and Piggy the most obviously intelligent, Ralph has a sense of stillness and gravity. He is elected chief, but concedes that Jack can lead his choir, who will be hunters. Ralph decides that everyone should stay there while three boys will find out whether they are on an island. Ralph chooses one of the boys, Simon, while Jack insists that he comes along. When Piggy offers to go, Jack dismisses the idea, humiliating Piggy, who is still ashamed that Ralph revealed his hated nickname. The three boys search the island, climbing up the mountain to survey it. On the way up, they push down the mountain a large rock that blocks their way. When they finally reach the top and determine that they are on an island, Ralph looks upon everything and says "this belongs to us." The three decide that they need food to eat, and find a piglet caught in a curtain of creepers. Jack draws his knife, but pauses before he has a chance to stab the pig, which frees itself and runs away. Jack could not stab the pig because of the great violence involved, but he vows that he would show no mercy next time.



Suspect in Ohio Shootings Is Arrested in Las Vegas


Published: March 17, 2004

The suspect in a series of sniper shootings along highways in Ohio in the past year was arrested today in Las Vegas after a tip led authorities to his hotel, according to the law enforcement authorities in that city.

The suspect, Charles A. McCoy Jr., was picked up at his room early this morning at the Budget Suites hotel in Las Vegas after a citizen notified authorities, said a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Todd Palmer. "They believed they had seen this individual," Mr. Palmer said in a telephone interview.

The police in Columbus, Ohio, had issued a warrant this week charging Mr. McCoy with felonious assault in a Dec. 15 shooting that damaged a house in Franklin Township, one of two dozen shootings in that area that began last May. One of the shootings was fatal. The police believe that at least some of the attacks are related.

At a news conference this week in Columbus, the sheriff's office released a photograph of Mr. McCoy and appealed to the public for information on his whereabouts. Mr. McCoy, 28, was described by the sheriff's office as white, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 185 pounds, with green eyes and brown hair.

After the tip-off, authorities set up surveillance in Las Vegas and identified Mr. McCoy as the suspect. His vehicle was also found. Mr. McCoy was apprehended without incident, and local authorities are now awaiting the arrival of Ohio police officials, said Mr. Palmer.

The shootings began in May but increased in number last fall. They became deadly in November, when a 62-year-old woman, Gail Knisley, was shot as she rode in a friend's car.

Public records for a Charles A. McCoy Jr. with the same age and physical description show 12 traffic convictions in the last decade, mainly for speeding but also for driving while intoxicated. His most recent speeding conviction was in November, the month Ms. Knisley was shot.

The bullets in the 24 shootings have been fired mostly at vehicles on highways but also at homes, at a school and at parked vehicles. The shootings have taken place on Interstate 270 in central Ohio, as well as Route 23, one of the Interstate's main feeders.

In the latest shooting, on Feb. 14, a sport utility vehicle was struck on a highway near Columbus.

The police have said that ballistics tests show that four shots, three into vehicles and one into an elementary school, came from the same gun. They include the shot that killed Ms. Knisley. Investigators have said they believe that at least eight other shots into vehicles traveling in the area were fired by the same person or group.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Amy Walton, Mr. McCoy's sister, read a statement to reporters on the front lawn of the house her brother shared with her mother, imploring Mr. McCoy to turn himself in.

"Charlie, we all love you very, very much and we're all concerned for your well-being," Ms. Walton said. "Mom and I need you to call us. We will arrange for you to come home. We love you, we miss you."

In an interview with WBNS-TV, Ms. Walton described Mr. McCoy as very close to his mother, Ardith McCoy, who neighbors said had divorced his father last year. "We are not angry at all at him," she said. "We are very saddened."

Mr. McCoy's mother filed a missing-person report with the police on Saturday, saying she last saw her son on Friday. The report said Mr. McCoy seemed upset by "a possible move," withdrew $600 from his bank account and went to a local mall to play video games before disappearing.

James Dao contributed reporting from Columbus for this article.


Victims of the Ohio sniper are relieved

The Columbus Dispatch
March 16, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ever since the Ohio highway shooter took aim at them, his victims have felt everything from anger to fear to just plain relief that they are alive.

The victims, linked because their attacker used a 9 mm Beretta or because of geography, were relieved after hearing a suspect has been identified and charged.

Ten of the 13 victims reached by telephone, some of whom had refused to talk to the news media in the past, were comfortable enough to share their elation, even though suspect Charles A. McCoy Jr. remained at large.

"Wow! That's a place to start. At least there's somebody they have that could potentially be the one," said Jared Williams, 26.

Williams' GMC Jimmy was struck by gunfire on I-270 on Nov. 25, the same day Gail Knisley was fatally shot on the same highway.

"If it is that person, everyone should get in line and clock this person. I would like to blast him a couple times," Williams said.

He has driven the same route three or four times a week since the shooting, figuring it was unlikely he would be shot twice, he said.

The emotions of Don Fitch, whose home was a target of the highway shooter overnight on Nov. 30, ran the gamut Monday night.

At first, he was pleased to hear authorities had named a suspect. Then Fitch, who was interviewed twice by investigators in February, was relieved that the task force didn't accuse him.

"It cleared me completely, and my name had been called in several times," said Fitch, 38.

But after hearing that McCoy lives less than two miles from his home, Fitch became angry.

"Wow. That is real close," he said. "I have been in his sights the whole time."

Fitch added, "I just want to know why? Why shoot cars on the freeway? Why put this community in fear and terrorize people because at first it could have been an accident.

"Now it's murder. Why didn't you quit?"

William Briggs, 56, a truck driver with Yellow Freight whose window on his 18-wheeler was shot out Oct. 19, said that finding McCoy won't take long, but the courts will have to prove he's the one.

"I'm just glad they almost got the moron. I'm going from here to Chicago and I'll keep an eye out for him," Briggs said.

Now that his name and face are out there, McCoy may be more likely to surrender, said Henry Foster, 54, a United Parcel Service driver who reported that his truck was shot on Nov. 17.

"I'm thinking he might be running scared. I hope he turns himself in," Foster said.

At least two victims asked to remain unidentified because they were worried, one about being attacked by the shooter and the other about being bothered by TV reporters.

"If this person is psycho enough just to be shooting people at the side of the road, then I'm worried about my family's safety," one woman said.

Reach Matthew Marx at mmarx(at)dispatch.com


March 7, 2004


from The Washington Post

Ohio sniper emboldened, specialists say

Daylight shooting by man on overpass linked to earlier 23

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The day after the chief investigator said authorities were closing in on a serial highway shooter, a man stood in plain view on an overpass and fired a handgun at the cars below. He then walked to his car and slipped into traffic.

Ballistics testing has confirmed that the Saturday morning shooting was the 24th in a series in the Columbus area, investigators said yesterday. No one was injured in that shooting.

The bullet recovered from the battery of a sport utility vehicle struck on Interstate 70 matches eight others recovered during the investigation, including the one that killed a woman in November, according to a release. The others have been linked by factors including location and circumstances.

Specialists said the shooter is becoming bolder after evading capture for three months, when authorities first established a pattern in the shootings.

"He's sending a message to police: `You're not as close as you think you are. I can shoot in broad daylight, and you still won't find me,' " said Jack Levin, a criminologist and director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University.

On Friday, the chief investigator, Franklin County Chief Deputy Steve Martin, said he felt confident in the investigation's progress. "We feel that we're getting closer all the time," Martin said. "We are doing exactly what we need to do."

The next day, the shooter escaped despite police aircraft dispatched within moments of the victim's cellphone call. The shooter even appeared "casual" and indifferent to witnesses, Martin said.

Witnesses said a man stood on a county road over the freeway and fired a handgun at a Chevy Suburban. They described him as a clean-shaven white male in his 30s with dark hair, wearing a hat and sunglasses, and driving a small black sedan.

"He wasn't in a hurry," said Joe Joan, who was driving in front of the SUV that was shot and saw the shooter. "He didn't speed up or nothing. He just got in and took off real slow."

Saturday's shooting is the farthest east the shooter has struck. The serial shootings began in May, though most have occurred since mid-October. Until last month, the gunfire at vehicles and buildings was scattered along Interstate 270, a busy highway that circles Columbus. The previous four shootings, including two last Sunday, had moved progressively farther southwest on Interstate 71.


Gunfire Hits SUV in Ohio, Appears Linked to Sniper

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb. 14, 2004) - A man standing on a highway overpass Saturday fired a handgun at a sport utility vehicle on Interstate 70, and investigators said it appeared to be linked to the series of highway shootings near Columbus.

No one was injured in the shooting about 10:15 a.m. near Pataskala, about 15 miles east of Columbus.

Franklin County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Steve Martin said the shooting appears to be related to the other 23.

"This is pretty consistent with what our shooter has done in the past," he said. "Our particular shooter is becoming much more aggressive, much bolder."

The shooter's demeanor appeared "casual," he said. "The person was in no hurry, or appeared to be in no hurry," Martin said.

The bullet entered through the right front fender of the Chevrolet Suburban and lodged in the battery. It was recovered and sent for lab testing in Columbus.

The driver and four other witnesses described the shooter as a clean-shaven white male in his 30s with dark hair, wearing a hat and sunglasses and driving a small black sedan, Martin said.

The car was similar to a Chevy Metro with a sloping hood, said Pat Snelling, a dispatcher with the State Highway Patrol's Granville post.

The description matches the one given by witnesses in two shootings last Sunday on Interstate 71 in Fayette County southwest of Columbus.

"We had aircraft in the area within moments," patrol spokesman Sgt. Richard Zwayer said. "This guy was able to blend into traffic and slip away."

The serial shootings began in May, though most have occurred since mid-October. One person has been killed in the shootings at vehicles and buildings.

Until last month, the gunfire was scattered along or near Interstate 270, a busy highway that circles Columbus. The last four shootings, including the two from a week ago, moved progressively farther southwest on Interstate 71.

Saturday's shooting in Licking County would be the farthest east the shooter has struck.

Joe Joan told Columbus television station WCMH that he saw a man wearing all black and a black car on the overpass in his rearview mirror. Joan said he saw the man "put the gun back in his car because we pulled over right after he shot. He just took off after he shot it, he wasn't even in a hurry or nothing. Just took off, slowly."

Alicia Jellison, 22, who lives next to the overpass, told The Columbus Dispatch she was home Saturday morning but didn't hear anything. She was puzzled when she couldn't leave her driveway to go to the bank about 11:30 a.m.

"I never thought it was anything like this," she said.

 02/14/04 19:08 EST


Ohio sniper seen shooting at traffic east of Columbus

Sunday, February 15, 2004

By James Drew, Block News Alliance

PATASKALA, Ohio -- One day after detectives said they were "confident that we are closing in" on the man known as the "highway sniper," he struck again yesterday in the fourth daylight shooting from an overpass over the past 12 days in the Columbus area.

No one was injured, as the gunman expanded the target zone to the east and to a highway where he has not struck before -- Interstate 70. But this time, the gunman was witnessed in the act.

"This is pretty consistent with what our shooter has done in the past. Our particular shooter is becoming much more aggressive, much bolder," said Chief Deputy Steve Martin of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.

The gunman pulled the trigger at about 10:15 a.m. yesterday on the Toll Gate Road overpass on I-70 near Pataskala in Licking County, about 15 miles east of Columbus.

At least one witness reported seeing the gunman using a rifle to fire off a shot into eastbound traffic, then driving away.

A 1988 Chevrolet Suburban driven by a Columbus man was struck by a single bullet near the right front fender. The bullet, found in the vehicle's battery, was taken to the Columbus Police Department crime lab for analysis, said Martin, spokesman for the task force of federal, state, and Columbus area law enforcement agencies investigating the shootings.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the shooting appears to be related to the other 23 shootings since May, 2003 -- most of them on the Interstate 270 south outer belt since last October, Martin said.

Ballistics evidence has linked eight of the shootings to the same gun, including the shot that killed Gail Knisley, 62, as a friend drove her to a doctor's appointment on the morning of Nov. 25 of last year. She is the sole person to be struck by gunfire.

Witnesses yesterday told investigators that the shooter was a white man, 30 to 40 years old, of average height and weight, with dark hair and a hat, and dark sunglasses. His vehicle was described as a mid-sized, dark-colored sedan.

Kristin Hoover told investigators that she saw the gunman drive slowly south from the overpass.

"We had aircraft in the area within moments," said Sgt. Richard Zwayer of the Ohio Highway Patrol said. "This guy was able to blend into traffic and slip away."

Yesterday's description of the gunmen was consistent, but more detailed than the eyewitness accounts of the man who a week ago today at about 11:20 a.m. shot two vehicles from overpasses on Interstate 71, southwest of Columbus, in Fayette County.

Last December, authorities -- in listing behaviors that could be consistent with the shooter or shooters -- said citizens should pay attention to anyone showing an intense interest in media coverage of the shootings, such as videotaping TV news or clipping newspaper articles.

At a news briefing Friday, Martin said the task force had made contact with sheriff's departments in counties on I-71 further south of Pickaway, Madison, and Fayette counties. When asked why, Martin replied: "Because it's the prudent thing to do."

Less than 24 hours later, the gunman struck -- but not farther south on I-71. This time, it was in a rural county east of Columbus and for the first time on I-70.

The last four shootings were from overpasses along I-71 -- Jan. 22 in Franklin County about 7.5 miles south of I-270, Feb. 3 in Madison County about 20 miles from I-270 and two shootings on Feb. 8 in Madison County near a outlet mall in Fayette County -- about 40 miles southwest of Columbus.

Alicia Jellison, 20, lives near the I-70 overpass near Pataskala where the shot was fired yesterday. She said she was interviewed by detectives, but she didn't have any tips.

"I didn't hear or see anything," she said.

Last month, authorities asked the public to identify two vehicles that stopped at a gasoline station and convenience store on Brown Road in Columbus. A video surveillance camera captured images of the two vehicles.

The vehicles stopped at the gas station at about midnight, around the time a gunman fired two shots into a Brown Road house about three blocks away. A bullet that was found in a second-floor bathtub is among the ballistics matches to the same gun used to kill Knisley.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
Second 911 caller claims to be Ohio shooter
Copyright 2004 Nando Media
Copyright 2004 AP Online

By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (January 31, 5:07 p.m. AST) - A day after announcing that a 911 caller had claimed responsibility for a string of highway shootings, investigators said Saturday that a second man has stepped forward and threatened to attack police officers.

Investigators say they believe the man who called early Saturday morning is different from the man who repeatedly called 911 on Monday to claim responsibility for 20 shootings at cars, school buses and homes on or near a section of Interstate 270 south of the city. One person was killed in November.

"It's gonna get worse," the latest caller said. "I am intend to start shooting at the police now."

Sheriff's officials said they warned law enforcement officials around the state of the latest caller's threats, and that a task force on the shootings was taking both sets of calls seriously.

Sheriff's officials issued a press statement and released a tape of the roughly 50-second call on Saturday, but did not immediately respond to requests for more information.

On the tape, the caller sounds like he has a deep voice, and says he was committing the shootings because the police have "corrupted the world."

He tells the dispatcher, "Tomorrow, the whole world will see how Ohio is."

"They will?" the dispatcher asks.

The caller responds, "They will see my impact. Tomorrow, live."

Authorities also are investigating the first caller, who made four 911 calls Monday totaling about a minute and said, "I'm the highway shooter."

The man said he fired at a car that day but did not specifically claim responsibility for any of the shootings connected by police. Police had no reports of highway shootings Monday.

The police dispatcher appears to dismiss the first caller on the 911 tape, saying "whatever" several times and "Yeah, yeah, yeah." At another point she says, "You just want attention, don't you."

The call ends soon after she asks the caller to stay on the line while the call is traced.

Police were investigating the dispatcher who took Monday's calls. Police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio said the dispatcher's use of words such as "whatever" was inappropriate.

The shootings began in May, but most have occurred since October. The only person hit, Gail Knisley, 62, was fatally wounded Nov. 25 while riding in a car on I-270.

The last shooting linked to the case took place Jan. 22, when a car was hit on Interstate 71, which intersects I-270.

Ohio to Close Freeway in Shootings Probe


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Dec. 6, 2003) - A task force investigating 14 highway shootings will have unfettered access to most of the crime scenes when a 23-mile southern half of the Interstate 270 beltway closes Saturday evening.

The closure comes a day after authorities linked two more shootings to the series. One of those shots, which hit a house, came from the same gun used in four other shootings, including the only fatality.

The task force led by the Franklin County Sheriff's office requested the closure from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and state transportation officials and local law enforcement agencies were to shut down ramps as soon as 4 p.m., said Michelle May, an Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The task force did not give a reason, and Sheriff's Chief Deputy Steve Martin would not take phone calls Saturday morning.

Traffic on I-70 approaching Columbus from the west and east will have to stay on that freeway through downtown or loop around on the north side of the beltway. Trucks carrying hazardous materials must use northern I-270. Delays are expected, May said.

Investigators have told the state their work will focus on I-270 between state Route 62 and U.S. 23, May said. They have indicated that they will need no more than an hour, so it's possible the freeway could reopen before 7 p.m., she said.

The closure is longer than the area investigators are targeting because it was easier to divert traffic to the major routes than the surface roads on the smaller stretch, May said.

"It obviously involves a lot of manpower and equipment," she said.

The shootings around a seven-mile stretch of I-270 began in May but have happened mainly in the past two months. Authorities say they have gotten more than 1,000 tips from the public.

The two latest shootings were the first since three on Nov. 25, when 62-year-old Gail Knisley was killed as she rode in a car on I-270.

· Police Compare Ohio, West Virginia Shootings

"Investigators now know the person or persons has consciously decided to continue with the same activity which unfortunately resulted in the death of Mrs. Knisley," Martin said Friday.

On Nov. 30, a woman heard a thud as she drove on Interstate 270 and noticed a bullet hole when she got home, Martin said. She notified city police Tuesday.

In the other shooting, Emma Fader, 56, found a bullet hole in the front of her house about a quarter-mile from the highway and a bullet on her living room floor. Fade made the discovery Monday afternoon following a weekend away, she said.

"I don't believe I was a target," she said.

She and her son, who is temporarily living in the rental house with his mother, both said the shooting has them spooked.

"I hope this is the end of it," said Donald Fitch, 38. "It's been nerve-racking."

While authorities haven't commented on the type of weapon used, Fitch said a police officer from suburban Obetz told him the shot must have come from a high-powered rifle.

"A 12-gauge or a handgun wouldn't have made it," Fitch said.

He said investigators from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told him they were trying to determine the bullet's path on Saturday.

12/06/03 13:40 EST

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.

Police Say 12 Shootings in Ohio Connected

Two New Shootings Reported, but It's Unclear Whether They're Linked


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Dec. 3, 2003) - Authorities have linked 12 shootings along a five-mile stretch of interstate around Columbus, including one that killed a woman and another that broke a window at an elementary school.

Four of the shootings - three at vehicles and one at the school last month - were from the same gun, Franklin County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Steve Martin said Tuesday.

Although ballistics tests could not link the rest of the shootings along Interstate 270, investigators ''are comfortable'' saying all 12 are connected, he said. He would not elaborate.

Authorities have received more than 500 tips, but would not speculate about who might be responsible and would not release the type of weapon.

''We think it's not good for us to put that information out,'' Martin said. ''We don't want people to stop calling us because we put out that kind of information.''

The shootings began in May along Interstate 270, the freeway that circles Columbus. Many were not reported until after Nov. 25, when 62-year-old Gail Knisley was killed by a bullet that pierced the side of a car driven by a friend.

The latest shooting linked to the spree happened Nov. 11 at Hamilton Central Elementary in Obetz, about two miles from the freeway.

The school sits along a rural road lined with pastures, three schools, a church and houses decorated with Christmas lights.

Local businesses have established a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Customers at Hamilton General Store a half-mile from the school already had been sharing alternate driving routes, and Tuesday's news increased their fears, owner Beverly Evans said.

''People are trying to figure out how to stay off 270, but now people aren't sure if that will keep us safe,'' Evans said.

Parents at Hamilton Central Elementary watched nervously in the school gym as their kids dribbled basketballs around orange cones, saying they didn't want to change their plans.

Greg Mellon said he hoped the recreation league practice would calm the children, including his 8-year-old son Corbin, who was so frightened on the way to practice that he cowered under the dashboard.

''He ducked down in the car,'' Mellon said. ''Of course he's worried about it.

Superintendent Bill Wittman said he believes the shooting at the school was not meant to harm anyone because it happened overnight, but nervous parents expressed concern.

Tiffany Ellis, 32, said her son's second-grade classroom faces the front of the school, where the bullet struck.

''It makes me angry to be honest with you, that I have to drive down the road worrying about getting shot,'' Ellis said Tuesday.

She said she plans to call Wednesday to see what precautions the district is taking, and may avoid her own living room, which also faces the two-lane road.

''That's kind of scary to think someone could shoot through your window like that,'' Ellis said.

Jimmy Eggers said he brought his 8-year-old son to the basketball practice Tuesday night because ''it's hard to stop your daily routine.'' But he added: ''It's definitely scary. You fear for your kid's life.''

At a gas station along the interstate about two miles from the school, emotions ranged from skittish to calm among drivers stopping to fill up.

''The odds are you're not going to get shot,'' said Tom Dixon, 56.

Richard Bailey, 32, disagreed. He uses I-270 each day to get to his job as a shipping manager at Rickenbacker Airport.

''I drive through with my cell phone in my hand every day,'' he said. ''It scares me.''

Meanwhile, a driver and passenger were shot and wounded Tuesday while traveling on the Ohio Turnpike in Milan, about 90 miles north of Columbus, but authorities would not say if there was any link to the other shootings.

The driver was taken by helicopter to Toledo's St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where spokeswoman Donna Shore said no details would be released. The passenger was reported in stable condition at Fisher Titus Hospital in Norwalk.

Also Tuesday, a house was shot at near the freeway around Columbus, but Martin said investigators have not linked it to the other shootings.

12-03-03 0611EST

No one will say 'sniper,' but someone's shooting at cars

November 30, 2003


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Gail Knisley was headed to a doctor's appointment on a freeway ringing Columbus when a bullet ripped through the driver's door.

''What was that?'' she asked the friend driving, then she slumped forward, fatally wounded.

Authorities said for the first time Friday they had linked Knisley's death to at least one of nine other reports of shots fired at vehicles along about a five-mile stretch of the same highway -- and they said the shooting was not an accident. Police won't use the term ''sniper,'' but they say more of the shootings could be connected.

''You just can't believe someone would be sick enough to be shooting at cars,'' Missi Knisley, Knisley's daughter-in-law, said Friday. ''It's a nightmare.''

The first reported shooting on the southern section of Interstate 270 or in its immediate area was in May. The rest have been in the last seven weeks. The shots have been fired at different times of day, piercing trucks, cars, vans and pickups, shattering windows and flattening tires -- and killing Knisley.

Authorities have released few details, saying only that tests on the bullets connected Knisley's shooting on Tuesday to one of the others, though they wouldn't identify which one. They declined to speculate on the type of weapon used.

Franklin County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Steve Martin said it's unclear whether one shooter or more was involved.

''I'm not in a position where I can tell you exactly what happened, whether someone was stationary or mobile when any of these shots were fired,'' he said.

Extra patrols have been assigned to the leg of the highway, also called Jack Nicklaus Highway after the pro golfer from suburban Dublin. The route runs through a sparsely populated area that includes woods frequented by hunters and people practicing target shooting. Industrial sites line part of the stretch, along with some residential neighborhoods. A shopping mall is nearby.

Edward Cable was headed home to southern Ohio through that area on Nov. 21 when he heard a noise in his minivan. He found a bullet hole and shell fragment about 16 inches behind the driver's seat.

Trucker William Briggs was hauling two empty trailers back from Roanoke, Va., about 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 when his driver's side window exploded.

Briggs had just entered I-270 from U.S. 23 and was in the center of the three westbound lanes. He kept driving, assuming he had been hit by a rock, and turned on his dome light to search for the stone but couldn't find it. A few minutes later, stopped at a truck terminal, he discovered the bullet.

''It didn't miss my face but a couple of inches at most,'' said Briggs, from suburban Hilliard. ''It was really luck on my part and ineptness on his part.''

Martin said the task force has received more than 100 tips. Department crime analysts also are reviewing this year's more than 1,000 vandalism reports to see if any fit the pattern, police spokesman Sgt. Brent Mull said.

Some who live, work and travel through the area say they are nervous.

Mary Hammond, 46, whose yard is next to the highway, said Friday that she and her husband are taking back roads to get to work now. ''I've got two kids to raise,'' she explained.

Tom Milligan, 35, of Marysville said he found himself driving faster and ''looking to the right and left, that's for sure. I'm not paying too much attention to the road.''

Briggs said he drove past the site of his shooting the next night and isn't afraid to travel there. ''They didn't get me over there,'' he said, referring to his tour of duty in the Vietnam War, ''they're not going to get me here.'' AP

Another American sniper case?

28 Nov 2003

Fears that another sniper is on the loose in America have been fuelled after police said 10 motorists had reported being fired at on a stretch of road where a woman was shot dead.

Gail Knisley, 62, was killed when a bullet ripped through the door of the car she was in on Tuesday morning.

Police say they had now confirmed a total of 10 possible shooting incidents on the same interstate just south of Columbus in Ohio. One of them happened just hours after Ms Knisley's killing.

The first suspected shooting on the stretch of the I-270 happened in May.

Since Ms Knisley's death more people have contacted police fearing they were also targeted, said Franklin County sheriff department.

One of the people who contacted police was a woman whose tyre went flat as she drove along the road.

When she took it to a garage for repair she was told a bullet had done the damage.

The mystery comes just days after Washington sniper John Allen Muhammad was recommended for the death penalty by a jury.

The 42-year-old Army veteran was convicted after being tried for one of the 10 killings which terrorised the Washington area last Autumn.

His alleged accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, is still on trial over the three-week long killing spree.

Despite the numerous shootings on the stretch of road in Ohio the sheriff's department is still to link them.

A spokesman said he was "not ready" to conclude that the shots had been fired by a single sniper.

Nearby woods are used by hunters and people who practice target firing, meaning that the shootings could be a series of freak accidents.

Extra police are now patrolling the area.

LITTLETON, Colo. (May 9, 2003) - Two-thirds of the students at Columbine High School stayed home Friday because of threats penciled on the wall of two bathrooms and a sidewalk.

The graffiti warned that ``harm would come to others'' on Friday. The first threat came late last week. On Monday, school officials notified students and parents about the threat, said Rick Kaufman, a spokesman for the Jefferson County School District, which includes Columbine.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Tallman said the threats did not specify an individual or group. ``They were very vague and very short,'' she said.

School officials locked down the high school on Friday, meaning students were not allowed to leave the campus and additional police were stationed inside buildings. No violence was reported.

But most students still chose to stay home. About a third of the district's 1,800 students attended, Kaufman said, compared to an average attendance of more than 90 percent.

Kay Leiner's oldest daughter, a junior at Columbine, stayed home. Her other daughter decided to attend class.

``We let them decide. Probably nothing will happen, but there's always that little part that says, 'You know it could happen,' so why even take the risk,'' Leiner said.

Columbine has received numerous threats via the Internet and telephone since teen gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 classmates and a teacher before committing suicide on April 20, 1999.

Leiner said the latest threats brought heightened fear because the source was unknown and the messages appeared inside the school, rather than on the Internet.

Some Columbine students said they were more upset with the vandals for creating a nuisance on campus.

05/09/03 19:03 EDT

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.

1 Dies After Univ. Shooting in Cleveland


Associated Press Writer

CLEVELAND (AP)--A man wearing camouflage and carrying a high-powered rifle opened fire inside a university business school Friday. Hospital officials said at least one person was killed and another wounded.

Police sealed off the sprawling Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University after the shooting began at about 4 p.m. The gunman was believed to be inside, along with an unknown number of terrified students and faculty who locked themselves in rooms.

University Hospital spokeswoman Janice Guhl said a male brought to the hospital died. She wouldn't release specifics of his injuries.

She said no others from the business school were taken to University Hospital.

Police begged the gunman to call them, but by early evening, two dozen SWAT team officers wearing helmets and bulletproof vests had moved inside.

About four hours after the shooting began, rescuers began taking people out of the building. They were being reunited with family members waiting at a nearby campus auditorium.

``We are rescuing the people in the building and doing a room by room, floor by floor search,'' Police Chief Edward Lohn said. ``I am quite confident that this should end quickly.''

Mayor Jane Campbell said 60 people had been placed in a secured area inside the building.

``We're all shaking and quite scared. One of the girls in our office is seven months pregnant--we're trying to keep her as calm as possible,'' Tracy Warner, 30, told The Associated Press from a third-floor office where she was hiding with several other people.

Denise Smith, a spokeswoman at Huron Hospital, said a male was in good condition after suffering a gunshot wound in the buttocks.

In addition to the two people shot, an unknown number of people were taken out of the building and placed on stretchers. Further details were not available and it was not clear if any had been shot.

A student who escaped, Sachin Goel, 26, was standing near the cafeteria with two friends when the gunman approached and opened fire. One of his friends screamed as he was hit, and the others dove for cover under a table.

``He couldn't get us. And then he again shot as we turned the table and put it in front of us,'' Goel said. ``He was indiscriminately firing at everyone and a sane person would not be doing that.''

Police said the man was believed to be wielding a high-powered rifle.

AP-NY-05-09-03 2222EDT

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press.

School Shooting in Pennsylvania

Principal Pronounced Dead at Hospital

The Associated Press

Thursday, April 24, 2003; 11:30 AM

RED LION, Pa. - A heavily armed 14-year-old boy shot his school principal inside a crowded junior high cafeteria Thursday morning, then killed himself, authorities said. The principal was transported to a hospital in critical condition where he was pronounced dead.

The shootings happened about 15 minutes before the start of classes at the Red Lion Area Junior High School, about 30 miles southeast of Harrisburg in south-central Pennsylvania.

The eighth-grader had multiple weapons and fired at least two shots with a handgun, said Red Lion Borough Police Chief Walt Hughes.

Principal Eugene Segro had been at the school for more than a decade and was believed to be in his early 50s, said Terry Robinson, the school district's business manager.

Neither Robinson nor Hughes was aware of any recent turmoil or student suspensions at the school.

"There's a lot of things we don't know right now," Hughes said.

Police and Red Lion Area Superintendent Larry Macaluso declined to name the teenager, but said he was not known for disciplinary problems. They did not know of any disputes between the student and Segro.

Other students said the principal was well-liked.

"He was fair and wasn't mean to anyone," said seventh-grader Matt Templeton, who by the lockers when students started running from the cafeteria.

"Everyone ran out of the cafeteria yelling 'He has a gun,"' said eighth-grader Danny Dulin.

The school's approximately 875 students were taken to nearby Red Lion Area Senior High School after the shooting, and officials planned to dismiss them for the day, as well as students from the high school and a nearby elementary school, Robinson said.

"We have the basic security, the building has a locked door, we have (security) cameras, the things we have in every school," Robinson said. He said the school does not have metal detectors.

Patrick McFadden, executive director of York County's Department of Emergency Services, said the student shot himself, but Hughes said the circumstances of the shooting were still under investigation.

The same school district was the site of a machete attack on a kindergarten class that injured a principal, two teachers and 11 of the 23 pupils in 2001. A Tennessee man angry about his divorce and allegations he had molested his stepdaughters pleaded guilty to the attack and was sentenced to 132 to 264 years in prison.

Burial of Franklin shooting victim at family's convenience

By Aaron Gouveia

Friday, February 21, 2003

FRANKLIN -- Michael Dean, the 40-year-old Franklin resident who accidentally shot himself in the head Tuesday during a drunken game of Russian roulette, was a graduate of Bellingham High School.

Originally from Northbridge, Dean graduated from Bellingham High School in 1980. He was a 13-year employee of Garelick Farms in Franklin at the time of his death.

In addition to his parents, Robert and Marjorie Dean of Ocala, Fla., Dean is survived by his former wife Karen C. Dean and his sister Penny Dean of Oxbridge.

Penny Dean and several other members of the family had no comment when reached at her Uxbridge home.

According to David Traub, a spokesman for the Norfolk County District Attorney's office, Dean and his unidentified male roommate had one male and a female at their second-story apartment at 840 West Central St. the night of the shooting.

Franklin Detective Lt. Stephan Semerjian said there is ample reason to believe alcohol was involved, which led to Dean producing his .357 Magnum revolver and the start of the deadly game.

One person loaded a single bullet in the gun, spun the chamber, and pulled the trigger with no result. Dean was next, and was not as fortunate, Semerjian said.

The bullet ripped into Dean's head, fatally wounding him. He was declared dead shortly after 7 p.m. at Milford-Whitinsville Regional Hospital.

"Alcohol and weapons are not a good combination," Semerjian said Wednesday.

Ralph Mendall, who lives next door to Dean, said it was not unusual to see Dean and his roommate drink.

"They drank from time to time but they never bothered anyone," Mendall said. "I am pretty much shocked, as everyone else was."

February 28, 2003 - 4:45 pm

Elwood Father Shoots, Kills Son

A Madison County family is going through its second tragedy in just a month after a father shot and killed his son. Both are relatives of a child who died of neglect in January.

The shooting took place in Elwood. While some people thought it might have been a deadly game, police say it was no accident.

Josh Payne, 23, lived with his father on South J Street in Elwood. Late Thursday afternoon a single shot rang out inside. A bullet from a .44 magnum struck Josh in the chest.

A cousin, who lives just two doors down, believes the victim might have been playing a deadly game with his father. “All I've been told is they were playing Russian roulette and Josh was shot once in the chest and he died on arrival at the hospital,” said Ben Simmons.

Elwood's police chief doesn’t think that’s accurate. When officers arrived at the scene they found Josh's father Doyle Payne fleeing with a shotgun and the .44 in his hands.

That handgun still had three rounds in it, ruling out Russian roulette. “We had some information that Russian roulette might have been going on but according to the other two witnesses in the home and the evidence at the scene we don't believe that to be the case,” said Carl Caldwell, Elwood police chief.

One of the victim's best friends agrees with police, calling Doyle Payne an evil father who killed his son in cold blood. “To take a life that young, that's just dumb. He took my best friend’s life. I really don't like that. I hope he gets the biggest sentence they could give him. That leaves his little brother to fend for himself that leaves his family depressed…Now why would a man want to shoot his own son?” said D. J. Vincent, who said he knew the victim since grade school.

Doyle Payne is being held in the Madison County jail tonight without bond. A family friend, who says Payne is an alcoholic, says the suspect tried to stab his younger son a few days ago.

Witnesses say there was no argument leading up to Thursday's fatal shooting. The police chief says the suspect was trying to hide the spent shell casing in the snow outside the house when he was apprehended.

An autopsy on Josh Payne is being performed in Muncie.

Teen Shot At Bosque School

Police Say Boy Shot With Own Gun In Scuffle

POSTED: 8:06 a.m. MST February 28, 2003


Albuquerque police said a 17-year-old boy was wounded in the arm Friday morning in a struggle over a gun he produced during a fight with the father of a 16-year-old girl.

Detective Jeff Arbogast said the boy's wound was not life-threatening. No names have been released.

Arbogast said the boy showed up Friday morning at the private Bosque School and was visiting the girl when her father showed up.

He said the father had forbidden his daughter from seeing the boy, who is not a student at the school. Arbogast said the boy pulled out a baseball bat and began hitting the father, then produced a semi-automatic pistol.

He said the father and the boy were struggling over the gun when it went off, and the bullet struck the boy in the arm.

Copyright 2003 by TheNewMexicoChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

No one hurt in high school shooting

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

An investigator with the Adams County Sheriff's Department examines a bullet shell Wednesday at Ranum High School.

WESTMINSTER, Colorado (AP) -- A boy fired several shots in a Ranum High School courtyard Wednesday after confronting another student in a hallway, authorities said. No injuries were reported.

A police officer assigned to the school chased the boy and captured him nearby, Adams County sheriff's Capt. Craig Coleman said.

The 14-year-old boy, who is a freshman at Ranum, was taken to a juvenile detention center, Coleman said. All 24 schools in Adams County School District 50 were locked down.

The boy and a 15-year-old student were involved in a confrontation in the hallway and the younger boy waved his hand inside his coat pocket, indicating that he had a gun, Coleman said.

The two went out into a school courtyard, where the boy pulled out a small semi-automatic handgun, authorities said. The older student and two others in the courtyard ran inside as the boy fired at least four shots, hitting the building's facade twice, Coleman said.

Authorities did not know if the suspect was firing at anyone.

The boy was expected to face attempted murder charges, Coleman said.

The school near this northwest Denver suburb is about 22 miles from Columbine High School, where two student gunmen killed 13 people on April 20, 1999, then killed themselves.


[ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 4/14/03 ]

One killed, 3 wounded at New Orleans school

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- One student was shot and killed and three others were wounded Monday at a New Orleans high school, police said.

Chief Eddie Compass said the three were not believed to have life-threatening wounds and the situation was under control

The gunman apparently slipped into the surrounding neighborhood and was being sought by officers, Compass said.

"Our tactical units have swept all the buildings. The children are completely safe," he said.

The shooting happened at John McDonogh High School, which is in Mid-City. Traffic in the area was been shut down, and hundreds of people gathered outside, some of them crying.

Students were ordered to stay in their classrooms after the shooting around 10:30 a.m.

3 Suspects In Custody After Fatal School Shooting

Violence Erupts Near McDonogh Gymnasium

POSTED: 10:57 a.m. CDT April 14, 2003

NEW ORLEANS -- Three suspects were in custody and one remained at large after gunfire erupted Monday at John McDonogh High School.

One student, a male whose identity is not yet known, was killed in the shooting, which happened at about 10:30 a.m.

Three other students were injured and taken to Charity Hospital: a 15-year-old female was in serious condition and undergoing surgery on gunshot wounds to her leg, a 16-year-old female was being treated for a gunshot wound to the thigh, and another 16-year-old female was being treated for a gunshot wound to her buttock.

Police were working two scenes at the school on Esplanade Avenue, one inside the gymnasium and another outside on school grounds.

The school was on lockdown for about an hour and a half after the shooting, with no one being allowed to enter or leave the building. At noon, parents were allowed to pick up their children.

Police blanketed the neighborhood, many of them running with guns drawn, according to WDSU NewsChannel 6 reporter Heath Allen.

As news of the shooting broke, parents began arriving at the school. People lined the streets outside the school, Allen said.

One man, identified only as Tyrone, said his girlfriend's 16-year-old daughter called him from the school on her cell phone, begging her mother to come get her. The girl described to the man a chaotic scene in which at least two gunmen began firing inside the school gym.

A McDonogh teacher, who asked not to be identified, called the WDSU newsroom. She said the students in her classroom were safe but nervous.

TheNewOrleansChannel.com will update this story as details become available. Please refresh the page for the latest information.

Copyright 2003 by TheNewOrleansChannel.com. All rights reserved.


Five teens jailed for allegedly plotting a school shooting spree

Staff and Wire Reports

Date: 12/21/99

OSWEGO, Kan. -- Five teen-agers were in jail Tuesday for allegedly plotting to shoot administrators, teachers and a classmate in the southeast Kansas town of Altamont.

Because all the suspects were behind bars, classes at Labette County High School have continued as scheduled, but the absentee rate this week has been higher than normal, school officials said.

The 17-year-old boys -- four seniors and a junior -- were arrested Saturday and charged Monday with eight counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. If convicted, they could face nine to 41 years in prison.

They will stay in juvenile detention in Girard until a bail hearing Jan. 3. School officials are discussing whether they can hold suspension hearings while the boys are locked up.

Authorities seized at least 39 weapons -- .22-caliber pistols, shotguns and high-caliber rifles -- from four of the boys' homes, but did not know who owned the weapons.

"The fact that those kinds of weapons were available to kids is very disturbing," said school district Superintendent Dennis Wilson.

The five students, according to complaints released by Labette County, are Jestin McReynolds, Josh W. Traxson, Daniel Smith, Aaron Spencer and Bryan M. Vail, also known as Bryan M. McElroy.

Smith was named in three additional counts: possession of methamphetamine and use of drug paraphernalia, both felonies, and possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.

Vail's grandfather, Archie McElroy, said the accusations were made up.

"That boy was with me when this was supposed to happen, and I'll guarantee he didn't have anything to do with it," McElroy said in a phone interview.

Relatives of Traxson and Smith declined to comment when reached by phone.

Authorities said the boys were hanging out with a classmate Thursday after school when they asked him to join in the planned assault Friday or Monday. The classmate told investigators that the suspects drew a plan detailing who would enter which of the school's doors, and then tore up the paper and threw it away.

The classmate told a teacher about the plan Friday.

"Five young men verbally threatened to come to school with guns, and they were going to shoot seven staff members," Wilson said. "Assuming at this point that the allegations are correct, if no one came forward, we may have had something similar to a Columbine event."

According to the charges, the eight alleged targets were high school principal Greg Cartwright, associate principal Linda Henry, five teachers and a student.

School administrators searched every locker at the high school Sunday and found no weapons.

"We feel safe," Cartwright said. "I'm one of the people who was supposed to be killed, and I came to work."

Cartwright's son, a student at the high school, also showed up this week.

"I think he worries more about people asking him questions he can't answer than he does about his own safety," Cartwright said.

About 30 of the school's 645 students are absent on an average day, Cartwright said, but about 50 students didn't show up Monday and about 150 were gone Tuesday.

The school, which is laid out in a campus setting over three city blocks, normally has no security officers. This week, two police officers and three sheriff's deputies patrolled the school. Wilson also is letting staff members know that he expects them to spend more time in the halls.

"I don't think we'll change much, because I think we've already looked at ways to make it a safer school," Wilson said.

After students opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., earlier this year, school officials in Labette County decided that the best way to defend against a similar horror was to make sure students felt comfortable telling staff members what their classmates were up to. Teachers also were supposed to build relationships with students because the Columbine shooters were said to be outsiders who didn't fit in with other groups.

Investigators from the sheriff's department, Altamont Police Department, state fire marshal's office, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Kansas Highway Patrol and Labette County attorney's office, as well as school officials, worked on the case.

The Star's Richard Espinoza and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

An Explosion of Violence

Dec. 6, 1999: A 13-year-old student in Fort Gibson, Okla., allegedly arrived at school and opened fire with his father's 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. There were no life-threatening injuries but five of his classmates were injued, four from gunshot wounds and a fifth who suffered bruises in the chaos.

Nov. 19, 1999: A 12-year-old boy allegedly shot and killed a female classmate at the end of lunch hour outside a middle school in Deming, N.M., about 33 miles from the Mexican border. The boy was wearing a camouflage jacket when he allegedly fired the single shot from a .22-caliber handgun.

April 20, 1999: Two young men wearing long, black trench coats opened fire in a suburban high school in Littleton, Colo., injuring as many as 20 students. In all, 15 were killed, including the two gunmen.

June 15, 1998: A male teacher and a female guidance counselor are shot in a hallway at a Richmond, Va., high school. The man suffers an injury to the abdomen that wasn’t life threatening; the woman is reportedly grazed.

May 21, 1998: A 15-year-old student in Springfield, Ore., expelled the day before for bringing a gun to school, allegedly opens fire in the school cafeteria. Two students are killed. The suspect’s parents are later found shot dead in their home.

May 21, 1998: Three sixth-grade boys had a “hit list” and were plotting to kill fellow classmates on the last day of school in a sniper attack during a false fire alarm, police in St. Charles, Mo., say.

May 21, 1998: A 15-year-old boy dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Onalaska, Wash. Earlier in the day, the boy boarded a high school bus with a gun in hand, ordered his girlfriend off the bus and took her to his home, where he shot himself.

May 21, 1998: A 15-year-old girl is shot and wounded at a suburban Houston high school when a gun in the backpack of a 17-year-old classmate goes off in a biology class. The boy is charged with a third-degree felony for taking a gun to school.

May 19, 1998: Two boys are suspended from school in Johnston, R.I., after being accused of writing and handing out threatening notes to classmates. The notes said things such as, “All your friends are dead.” The boys are ordered to remain out of school until they have been evaluated to determine whether they are dangerous.

May 19, 1998: Three days before his graduation, an 18-year-old honor student allegedly opens fire in a parking lot at Lincoln County High School in Fayetteville, Tenn., killing a classmate who was dating his ex-girlfriend.

April 28, 1998: Two teenage boys are shot to death and a third is wounded as they played basketball at a Pomona, Calif., elementary school hours after classes had ended. A 14-year-old boy is charged; the shooting is blamed on rivalry between two groups of youths.

April 24, 1998 : A 48-year-old science teacher is shot to death in front of students at graduation dance in Edinboro, Pa. A 14-year-old student at James W. Parker Middle School is charged.

March 24, 1998: Four girls and a teacher are shot to death and 10 others wounded during a false fire alarm at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., when two boys, ages 11 and 13, open fire from the woods. Both are convicted in juvenile court of murder and can be held up to age 21.

Dec. 1, 1997: Three students are killed and five others wounded while they take part in a prayer circle in a hallway at Heath High School in West Paducah, Ky. A 14-year-old student pleads guilty but mentally ill to murder and is serving life in prison. One of the wounded girls is left paralyzed.

Oct. 1, 1997: A 16-year-old outcast in Pearl, Miss., is accused of killing his mother, then going to Pearl High School and shooting nine students. Two of them die, including the suspect's ex-girlfriend. The 16-year-old is sentenced to life in prison. Two others await trial on accessory charges.

Feb. 19, 1997: A 16-year-old student opens fire with a shotgun in a common area at the Bethel, Alaska, high school, killing the principal and a student. Two other students are wounded. Authorities later accuse two other students of knowing the shootings would take place. Evan Ramsey was sentenced to two 99-year terms.

Feb. 2, 1996: A 14-year-old boy wearing a trench coat walks into algebra class with a hunting rifle and allegedly opens fire, killing the teacher and two students. A third student is injured during the shooting at a junior high school in Moses Lake, Wash.

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