Violence in Our Schools

August 1, 2007 through July 31, 2008


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To report a threat of school violence before the instigator has a chance to act on his/her intentions, please contact Speak Up at 1-866-SPEAKUP (that is 1-866-773-2587)

I would like to thank all of the Survivors and others who have contacted me with information about school violence.  I really do appreciate the help, for without their help, several of these occurrences would not be here.

One other thing I would like to ask of those who read over this list of tragedies is this: If you can provide me with any more details of any of these incidents, I would greatly appreciate the information. Or, if you know of another violent act at a school that is not on this list, please forward that information to me as well.  The link to my e-mail is above.


Webmaster's Note: I took this school year off to give myself a much needed break from all the work it takes to keep this site up to date.  The ever increasing acts of school violence will get to you after awhile when you spend so much time with them.  I plan on being back in August 2008 for the new school year.


Mount Vernon Elementary School, Newark, New Jersey

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Melvin Jovel was born in Honduras; he illegally immigrated to the United States and grew up in Newark.  He attended the city schools through the 11th grade.  This evening, 19-year-old Natasha Aeriel, her 18-year-old brother Terrance, and their 20-year-old friends Iofemi Hightower and Dashon Harvey were absconded while they relaxed and listened to music on the grounds of Mount Vernon Elementary School by 18-year-old Melvin, 28-year-old Jose Carranza, 17-year-old Alexander Alfaro, and 15-year-olds Shahid Baskerville and Gerardo Gomez.  Melvin shot each of the four in the head, killing all but Natasha, who was also sexually assaulted and slashed with a machete. In September of 2010, Melvin admitted to shooting the four friends with a .357 Magnum handgun.  Prosecutors say he and his friends have ties to the violent Central American street gang known as MS-13.  On November 4, 2010, Melvin was sentence to three consecutive life terms in prison for executing Terrance, Iofemi and Dashon by Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin.

Webmaster's note: This entry was created on November 26, 2010 using news stories from November 4 and 5, 2010.  If you go looking for the news stories for further research, please search between November 4 and 5, 2010 and not between August 4 and 5, 2007.

Source: New Jersey Star-Ledger - Lone Survivor of Newark Schoolyard Killings Faces Gunman Before he Begins Consecutive Life Terms; BBC News - Life Term for Killer of Three in New Jersey Schoolyard; New York Times - N.J. Man Gets 3 Life Terms for Triple Murder; CNN - N.J. Schoolyard Slayings Killer Sentenced


Jokela High School, Tuusula, Finland

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Gun crime is rare in Finland and when the nation's first school shooting since 1989 came to my attention, I felt I had to add it to my list.  18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen obtained a license for a .22-caliber Sic Sauer Mosquito pistol on Friday, October 19, 2007.  He is a member of a gun club and the license was granted.  Pekka-Eric then posted numerous video clips on YouTube (one called "Jokela High School Massacre 11/7/2007") that anticipated today's massacre at the school.  In the videos, he shows pictures of the school and himself with the gun; loading the gun and obliterating an apple that was placed on the ground in a wooded area and then calls for a revolution against the system in the final video.  When he arrived at the school, around 11:45 in the morning, he opened fire on students and teachers.  Five male students (ranging in age from 16 to 18), a female student (25), a female nurse (43) and the school's principal, 61-year-old Helena Kalmi, all died in this rampage.  One student was injured by the flying bullets while a dozen other students suffered cuts and other injuries as they fled the school.  The police arrived on scene eleven minutes after being notified.  They were able to make contact with Pekka-Eric and ordered him to drop the pistol.  He started firing upon the police officers.  As the officers moved in closer, Pekka-Eric turned the gun on himself.  Paramedics took him to Toolo Hospital in Helsinki where he died at 10:14 p.m.  Tuusula is 30 miles north of Helsinki and today is also the 90th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.

Source: Yahoo! News - School Shooter Kills 8, Self in Finland; MSNBC - Nine Dead in Rare School Shooting in Finland; BBC News - Man Kills Eight at Finnish School; Yahoo! News - Finland Mourns Teenager's 'Revolution' Massacre; CBS News - Finnish Cops Tracing School Shooter's Path; Bloomberg - Finland Declares Day of Mourning After School Murders


Leizhou No. 2 Middle School, Leizhou City, Guangdong Province, China

February 2008

Chen Wenzhen, a former classmate, broke into the No. 2 middle school sometime in February and stabbed a boy and girl to death.  He then stabbed himself and jumped from the fifth floor of building.  He died from his injuries.

Source: MSNBC - Man Stabs 15 Students, 1 Teacher in South China (published April 28, 2010)


E. O. Green Junior High School, Oxnard, California

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On Tuesday, July 5, 2011, prosecution and defense attorneys portrayed Lawrence "Larry" Fobes King differently to the jurors about to hear the case against Brandon David McInernery, who killed Larry this day at E. O. Green Junior High School.  The prosecution said that Larry, 15, came out of his shell and asserted his sexuality.  The defense said that Larry was an aggressor who flirted and taunted 14-year-old Brandon to a breaking point.  According to the prosecution, Larry started wearing high-heeled boots, makeup and jewelry along with his school uniform.  He also hung out with female students and had no male friends.  Brandon called Larry homosexual slurs and yesterday (Monday, February 11, 2008) they clashed in a classroom.  The verbal war of words climaxed when Brandon said he was "going to shoot" Larry.  Right after the class, the two boys got into another verbal argument where Larry mockingly said, "I love you, baby!"  This morning at 8:15, while the two boys sat in computer lab, with Brandon right behind Larry, Brandon pulled out a .22-caliber revolver from his backpack and shot Larry twice in the back of the head.  He then dropped the gun, pulled up his hoodie and walked out of the classroom.  He was arrested a short time later.  Larry was taken to St. John's Regional Medical Center and declared brain dead the next day.  He was kept on life support for two days so that his organs could be donated.  According to the defense, Brandon couldn't deal with the humiliation of having an openly gay boy flirt with him at school.  He reached an "emotional breaking point" and found no other way to end the sexual harassment.  The defense is seeking a voluntary manslaughter charge instead of premeditated murder with enhancements of discharge of a firearm and a hate crime that the prosecution is seeking.

Source: Los Angeles Times - Attorneys Open Murder Trial with Differing Depictions of the Victim (published July 6, 2011); Wikipedia - E. O. Green School Shooting


Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wearing dark brown laced boots, jeans, a black t-shirt with the word "Terrorist" written on it, a coat, a black knit hat and a black utility belt with two magazine holsters, a handgun holster, three handguns, eight loaded magazines and a knife, 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak walked into Auditorium 101 in Cole Hall carrying a guitar case.  It was 3:05 in the afternoon.  Inside the guitar case was a 12 gauge Remington Sportsman 48 shotgun.  On his belt was a 9mm Glock 19, a 9mm Kruz Sig Sauer P232 and a .380 Hi-Point CF380.  He entered the auditorium from the vestibule, leading him directly onto the stage in front of the students. He fired the shotgun first, into the students, then he shot at the instructor, who was standing at the east side of the stage going over a test from the previous class.  The instructor tried to flee the room via the southeast door, but it was locked.  He then proceeded to the east doors, the main doors, and fled with the students.  Those students who didn't immediately flee the room, hid underneath the seats and while Steven was reloading, were able to escape.  After emptying the shotgun, Steven pulled out the Glock and began walking up and down the aisles, firing 50 rounds upon the remaining unprotected students.  He killed five students, wounded 18 and then committed suicide on the stage. The police responded very quickly and entered the auditorium and declared "shooter down" at 3:11 p.m.  Catalina Garcia, Julianna Gehant, Ryanne Mace and Steven were all declared dead at the scene.  Daniel Parmenter was transported to Kishwaukee Hospital and declared dead shortly after 4:00.  Gayle Dubowski was flown to St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford where she died at 4:14 p.m.  Three other students sustained injuries escaping the auditorium, bringing the total wounded to 21.

THOSE WHO DIED:

Gayle Dubowski, 20

Catalina Garcia, 20

Julianna Gehant, 32

killer Steven Kazmierczak, 27

Ryanne Mace, 19

Daniel Parmenter, 20

THE INJURED:

Amanda Benoit, 20 Nicole Berns Troy Chamberlain, 19
Lauren Debrauwere, 19 Samantha Dehner, 20 J. D. Donohue, 19
Ryne Erickson, 20 Brian Karpes, 27 Patrick Korellis, 22
Jeff Malina Harold Ng, 21 Joseph Peterson, 26
Unnum Rahman, 19 Maria Ruiz-Santana, 19 Jerry Santoni, 22
Jeremy Walker, 20 Sherman Yau, 20 3 others

Source: Wikipedia - North Illinois University Shooting web page


Even though I took this year off, you would have thought I would have at least seen or heard about any of the other acts of school violence that happened this year.  Truth be told, I did not.  Not one act of school violence (domesticated or international, excluding Jokela) made the evening news, my local newspaper, a bottom-of-the-screen crawl headline on CNN, a headline link on Yahoo!, MSN or even the home page of Google News.  (Note the publication date of the second and third entries.) That is just sad when an act of school violence resulting in the death of a student receives so little attention that very few national news agencies even report the event.  The National School Safety and Security Services website, where I have received some of my information, reported 16 student fatalities this school year.  Did you hear of any of them?  I didn't.  The site also lists non-fatal shootings and stabbings as well.  If you are doing a report and need numbers for this year, you can check out the list here, however, the list only covers events in the US.


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