[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 19:33 GMT
Minnesota killer 'admired Hitler'
Jeffrey Weise
Jeffrey Weise may have been teased at school
Jeff Weise, the teenager who police say shot nine people in Minnesota, was a disaffected young man who may have expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler on a neo-Nazi website.

The teenage gunman shot dead two people including his grandfather, then killed a further seven people at his high school before turning the gun on himself.

One victim was heard vainly imploring "Jeff" for mercy as the heavily-armed teenager walked around the Red Lake High School, grinning and waving, according to witnesses.

The school is in the remote town of Red Lake, on a Native American reservation close to the Canadian border. About half of the 10,000 members of the Red Lake Chippewa Tribe - of which Weise was one - live on the reservation.

'Weird'

Several witnesses have suggested he was teased at school.

According to the local St Paul Pioneer Press newspaper, Weise's relatives say his father committed suicide four years ago and his mother lives in a nursing home in Minneapolis since suffering brain injuries in a car accident.

Weise, a tall 16-year-old, used to paint his face white in gothic style and wear black, according to fellow students.

It quotes a pupil who was in the school at the time of the attack as saying she once shared a class with Weise, but that he had not attended school recently.

She told the newspaper he was viewed as "weird" by the other pupils. "He's anti-social," she said.

She said she had never heard him talk about Nazis, but added: "In pictures he draws, his people have little hats with Nazi signs on them."

'Admiration for Hitler'

A contributor to a forum on a neo-Nazi group's website identifies himself as Jeff Weise.

In a series of posts which began about a year ago under the username Todesengel ("Angel of Death" in German), he expresses interest in joining the group and writes:

Floyd Jourdain Junior, chairman of the Red Lake Chippewa
This is, without a doubt, the darkest hour in the history of our tribe. Our community is in shock and dismay. We just don't have the words right now
Floyd Jourdain Jr, chairman of the Red Lake Chippewa Tribe
"I guess I've always carried a natural admiration for Hitler and his ideals, and his courage to take on larger nations. I also have a natural dislike for communism...

"It kind of angers me how people pass pre-judgement on someone if they even so much as say something like 'I support what Hitler did', without even hearing what you have to say. This goes double if you're ethnic."

Five days later, Todesengel writes: "Once I commit myself to something, I stay until the end..."

And chillingly, more than three weeks later: "By the way, I'm being blamed for a threat on the school I attend because someone said they were going to shoot up the school on 4/20 [20 April], Hitler's birthday, and just because I claim being a National Socialist, guess whom they've pinned?"

He later writes: "You encounter a lot of hostility when you claim to be a National Socialist, but because of my size and appearance, people don't give me as much trouble as they would if I looked weak."

He adds: "But the school threat passed and I was cleared as a suspect, I'm glad for that. I don't much care for jail, I've never been there and I don't plan on it."


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific