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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 March, 2005, 21:11 GMT
Town reels from teenage killing
Red Lake High School pupils cry after the shooting

A US town is struggling to come to terms with a shooting spree in a Minnesota school by a boy who killed nine people, before shooting himself.

Jeffrey Weise, 16, first killed his grandfather and his grandfather's partner before heading to the school.

There he killed a teacher, a security guard and five students - the youngest 14 - during a 10-minute rampage.

It was the deadliest school shooting since the Columbine killings in 1999 when two teenage gunmen killed 13.

Seven other people were hurt at Red Lake High School, which is located on a Native American reservation.

Five of them remain in hospital, including two students with critical injuries from gunshot wounds to the head or face.

Red Lake tribe chairman Floyd Jourdain said the community of Red Lake, about 240 miles (390km) north of the state capital, St Paul, was devastated by the event.

"We have never seen anything like this in the history of our tribe and without doubt this is the darkest day in the history of our people," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The remoteness of Red Lake means that everybody in the 5,000 strong community knows at least one of the victims or their families, says the BBC's Matt Wells in Red Lake.

Police were first alerted to the rampage when they began receiving emergency calls from the school at 1455 (2055 GMT) on Monday.

Weise first used a .22-calibre weapon to kill his grandfather, veteran police sergeant Daryl Lussier and his companion Michelle Sigana, at their home on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, FBI special agent Michael Tadman told reporters.

RED LAKE VICTIMS
Daryl Lussier, 58, Jeff Weise's grandfather
Michelle Sigana, 32, Daryl Lussier's partner
Alicia Spike, 14, student
Thurlene Stillday, 15, student
Chase Lussier, 15, student
Chanelle Rosebear, 15, student
Dwayne Lewis, 15, student
Derrick Brun, 28, security guard
Neva Winnecoup Rogers, 62, teacher

He then stole his grandfather's police gunbelt and bullet-proof vest, and at least another two weapons - a handgun and a shotgun - before driving to the school in his grandfather's police car.

He drove right up to the school's entrance and there shot dead 28-year-old security guard Derrick Brun who was unarmed.

Weise walked through the front entrance's metal detector and down the hallway to a classroom, where he fired at pupils, before chasing them into a room and killing five of them and a female teacher named as Neva Winnecoup Rogers, 62.

When the police arrived, a gun battle with the boy ensued before he retreated to the classroom where he shot himself through the head.

Mr Tadman said the crime scene was extensive and that gunshots were found all over the school.

'Headshots'

North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji received six casualties, one of whom died.

US SCHOOL SHOOTINGS
April 2003: Teenager shoots dead headteacher, then kills himself, at Pennsylvania school
April 1999: Two teenagers shoot dead 12 pupils and a teacher, then kill themselves at Columbine School, Colorado
May 1998: Fifteen-year-old shoots dead two pupils in a school cafeteria in Oregon
March 1998: Two boys, aged 11 and 13, kill four girls and a teacher in Arkansas
October 1997: Teenager stabs mother, then shoots dead two pupils at a school in Mississippi

Two of them were later transferred to another hospital in Fargo, North Dakota, where they remain in a critical condition.

Officials at North Country said all the injuries they had dealt with had been gunshot wounds - to the head, face, hip or chest.

Some of the victims were shot at close range.

All those sent to North Country were male and under the age of 18, but they have not been identified.

The three people still being treated there were in non-critical condition.

Motive unclear

The FBI said Weise appeared to be acting alone and that his motive was unknown. The killings at the school appear to be random.

Described as a loner, Weise is reported to have expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler on a Nazi website. But the FBI said it had not been determined if the writer was Weise.

The 300-strong school - close to the Canadian border - remains closed.

The reservation is home to Native Americans of the Chippewa tribe - one of only two in the US that owns all of its land communally.





BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Local newspaper editor Molly Miron on the shooting



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