Evidence has come to light that shows Caleb Sharpe, who allegedly engaged in a deadly shooting at his high school in Spokane County, Washington, was suicidal, The New York Daily News reports.
His Rifle Jammed But Sharpe Just Kept Shooting
The troubled teen brought a rifle and a handgun that he hid in his coat. He allegedly opened fire Wednesday morning at Freeman High School in Spokane County, Washington, killing one student and injuring three others. Sharpe discarded the rifle after it jammed and then pulled the handgun out of his pocket and resumed shooting.
Police say that Sam Strahan, a sophomore who knew Sharpe, was slain after he attempted to talk him out of shooting people. Three teen girls — Emma Nees, Jordyn Goldsmith, and Gracie Jensen were wounded when he fired into the crowd.
According to court records, Strahan allegedly told Sharpe:
“I always knew you were going to shoot up the school. You know that is going to get you in trouble.”
Strahan died after being shot in the abdomen and face, Reuters reports.
What’s especially tragic about this is that these two teenagers were best friends, The Spokesman-Review reports. What went so horribly wrong for these two teens?
And there was plenty of evidence to suggest that before the shootings Sharpe was a troubled teen.
His mom knew the fifteen-year-old had written a suicide note and a school counselor was also aware of the boy’s thoughts about harming himself, court documents say.
And one of Sharpe’s friends said the teen was obsessed with school shootings, even bringing a note to school earlier this year saying he might do “something stupid” that could result in his death or his being jailed.
Sharpe’s friend also said some school counselors were aware of at least one of the notes.
But what’s especially troubling about this is that Sharpe’s father actually bought guns for his son, even with the evidence that the teen was suicidal, Reuters reports. Perhaps his father was unaware of this, but that seems unlikely. If your child is suicidal, why in the hell would you buy him a gun?
I don’t get that one.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said he also blames society at large, adding that parents and children alike need to speak up about what they hear. Then, he said, they need to act on it.
He noted that in most cases, the needs of these troubled kids aren’t being met:
“We have some kids that are in need of some very severe help and we as a society are not giving them that help.”
And Knezovich also had this to say, Heavy reports:
“Today that student came to school, armed. He entered the school and proceeded to take his weapons out. He attempted to fire one weapon and it jammed. He went to his next weapon and a student walked up to him, engaged him, and that student was shot.”
Caleb Sharpe was receiving some help, but obviously not enough of it, Raw Story reports. And according to Melissa Luck of KXLY 4 News, the teenager was having suicidal thoughts and brought the guns to school because he wanted to “teach everyone a lesson about bullying.”
— Melissa Luck ☘ (@MelissaKXLY4) September 14, 2017
According to the police report:
“He’s been in the care of a school counselor for suicidal ideations. He got the guns from his father’s large gun safe, located at their home. He is familiar with the operation of firearms. Today he decided to bring guns to school including a rifle which was stored in his large duffel bag and a handgun inside his coat pocket.”
Along with the fact that he loved guns, Sharpe told officers that he also liked to build bombs in his parents’ basement.
Despite things like this, student Michael Harper, 15, said Sharpe was popular and well-liked among his peers. Describing him as “weird,” Harper added:
“And he loved the show Breaking Bad. He never really seemed like that person who had issues. He was always nice and funny and weird.”
So perhaps this depressed teenager kept a lot of his emotions from his friends.
The terrifying incident finally came to an end when custodian Joe Bowen stopped the shooting and pinned Sharpe to the ground until he was handcuffed by a school resource officer.
In a statement, Sharpe’s family said they are devastated by the tragedy and are offering condolences and sympathy to the community, KXLY reports.
“The Sharpe family offers their deepest condolences and sympathies to the entire Freeman community, especially the families of Sam Strathan, Emma Nees, Jordyn Goldsmith, and Gracie Jensen.”
Our hearts and prayers go out to you in this devastating time. We too, as a family are devastated by the events that transpired on September 13 at Freeman High School.”
The family asks the entire community to join them in praying for — and to continue to pray for — all of the children and their families that were involved in this incident.
The family also asks the media for privacy and respect for all parties involved as we deal with our grief.”
Undoubtedly when they gave their son guns, the Sharpe family didn’t realize he might use the guns against innocent people, but did they ever really listen to Caleb, even after he left that suicide note? One has to ask the tough questions because if this troubled child hadn’t been able to access these firearms, Strahan would still be alive and the girls wouldn’t have been wounded.
And Shannon R. Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America, tweeted this depressing news:
Today's school shooting near Spokane at Freeman High School was the 31st American school shooting of 2017, and the 2nd in the last 18 hours. pic.twitter.com/gDEjbJCzQt
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) September 13, 2017
And also this:
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) September 13, 2017
Sharpe was booked at the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center, where he is charged with one count of First Degree Murder and three counts Attempted First Degree Murder.
Innocent people pay with their lives whenever a shooter goes off the rails, and if this isn’t a tragedy, then I don’t know what is.
You can find out more in the video below.
Featured image by Amazing TV/YouTube Video