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Area schools still finding guns

Wed., April 20, 2005

Columbine and similar events have focused national attention on preventing more tragedies. Still, guns continue to make their way into schools.

Some recent events in the Spokane area:

•On the morning of Sept. 22, 2003, Sean Fitzpatrick, then 16, took 30 over-the-counter painkillers, watched the movie “Phone Booth” and went to school with his father’s loaded 9 mm handgun. Lewis and Clark High School was evacuated when he revealed the gun and fired into a wall.

Fitzpatrick was eventually shot in the face, arm and stomach by police when he aimed his gun at them during a standoff. He survived and later wrote a letter of apology to teachers.

•On Dec. 10, 2004, a teen committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a .38-caliber handgun at Lakeside High School in Nine Mile Falls.

•In January, a 13-year-old seventh-grade student was arrested and expelled for stashing a loaded .32-caliber handgun behind a toilet tank at Mead Middle School. The principal, acting on student tips, found the gun.

•On Feb. 4, a 15-year-old student brought a loaded .22-caliber revolver to East Valley High School and pointed it in a teacher’s face. The boy was trying to enter a classroom to talk to his former girlfriend and the teacher wouldn’t let him through the door.

•On March 24, Jacob D. Carr allegedly brought a loaded .32-caliber semiautomatic pistol to Ferris High School with the intent of shooting a teacher. The 14-year-old had been suspended at Ferris, and re-enrolled at Shadle Park High School, for sending an e-mail threatening to burn down the teacher’s house with her inside.

Carr later told police he got within 6 feet of the teacher, but didn’t go through with his plans for a murder-suicide because there were too many adults nearby.


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