Whenever a child opens fire at a school, wounding and killing classmates and teachers, we want to know why. If the shooter commits suicide during the rampage, all we can do is guess.
On Tuesday, police released a 1,300-page report on the Sparks Middle School shooting in Nevada last fall. On the morning of Oct. 21, 2013, 12-year-old Jose Reyes took his parents’ 9mm handgun to school and opened fire, wounding two 12-year-old boys and killing a math teacher before killing himself.
At the time of the shooting, Reyes was described as a typical kid who had endured some teasing at the hands of classmates. The investigation revealed that he was tripped, his speech impediment was mocked, his pants were pulled down and he was called effeminate by classmates. During the shooting, several students saw Reyes point his gun at a group of students and say, “You ruined my life, so now I’m gonna ruin yours.”
Police found images of the Columbine killers on his phone. They also found 47 violent, first-person shooter video games at his home and nearly 30 military-style ammunition magazines in his room. Reyes left two suicide notes that seem to contradict each other. The first, addressed to teachers and students, vowed revenge “for ruining my life,” adding that he brought a gun to school “to shoot you and see how you like it when someone [is] making fun of you.” The second, addressed to his parents, contained an apology and said that neither bullying nor violent video games were to blame for his actions.
Even after an exhaustive seven-month investigation, authorities aren’t really sure what motivated Reyes. He “was not a violent child that created a cause for concern that he would act out with violence or react violently when angered,” the report found. His parents “believed they had taken measures to hide the weapons in their home. They had no reason to believe their son knew where the firearms were hidden or that he had any interest in firearms at all.”
Their firearms — both the 9mm used in the shooting and a .357 Smith and Wesson — were bestowed upon them by John and Myrna Dunn, who frequently ate at the family’s restaurant. John Dunn said Jose Reyes Sr. had expressed an interest in guns but couldn’t afford one. The .357 was found wrapped in a white towel inside the Reyes home, but police did not reveal where it was found.
In February, an analysis found that there have been 44 school shootings in 24 states since the Newtown massacre on Dec. 14, 2012. Twenty-eight people have died and 37 have been injured.
Here is the report for shootings on May 15:
An 11-year-old girl and a 29-year-old man were shot and wounded at a home on the north side of Milwaukee, Wis., Wednesday afternoon. The adult victim had been arguing with another man prior to the shooting. Police believe the suspect opened fire from an alley behind the home. In a separate incident two hours later, a 20-year-old man was shot as he opened the front door to his home. Two hours after that, a 19-year-old man was shot while walking down the street. Three hours later, a 28-year old man was shot. This week is “Ceasefire Week” in Milwaukee.
An 8-year-old girl was shot in the head with a pellet gun in Lanai, Hawaii, this past weekend, it was reported Wednesday. Police did not specify whether the child shot herself or if someone else shot her.
A gun discharged in the basement of a home, hitting a 16-year-old boy in the leg in Colorado Springs, Colo., Wednesday afternoon. Lynelle Fredeen was drunkenly handling a gun when it went off, traveling through the basement ceiling and penetrating the living room floor. It is not clear what Fredeen’s relationship to the victim is.
A 16-year-old boy was shot in the shoulder and wounded in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans Wednesday afternoon.
A 14-year-old boy was shot in the leg and seriously wounded half a block from John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond, Calif., Wednesday morning. The shooting was preceded by a fight involving several teenagers. The school was placed on a brief lockdown.
A 15-year-old boy was shot in the buttocks after activating a motion-detector light outside a home in Decatur, Ill., early Wednesday. Willie Jones, 68, woke up and saw the victim standing near his parked pickup truck. Jones opened fire after the boy turned to run away. Police said Jones was in no immediate danger when he shot the boy, and he was charged with assault.
A 15-year-old boy was accidentally shot in the hand in the bedroom of a home in North Philadelphia Wednesday night. The victim said he was shot by somebody else, but evidence at the scene pointed to an accident. An hour later in a separate incident, a 22-year-old man was shot several times and killed in the Feltonville section of Philadelphia. Someone approached him and fired at least 10 shots at point-blank range.
Police said David B. Porter Sr., 47, was shot in the back when he refused to buy beer for a 17-year-old boy in Pine Lawn, Mo., early Tuesday. The victim said the boy also demanded his wallet, and after he’d been shot, an accomplice rifled through his pants and stole it. Carlos Blue, 17, and Monte A. Johnson, 19, were arrested.
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Blake Wardell, 26, was shot to death after asking a friend to test out his flak jacket in Greenville, S.C., Wednesday morning. Taylor Kelly, 18, fired a shot but missed the Kevlar and struck the victim in the heart. She was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
A 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg on the east side ofCleveland, Ohio, Tuesday afternoon. The victim gave officers a vague description of the shooter, and no arrests have been made. That evening, Isiaiah C. Odens, 24, was shot four times in the stomach and killed near the Cleveland Clinic late Tuesday. No arrests have been made.
A 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg near the Braddock Road Metro station in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday night.
Two men, 18 and 31, were shot and killed on the front porch of a home in Aurora, Ill., Wednesday evening. The suspect got out of a car, opened fire and fled. He is at large.
Davin Taylor, 20, was killed and his 15-year-old sister, Destiny Taylor, was wounded when someone opened fire on their car in the West End area of Providence, R.I., Wednesday afternoon. Police said it was a drive-by shooting. No arrests have been made.
Nakia Covington, 37, shot and wounded his fiancé, Kentraniece Lovest Brown, before turning the gun on himself at an apartment complex in Miami, Fla., early Wednesday. The couple had been together for eight years and had a 3-year-old son. Family members said they do not know what caused Covington to lash out. Brown leaves behind an 11-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter.
Tamisha Evette Ridge, 31, was shot to death as she slept in her home in Sacramento, Calif., early Wednesday. Police said Dameshlo Green, 34, who has a 2-year-old child with the victim, shot her at close range. He was arrested.
—The Sacramento Bee
Evangelina Anaya, 52, was shot in the chest after an argument with her husband at a home in North Little Rock, Ark., early Tuesday. The victim had recently received an order of protection against him. Ernesto G. Anaya, 58, is being sought.
Terral Carter, 23, was wounded by a bullet that ricocheted after she fired into the floor following a domestic disturbance in Tyler, Tex., Wednesday afternoon. One of the rounds struck the victim in her knee. A small child was at the scene but not harmed. Carter was arrested.
—Tyler Morning Telegraph
A 24-year-old man was killed and two men in their 20s were wounded, one critically, in a gang-related shooting at a home inModesto, Calif., early Wednesday. Investigators believe two men walked up and opened fire into the garage.
Two men in a car were shot and killed following an argument in the parking lot of a gas station in Houston, Tex., Wednesday evening. One of the victims died instantly, and the other took off running, collapsing a short time later. Witnesses said the suspect fled in a Honda Accord.
A 21-year-old man was found shot to death in the street in Rock Island, Ill., Wednesday afternoon. A neighbor reported hearing five shots.
Jermaine Dews, 27, was shot and killed in Northeast Washington, D.C., Wednesday afternoon. He had been hit multiple times. The Metropolitan Police Department offers $25,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of those wanted for homicide in the District of Columbia.
—Homicide Watch D.C.
A 23-year-old cab driver and his 24-year-old passenger were shot and robbed in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday night. The driver, who is in critical condition, has only been on the job two months.
—Time Warner Cable News
Brandon McClain, 25, died after being shot at a Shell gas station inMontgomery, Ala., Tuesday morning. Police have a suspect in custody but have not revealed a motive.
A man in his 40s showed up at a hospital with a wound he received as a bystander to a shootout involving multiple people inJacksonville, Fla., Wednesday evening. The victim told police he was driving through the neighborhood when he got caught in the crossfire.
—The Florida Times-Union
Tyreon Woodard, 18, and Christopher Jackson, 19, were shot by someone in a passing car as they drove along I-20 in Shreveport, La., early Wednesday. Investigators think the incident stemmed from an ongoing dispute.
David C. McNeil, 58, was shot in both feet in a home in Whitley County, Ky., early Wednesday. State police said 39-year old Michael Skidmore opened fire on the victim after an argument. He and another suspect were arrested.
A 35-year-old man was shot in the leg and seriously wounded in a parking lot in Lancaster, Pa., early Wednesday. Police are interviewing witnesses.
A man was shot multiple times in Grenada, Miss., early Tuesday. Police said the victim was walking with friends when a car drove by and someone inside opened fire. No suspects have been identified.
Tracy Lawton, 45, told police she was shot when two people asked her for drugs in Parramore, Fla., early Wednesday. The victim said a man in a dark blue car shot her in the buttocks as she walked away.
One person was killed and another was injured in two shootings 15 hours apart at a home in Mobile, Ala., Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Police are investigating. In a separate incident the day before, one person was shot at a car wash in Mobile. The victim fled the scene but later reappeared at a hospital. Deputies found a large quantity of narcotics in a garbage can next to a vacuum island.
Two people showed up at a hospital with gunshot wounds inNashville, Tenn., Wednesday morning. An investigation led police to a home near Music Row where a drug business was being operated, though it is believed the victims were shot elsewhere.
A woman was shot in the shoulder in a wooded area in Darlington, S.C., early Wednesday. No suspects are in custody.
A 46-year-old man was found lying on his kitchen floor suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest in La Grange, Ky., early Wednesday. Police arrested the victim’s girlfriend, 42-year-old Tanya Estepp. Police said they had argued earlier in the evening.
—The Morning Journal
David Lee Wilkins Jr., 30, was found shot to death in the yard of a home in Franklinton, N.C., Tuesday night. Police are soliciting tips.
Doral Deangelo Best, 42, was found shot to death in a ditch inGoldsboro, N.C., Tuesday night. Police are soliciting tips.
A 26-year-old man was shot in the leg during a robbery gone awry in Trenton, N.J., early Wednesday. The victim told police that a man wearing black clothing and a hood approached and yelled, “Yo, give it up.” Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police.
A man was found shot to death outside a Head Start administrative office on the northwest side of Detroit Wednesday morning. Police believe the man was 25 to 30 years old. Police are working on a suspect description.
—Detroit Free Press
A 68-year-old man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a boat launch in Codorus State Park in York, Pa., Wednesday night.
Two men were wounded when someone opened fire from an S.U.V. into a courtyard full of people at an apartment complex in the Fineview neighborhood of Pittsburgh Wednesday afternoon. One person in the group fired back at the S.U.V. It is unclear whether anyone is in custody. Police recovered 21 shell casings in the street.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, 6,648 people have been injured by gun violence in America and 3,885 have been killed since Jan. 1, 2014.