All posts by Bruce Becker

Student commits suicide at McKinney North High School

McKinney North High School was briefly placed on lockdown Friday morning after a student killed himself with a gun on campus.

McKinney ISD says the student was a tenth-grade boy. Police say he was found in an empty classroom by a teacher and a student. He was rushed to the hospital with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound and later died.

The school was immediately placed on lockdown following reports of a gunshot.

Students were moved to Boyd High School where their parents picked them up. Those who drove to school were allowed to drive home after being checked out, the school district said.

There were tears and hugs as students were released to their parents hours after the incident. Students described the terrifying moments.

“People didn't know what was going on,” said student Reece Cho. “I started crying. I was worried about my friends and my sister.”

“I'd just come from lunch walking up to my classroom. As soon as I got in, my teacher slammed the door, yelling at us to get to the back of the classroom, turned off the lights,” recalled student Aubrey Ferris. “We just sat there for an hour and 15 minutes. She told us not to get on our phones because it was illuminating our faces. We just sat there."

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A student is in custody after Noblesville West Middle School shooting that injured another student and teacher

A male student shot and injured a teacher and another student at Noblesville West Middle School on Friday morning, police said.

News outlets were reporting that a seventh-grade science teacher intervened to stop the shooter, but authorities said they could not confirm that on Friday afternoon.

Police did not release the names of the two victims Friday and did not provide information on their conditions. The adult victim was taken to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, and the teen victim was taken to Riley Hospital for Children, both in Indianapolis. Their families have been notified, police said.

The Noblesville Police Department has a full-time school resource officer assigned to the school who responded to the incident, Jowitt said. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies also responded to the shooting.

“We do know that the situation resolved extremely quickly,” Jowitt said. “We don’t know what happened in the classroom, so I can’t make any kinds of comments about what [the resource officer’s] involvement was.”

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Fourth former Vanderbilt player gets probation in rape

A former Vanderbilt football player who testified against three of his former teammates in a campus rape case was sentenced Monday to 10 years' probation as part of a plea deal.

Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie is the only one of the four players charged in the 2013 dormitory room rape of an unconscious student who did not get sentenced to prison. Cory Batey and Brandon Banks were both sentenced to serve 15 years. Brandon Vandenburg, who was called the instigator of the attack, was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

McKenzie, 23, had been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. His testimony against the other players helped secure guilty verdicts in their trials. He admitted to taking one photo of the woman during the rape but testified that he did not touch her. Photos and video recorded of the rape also helped secure multiple convictions in a case that horrified many on and off campus.

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Georgia high school shooting leaves 1 dead, 1 hurt, police say

At least one person was killed and another injured Friday night in a shooting that followed a graduation ceremony in Jonesboro, Ga., authorities told Fox News.

The shots were fired after an argument broke out in a parking lot near the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center, the Clayton County Police Department said. The lot provided overflow parking for those attending a commencement for graduates of the Perry Learning Center, an alternative high school that prepares students for careers.

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After Texas school shooting leaves 10 dead, hunt for explosives continues

Law enforcement is still searching Santa Fe High School in Texas and other locations for explosive devices after a gunman opened fire at the school on Friday morning, leaving at least 10 people dead and another 10 injured in what Gov. Greg Abbott labeled “the worst disaster to ever strike this community.”

Suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is in custody in connection with the shooting. Pagourtzis allegedly used a shotgun and a .38 revolver in the attack, Abbott said in an afternoon press conference.

“Various kinds of explosives,” including a “CO2 device” and a Molotov cocktail, were also found in a home and a vehicle, Abbott stated, adding there is “potential for explosive devices in other sites being investigated.”

It appears the devices were made by the shooter but that could not be “solidly confirmed.” Officials are still “working on a total number of explosive devices,” which may be in the suspect’s “house, car and other two locations.”

“Law enforcement is still in the process of undertaking searches and investigations of the entire scene and other locations,” the governor said.

“This," he added, "is just the beginning of what will be a very robust response.”

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At Least 2 Dead, Many Hurt in Obliterating NJ School Bus Crash: Sources

A student and teacher are dead after a full-size school bus collided with a dump truck on a major New Jersey highway Thursday, a violent accident that ripped the undercarriage completely off the bus and left it demolished on its side in the median.

The bus, which was carrying 38 students and seven adults from East Brook Middle School in Paramus, crashed around 10:20 a.m. on Route 80 near exit 25 in Mount Olive Township, Gov. Phil Murphy said at an emotional news conference in Paramus Thursday. Two were killed and the rest were injured, some critically.

Investigators are looking into whether the school bus was trying to make a left turn in the median before the crash, and whether that was when the dump truck and bus collided, a senior law enforcement official told News 4. The official cautioned that the investigation was still early and that no conclusion had been reached.

State police said the truck driver had been interviewed following the wreck. The school bus driver is still being treated for injuries and has not yet been interviewed.

The injured were transported to six different hospitals, and some are undergoing surgery.

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Former student with gun shot by school police officer in Illinois

A police officer working at a northern Illinois high school shot and wounded a former student who fired a gun at him, officials said.

The shooting happened at about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said the school police officer, known as a school resource officer, saved many lives.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said Wednesday.

Dixon Police Chief Steve Howell said a preliminary investigation showed the suspect fired several shots near a gym at Dixon High School.

City Manager Danny Langloss says students were gathered there for graduation practice when the officer exchanged gunfire with the gunman.

The suspect was then confronted by a school resource officer. The suspect exited the school and began running away, Howell said.

During the pursuit, the suspect shot several rounds toward the officer, who returned fire, striking the suspect.

Staff and students barricaded doors to classrooms with desks, bookcases and other objects due to training they received.

Authorities said the suspect is a 19-year-old former student.

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Man who raped Ohio University student sentenced to 11 years

A former Ohio University student that an Athens County jury found guilty of two counts of rape on May 2 was sentenced Friday in Common Pleas Court to 11 years of mandatory time in prison.

Roxon Kofi Osei, 23, also will be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the sentence handed down by Common Pleas Judge George McCarthy.

During the sentencing hearing, county Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Pepper and the victim both requested that expelled OU student Osei should receive the maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, while Osei’s defense attorney asked that Osei get a lighter sentence, between four and five years.

 The two first-degree felony counts were merged for the purpose of sentencing, calling for between three and 11 years of mandatory time in prison.

The woman whom Osei raped made a 20-minute-plus victim-impact statement in court detailing the anguish she said she felt and still feels because of Osei raping her. She said she’s had suicidal thoughts “every day” since she was raped in January 2017 in the early morning hours after her 21st birthday party. Osei had been her friend, she said, and used that privilege to take advantage of her.

“I have been living in a nightmare since the incident,” she told the court. “It has been a year of complete hell. First fearing for my safety and hiding on campus from the perpetrator, and now for a week through trial having to share the same room with someone I never wanted to see again. 

“I barely sleep because I often lay there replaying that petrifying night and screaming why anyone would ever think this was OK.”

The woman said she goes to counseling every week, and she had difficulty summoning the strength needed to perform “basic” things such as going to class (she graduated from OU this spring). She even had to change residences because she couldn’t “bear” to stay in the same bedroom as the one she was raped in, she said.

 But she said she put herself through the intense process of reporting the sexual assault, going to the hospital for a rape examination, and working with police and the Prosecutor’s Office to provide statements, evidence and testimony, in order to obtain some form of justice for herself and for “others who have gone through this inhumanity.”

Boy shot at Highland High in Palmdale, Calif.; fellow student detained

PALMDALE, Calif. -- Authorities say they caught a 14-year-old suspected of shooting a former classmate at a California high school after the boy called his father to say he fired his gun in the air and was headed to a grocery store near campus. A boy was shot in the arm at a southern California high school Friday morning, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Friday that the 14-year-old's father then called a family friend who's an off-duty police officer and told him where the boy was.

The off-duty officer, who works for Los Angeles police, then detained the teen.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida says the 15-year-old victim was shot in the arm and is expected to fully recover.

The rifle used at Highland High School in Palmdale was found in a field near the school.

Investigators say the shooting stemmed from a dispute between the 14-year-old and the victim.

911 calls reported a man with a gun at Highland High School in Palmdale around 7 a.m. and the school was later cleared after law enforcement rushed to the scene.

The incident appears to be isolated and there's no indication the student suspect tried to shoot others, the department says. There were other students in the area of the shooting, but it wasn't clear whether it happened on campus or just outside. School wasn't in session when incident happened, but students were beginning to arrive.

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Seventh teen suicide prompts community involvement in Herriman

HERRIMAN, Utah (News4Utah) -- The Herriman community is dealing with a crisis. Seven students at Herriman High School have committed suicide since last summer.

Less than one week ago, 17-year-old Nicholas Swint took his life.

"Since the suicides, it's felt a lot different," said Ryan Cherry, a Junior and Herriman High School. "I feel we've grown together as a mustang family, and we've started to look out for each other."

Ryan and Nicholas were friends. They played basketball together often. Ryan knew his friend was sad at times, but he didn't realize the extent of his friend's depression.

Ryan Cherry knows what it's like to feel down. He says getting bullied at school made him depressed.

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