He had stolen his fatherâs guns and stored them and other stolen guns in his bedroom. Sign up for email notifications and we'll let you know about new publications in your areas of interest when they're released. Strong ''turned his eyes'' on the killer ''and, forcefully said, 'Put down the gun. Hence the atmosphere surrounding Michael Carneal was that of a well-educated household with high expectations for academic perfor- mance and an older sister who had excelled. Sometimes, he told investigators, when he heard a knock on the window, he thought people were trying to get to him or his family. Just as easy to get as guns were videos or cassettes in which murder is a central theme, and often glorified.
Both not only were able to return to the track team last spring, according to an article in the Paducah Sun, but were able to compete in the state finals. Many of the police interviews with Carneal and with witnesses were directed at determining whether students from the Goth or freak group were supposed to have picked up the other guns and joined Carneal. Griffiths said the threat was improper. But less well-known is how the other accused Jonesboro killer came by his knowledge of guns. He covered himself with at least six towels whenever he took a shower and covered the air vents with towels as well.
Woodward, said in an interview that she taught her boy how to shoot a shotgun, and then he took a three-week course. Carneal gave him the gun with the promise that the boy would pay him later, but he never did. Information from this fieldwork is supplemented by local and national media coverage, police investigative materials, Carnealâs own writings, depositions from civil lawsuits, psychiatric and psychological evaluations of the shooter, and an interview with Carnealâs most recent treating psy- chologist, as well as materials from Heath High School and the McCracken County School District. They were known for rejecting what they regarded as the pious atti- tude of the prayer group, but they never did more than grumble about it. × Do you enjoy reading reports from the Academies online for free? Critics might argue that John and Ann Carneal were losing touch with their son and that their lack of awareness of his activities was indica- tive of too much distance between them.
The day after the shooting, more than 200 students attended the prayer circle, and three days later 2,000 mourners filled the largest local church for the memorial service honoring the three slain girls. Carneal downloaded pornography from the web along with pages from the Anarchist Cookbook and sold them or gave them away. Though her injuries from the shooting prevented her from playing basketball, her college honored her basketball scholarship and she went on to play college soccer. Michael Carneal was known as a slight boy who played baritone sax in the school band in West Paducah. Community members who graduated decades before still con- gregate at high school sporting events, choir concerts, and band perfor- mances. Students later reported to police that one student re- marked that the sound of the bundle hitting the floor suggested that it contained guns rather than an English project.
In his confession, Barry Loukaitis said he took two of his father's guns from an unlocked cabinet, and a third one -- a. We interviewed legal professionals from both the criminal and civil proceedings that followed the shooting, police officials, victimsâ families, teachers, high school and middle school administrators, political and religious leaders in the community, parents, and students, both those present at the time of the shooting and those currently in the ninth grade at Heath. Whatever difficulties he might have been experiencing in eighth grade when his grades slipped were mild enough to stay âbelow the radar screen. He fired eight rounds in fast succession at a youth prayer group of students. For the last five years we've been left to wonder why. The events discussed below have been variously described and inter- preted by the people involved.
However, his taste for violenceâincluding sites that included how-to instructions for making weapons or rehearsals of violent attacksâfell outside mainstream norms. She said later that she would not even have recog- nized her brother if she had not seen his clothes and his face. A few weeks before the shooting, she had told her son that she planned to divorce her husband and that she herself was suicidal, but she was oblivious to how this would affect her son. Paducah and Heath are in McCracken County population approximately 65,000 , one of the northernmost counties of the Bible Belt. They were also unhappy that the Alford plea did not require Carneal to admit guilt, and they argued that the resolution of the matter should have in- cluded Carneal taking full responsibility for his actions.
Teachers were also very supportive of the resource officer, because it relieved them of some of the more serious discipline duties that they did not really want. The Guns Troubled Children And Easy Access A depressed, insecure child is one thing, and quite common. An increase in enrollment at Heath is a central reason for the addition of the half- time counselor. However, they were not known as snobs. Paducah is a mixed-class community in which professionals like lawyers are at the top of the social pecking order. Strong suggested that he wanted to be brave.
He had had a girlfriend and was friends with several female classmates. He also stole hundred dollar bills from his fatherâs wallet and gave them to stu- dents at school. Kelly was a senior during Michaelâs freshman year, and their parents, John and Ann, were heavily involved with the school through support of Kellyâs activities. When Carneal arrived in the lobby, he walked through the Goth group, and put his bundle down by the wall. His sister said Michael wanted desperately to fit in and tried joking around and trying to help others. One important question that still remains unresolved is whether other students were involved in planning the attack.
While we cannot determine whether or not Michael Carneal met the diagnostic criteria for mental illness at the time of the shooting, we believe that his paranoia, fears, and misreading of social cues contributed to the shooting. On December 1st, he came with an arsenal: two shotguns, two rifles, two handguns. However, his career in the band was not altogether successful, since he and one other student were chosen to sit out of early competitions because the band did not have enough uniforms. Today there are only a handful of farms in McCracken County, and the main indus- tries include medical services, river shipping industries, railroad manu- facturing, chemical manufacturing, paper mills, and the nationâs only ura- nium enrichment plant. However, there is enough ambiguity in the situation to fuel community speculation that Carneal was not the only person involved or responsible for the outcome.