Saturday, March 18, 2006

Reno Shooting: Columbine Copycat

Court documents reveal chilling details about Reno middle school shooting
March 18, 2006

Shocking new details are emerging about why a 14-year-old boy allegedly opened fire, injuring two students at a Reno middle school Tuesday morning [March 14, 2006].

Court documents, filed Thursday, shed new light on what was already a profoundly disturbing case.

Police quote James Scott Newman as saying he planned his attack on his fellow students for a week before taking a gun to school.

Court documents filed by the Reno Police Department offer chilling details of Newman's interview with detectives after he was arrested at Pine Middle School on Tuesday morning. They quote Newman as saying he, "Was tired of others making fun of him..." and planned the shooting for a week by "Research[ing] the Columbine High School shooting on the Internet, and this further inspired him to do the shooting."

Taking a gun from his parents' bedroom, and using three bullets that were part of a bullet collection his father gave him the day before, police say he armed himself in a school bathroom, and emerged carrying the loaded gun.

When he spotted one of his friends, who told him to put the gun away, "Newman told his friend to run."

According to the report, he chose a male student at random, "Aimed the firearm at [his] back and pulled the trigger twice. The gun did not fire as the hammer fell on two empty chambers."

Police say Newman started walking along with the student, still aiming the gun at his back and pulling the trigger before successfully firing the weapon three times, hitting the student once.

Newman was then stopped by gym teacher Jencie Fagan who held him until police arrived.

During questioning later, the report says Newman told officers, "He was unsure if he would be able to kill more than one person, as he only had three rounds."

On Thursday, Reno police, in accordance with a search warrant, seized Newman's computer and are analyzing it for further evidence.

Police say it's unlikely that Newman's parents will be charged with any crime in connection with the gun because they say there were gun locks and other reasonable security methods used at their home.

Newman will be arraigned in Reno Justice Court by video camera from the Washoe County Jail, where he remains held on 150-thousand dollars bail.

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