prayer, Carneal slowly fired three shots and then five in rapid succession, making an arc around the lobby. He would later say that he was not aiming the weapon but simply firing into the crowd. Every bullet struck a fellow student. Kelly Carneal was not in the prayer group but witnessed the shooting. She said later that she would not even have recognized her brother if she had not seen his clothes and his face. His posture was different and he seemed larger than his normal self when he was holding the gun. Carneal told one psychiatrist that he felt like he was in a dream.
Carneal stopped firing when he saw bullet holes in the wall and Nicole Hadley laying on the floor covered in blood, with another friend of Carneal’s calling her name. He put the gun on the ground. When the student leader of the prayer group came over to Carneal, yelling at him, Carneal reportedly asked the youth to kill him. The principal, Bill Bond, came running out of his office, pushed the prayer leader away and led Carneal to the office, putting him in the conference room with Carneal’s homeroom teacher, who reported that Carneal did not seem to recognize what he had done. He asked many questions, but Carneal would not answer them. The only thing he would talk about was the guns: where he got them, what kind they were, and where the ammunition was. He could not say what he had planned to do. When the school bells rang, students were told to go to class, and they did, including at least two of the victims who were wounded.
One important question that still remains unresolved is whether other students were involved in planning the attack. Two days after the shooting, the county sheriff stated to the media that he believed other students conspired with Carneal prior to the shooting because, he reasoned, Carneal could not have used so many guns himself but must have anticipated others helping him. 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. Carneal had four other firearms, multiple sets of earplugs, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition with him the day of the shooting. While he denied any sort of conspiracy in formal interviews with the police and his lawyer, he did reportedly talk to a police officer transporting him between one jail and another about how the group had planned the shooting and the other students were supposed to help him take over the school. As hearsay, these statements were not admissible in court and later Carneal retracted the statements, insisting that he had acted alone and that he had just been telling the police what he thought they wanted to hear. In addition, one of the suspected co-conspirators was seen staring at the crime scene and smiling immediately after the shooting. Some of the suspected co-conspirators were evasive in inter