T.J. asks Summers if he has hurt anyone. Summers says “Well, there’s some people not in too good shape. I tell you this, I don’t think anybody is critical. I don’t think anybody is gonna die.” Summers leaves the room. T.J. breaks into sobs, says “oh, God” once and then “fuck” twice. He then gets down on his knees and puts his hands in praying position. Someone brings him food and coffee. Summers comes in and out, talking to him about baseball and trying to calm him.
At 9:53 a.m. his stepfather arrives. Robert Daniele immediately puts his arms around T.J. and strokes his head. They converse inaudibly. At this point, Summers reads them a Miranda warning. Daniele says he wants to get a lawyer, and Summers agrees but expresses his concern that they do not know what else T.J. may have left at the school. Daniele agrees that he is concerned about that also; he then asks what happened and why and T.J. repeatedly says that he does not know. At one point, Daniele tells T.J. to give him his hands and look him in the eye. T.J. does so and appears to relax somewhat, but he still cannot articulate an explanation.
At 11:35 a.m. his mother arrives. She does not touch him. She asks if that is his food and has it removed. She begins asking him what happened and scolds him. During the subsequent conversation she expresses her bewilderment, her anger, her shame, her concern for his sister, and the victims. She asks if he has prayed for the victims. He says he has.
She also asks him three separate times why he did not follow through killing himself. The first time, she says, “And you were going to kill yourself, I understand? How did that not happen?” T.J. replies “I decided not to.” She then repeats, in a mocking tone, “You decided not to, after you shot these five [sic, there were six] innocent people, you decided not to hurt yourself?”
She then expresses her ongoing frustration in communicating with him, saying, “Why didn’t you talk to me?” T.J. replies, “I was scared.” His mother says, “You were scared? You were too scared? But not scared enough to pull a gun on people? T.J., people are tryin’ to help you. I been tryin’ to help you. I couldn’t reach you. You pushed me away.”
After some more failed attempts to get him to explain his actions, she says, “This is the best place for you to be. I mean really. If you don’t know why you did it, how they can help somebody that don’t why they hurt human beings?” T.J. then raises his voice for the only time in the conversation and says, emphatically, “They can.” His mother replies, “No, they can’t. Those were children.” Several minutes later, she challenges him for the third time about his failure to kill himself: “I don’t know how you took innocent children but you were afraid to do anything to you. That really has me puzzled. You didn’t think twice about doing it to them.”