. "3. Bad Things Happen in Good Communities: The Rampage Shooting in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, and Its Aftermath." Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
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Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence
tive reports, there was a girl that Andrew and one of his friends had been harassing that spring, “one minute saying she was beautiful, next minute saying she was a whore.” Justin had confronted Andrew and told him to knock it off, which he did. We don’t know if Andrew had planned ahead to shoot Justin. In describing to Sadoff what had happened that night, Andrew indicated that Justin had been staring at him and challenged him to shoot him. Clearly, Robert Zemcik, the boy hit by the bullet intended for Justin Fletcher, was not an intended victim, nor do police think that classmate Jacob Tury was targeted. Regarding the teacher who was wounded, Edrye May Boraten, police simply have no idea whether Andrew shot at her in particular.
According to police investigators, some kids at the dance thought that Andrew’s former girlfriend was an intended target, and there were reports that several of them shielded her from Andrew’s sight to protect her. Even though they had stopped dating, it was clear that Andrew was still infatuated by her. He had asked her to the dance, but she declined and came instead with one of Andrew’s friends. After being apprehended by James Strand and the two teachers, Andrew asked for this girl by name, hoping to talk with her. Stories also circulated that Andrew had targeted a second girl who had laughed at him when he asked her to go to the dance. While there is no firm evidence that Andrew had wanted to target either girl, it is revealing that their classmates thought that he did.
Andrew had signaled to friends for a few weeks his intentions to do something “memorable” at the dinner dance. According to these students, they did not take Andrew’s statements seriously, knowing he had a “sick sense of humor,” and they failed to notify either their parents or school officials. Even the night of the dinner dance, a group of Andrew’s friends thought he might have brought a gun to kill himself, and while they checked in with him to make sure he was okay, no one alerted a school chaperone about their fears.
During her interview with Sadoff, one girl said that Andrew had told her he was not going to be around after the dance because he was going to shoot nine people and then himself. She asked him why, and he answered that he hated his life. In other conversations with her, Andrew said he wanted to shoot his parents. Why didn’t she take him seriously? Andrew was always saying odd things, she said, such as calling himself “Your God, Satan.” He wanted people to think he was dangerous, she explained, but she didn’t really think he was. Similarly, a friend of Andrew’s visited the Wurst home on April 11, almost two weeks prior to the shooting. While at the house, Andrew showed the boy a handgun and