The son of a police detective shot two administrators at his high school on Wednesday (Jan.5,2011) and one of them later died in hospital, authorities said.
The 17-year-old student, Robert Butler, Jr., shot the principal and assistant principal, then left the school and killed himself in his car a few blocks away.
Butler, who transferred in November to Millard South High school, left a suicide note on a social media site that said the school “drove me to this.”
“Everybody that used to know me I’m sry but Omaha changed me and (expletive) me up and the school I attend is even worse ur gonna here about the evil (expletive) I did but that (expletive) school drove me to this. I wont u guys to remember me for who I was b4 this ik. I greatly affected the lives of the families ruined but I’m sorry. goodbye,” Butler posted on his Facebook page.
Butler had been suspended from the school on Wednesday morning, when classes resumed after the winter break, for using his vehicle to tear up the football field, local media reported.
Butler’s motive was under investigation, Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes told reporters, but his father was a police detective, which gave the son access to firearms.
“Tragedy has hit the Omaha Police Department as the suspect’s father is an Omaha Police detective,” Hayes said. “We are talking to him.”
Assistant principal Vicki Caspar was critically wounded in the shooting and died on Wednesday evening at a local hospital, a police statement said. She was a veteran administrator at the school, Millard Schools Superintendent Keith Lutz said.
The principal, Curtis Case, was in stable but serious condition at Creighton University Medical Center, according to spokeswoman Kelsey Archer. He had been at the school for five or six years, Lutz said.
The school was equipped with security cameras and guards and performed safety drills, Lutz said. “But nothing prepares you,” he said.
Some features of this accident: Hours after the school day ended, there’s still plenty of activity in the parking lot as students and parents come to get their vehicles. There are still reminders though of the tragic scene that unfolded here today.
“The whole, it would never happen to me comes back to mind and Millard South, it would never happen to Millard South and it kind of just took me by surprise and I’m not really sure what to think about it,” said senior Nate Fowler.
Many students did not know the shooter, Robert Butler Jr., he wasn’t at Millard South for very long.
“It’s insane, why would you even want to do that? Let alone go and kill yourself afterward. Why take someone else with you,” said senior Rebecca Lorence.
Some did know Butler, Junior Doug Coffin had a class with him and remembers his personality. “He was really outgoing, talkative. He wasn’t shy at all. I got to know him quick when he transferred.”
Coffin says he and Butler had a conversation Wednesday morning about some trouble Butler was in with school administrators. “He told me a story that he was drifting on the track and that was about it and he would have got like one week in Juvie or something like that and I know Miss Kaspar called him down to the office.”
There are tire tracks in the snow on the Millard South track and leading up to the stadium. It’s unknown if they were caused by Butler, but there are signs someone was there.
At 8:00 p.m., crime scene investigators were still collecting evidence. Despite the flashing lights and police tape, students had high hopes that the school will be back to normal soon.
“It’s a really, really traumatic thing and it’s all very surreal. I still feel kind of in shock that this would happen to me and all my friends in my school that I’ve known for three years,” said Junior Zakk Smith.
Smith and others realize though, that the healing will take time.
School for Millard South students has been canceled for Thursday