In May, two teenagers walked into STEM School Highlands Ranch, near Denver, Colorado, and opened fire on a classroom, which resulted in multiple casualties, including one fatality.
Until Thursday, police records detailing accounts of what happened according to both teens, Alec McKinney, 16, and Devon Erickson, 18, were sealed. The reported motive behind the tragic attack has been revealed and it’s a shocker.
According to Associated Press, McKinney, who identifies as a male, was angry at students who constantly teased him for his gender identity. He told law enforcement that students called him “disgusting” and often referred to him “as a she.”
The police document said, “he wanted the kids at the school to experience bad things, have to suffer from trauma like he had had to in his life.”
During police interviews, the shooter said, “he wanted everyone in that school to suffer and realize that the world is a bad place.”
Though McKinney reportedly planned the May 7 attack for weeks, the plan became real on May 6 when McKinney sent Erickson a SnapChat message telling him not to go to school the next day.
He explained to Erickson that he was ready to exact revenge “on a lot of people.”
The next day, both teens went to Erickson’s house on their lunch break, where McKinney reportedly threatened Erickson with an ax and ordered him to open a gun safe in the home.
The two retrieved four guns from the safe — three handguns and one rifle — and loaded them. The report also said that the two teens used cocaine while at Erickson’s house.
Knowing they wouldn’t be searched, the two entered the campus through the middle school building. They specifically targeted classroom 107 and at that point, the two teens’ stories detail a different series of events taking place.
Erickson claimed he witnessed McKinney reach for a gun, which prompted him to tell everyone in the room to get down. When Erickson saw a group of students rush him, he claimed that’s what “prompted the gun to go off.”
McKinney’s version describes the two entering the classroom at the same time and yelling “nobody move” and only fired after he saw Erickson fire a shot. According to the report, McKinney “said he shot the revolver until it was empty and then shot the Glock until it was empty.”
Either way, we learned that within the group who tackled the shooters, one of them, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, heroically died in his attempt to save his fellow students after succumbing to a gunshot wound.
Though McKinney told police that the attack was revenge for other students not recognizing his preferred gender, one has to wonder if his violent attack stemmed from the LGBT narrative that calling someone by the wrong pronoun should be a triggering microaggression.
Sure, the concept of gender identity is fairly new and LGBT people will likely be questioned and even teased until, or if, it’s ever widely accepted in America. However, killing innocent people because one is angry about it should be condemned by all sides.
While nobody will really understand what McKinney endured mentally from being teased and called the wrong pronoun, at some point he decided that the best way to get revenge on students was to take their lives, which is obviously far from acceptable.
Instead of seeking counseling or making an effort to switch schools or countless other possible outcomes to improve his situation, he decided instead to do hard drugs, obtain firearms and commit cold-blooded murder.
It seems to me that instead of immediately pushing for gun control legislation, the LGBT community should educate teens like McKinney and teach them that there are alternative, non-violent methods of dealing with the resulting issues that arise from being different.
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