Oct 2, 2006

Gunman Opens Fire in Amish Schoolhouse

Left: Aerial view of the scene of the shooting courtesy of WPXI Pittsburgh

(Paradise, PA) An unknown gunman and hostage-taker killed "at least six" people at a one-room Amish schoolhouse Monday in Pennsylvania's eastern Lancaster County, and the shooter was among the dead, according to state police Cpl. Ralph Striebig.

The shooting occurred about 11 am at the Wolf Rock School in Paradise, Pennsylvania. CNN is reporting the location as Nickel Mines, PA.

"So far, six confirmed dead, and the helicopters are pulling into (Lancaster General Hospital) like crazy," Coroner G. Gary Kirchner said.

Police surrounded the school late Monday morning, and the Lancaster County 911 Web site reports that dozens of emergency units were dispatched to a "medical emergency" at 10:45 am. A list of the 22 units dispatched is available at this link.

Several dozen people in traditional Amish clothing, hats and bonnets have gathered near the building, speaking with one another and with police. At least two ambulances have already left the scene, and at least one person was taken to a medical helicopter for airlift.


McCaskey said...

Authorities now saying three dead, not including shooter. Seven kids hospitalized, at least one critical. He chose only female victims.
I grew up in Lancaster County and still have friends and family there. This is sickening.

Mark said...

I think it's time to push for some federal legislation upgrading school security. It might be too late to make it a hot-button issue for this election year, but something needs to be done on a large scale. This simply can't keep happening.

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

If we really want effective school security, it is NEVER going to come from the level of gov't that brought us the TSA.

To top things off, this was a private school, which wouldn't be subject to most federal mandates anyhow.

KarateCritic said...

It really has been a sad few weeks with alot of school shootings and violence over the last few weeks.

School administrators need to start looking at this as not a single one time type event but rather as a sickening trend, and get for themselves, staff and teachers expert training in the area of emergency response to weapons attacks. This training is available is inexpensive and could potentialy avert disaster.

In addition I feel like looking at the problems of bullying in schools as a real challenge that kids face and really listening to students when they report it instead of brushing it to the side will reduce the rage and resentment. This seems like a reoccuring theme.

Kathleen Marie said...

The killing of the young girl in Colorado was horrid enough and now this! What the heck is going on. These are children being terrorized and murdered for no reason. I agree, when need strong school security...suggestions?? These gunman are possessed.

Dariush said...

I don't believe any reactionary "let's improve security" steps will work in any way to prevent incidents like this from happening.

When I went to High School (graduated 1990), the administration was also very "security conscious." Hats and long coats/jackets were banned. All doors were padlocked during school hours. We even had a couple of undercover pigs (everyone pretty much knew who they were) in the school.

These kind of feel good, "we're doing something" authoritarian measures, never serve their intended purpose. We still had kids who brought weapons to school and used them. Although, back then, no firearms were involved. Just knives, machetes, bats and the like.

There are some underlying societal issues here that need to be addressed, but almost certainly won't be.

This goes back to the problem of hyperindividuation, atomization, rootlessness and general lack of community in this society.

It's significant that this person lived amongst the Amish, but was not of the Amish community.

Mark said...

I think dariush has a really good point in stating that there are some underlying societal interests that need to be addressed. And I should have been called out for suggesting that everything be fixed by federal legislation. I should have seen that such a suggestion is not going to cut it.

So here's a societal interest that needs to be addressed: gun violence. How much longer are we going to just sit back and say, "Guns don't kill, people do, so leave the damn thing alone?" Sure, people do kill, and more people need psychiatric help in this country than who actually receive such help. But stricter gun laws imposed upon particular individuals can surely not hurt, right?

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

How about just violence in general? Dangerous people are dangerous people; the implement they choose is secondary.

Violent crime has been cut in half since 1991, and was actually at its lowest level in 30 years until the slight uptick last year, even though there are millions more guns out there.

I haven't seen any stories suggesting that he bought the guns recently, so nothing shy of a total ban (which isn't politically feasible in the US anyway) would have stopped him, and probably not even that--how many suicide bombs have gone off in countries where guns aren't available?

Hooda Thunkit said...

Tragic thing Mike.

Why, there oughta be a law, something like, Thou shall not kill or something.

Oh yeah, that was one of those that we threw out, along with (you know who)...

A funny thing, that.