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Response continues as Red Lake seeks to heal

An update on the latest developments involving the fatal shootings on the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota.

Jeff Weise in a 2005 class photo.
Star Tribune: Red Lake School Shootings
Pioneer Press: Red Lake shooting
Accounts continue to roll in on 16-year-old Jeff Weise and his activities and behaviors prior to Monday's shootings. They largely focus on visits to web sites, including blogs that he kept detailing alleged abuse at home, hopelessness and "accumulated rage" throughout his life, as well as posts to the message board of a Nazi web site

According to The Smoking Gun website, he once posted online an animation featuring a character shooting four people and blowing up a police car before committing suicide. After shooting his grandfather, a veteran tribal police officer, and his grandfather's girlfriend, he took the police car to Red Lake High School and killed seven other people before taking his life.

Family members dispute descriptions of Weise as disturbed and some friends described him as funny and friendly. But fellow students said once spoke of shooting up the school and patterned himself after the shooters in the Columbine incident. "The clues were all there," his stepaunt Kim DesJarlait told The New York Times. "Everything was laid out, right there, for the school or the authorities in Red Lake to see it coming."

An Internet trail of a boy's death wish (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/24) pwlat
Troubling Internet postings clash with family's view of a happy Weise (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/24) pw1
Red Lake shooter's blogs provide frightening insight (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/24)
ONLINE POSTINGS (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/24)
Friend had dismissed Weise's threat (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/24)
Shooter Described as Disturbed (The Washington Post 3/24) pwpwd
Signs of Danger Were Missed in a Troubled Teenager's Life (The New York Times 3/24) pwnyt
Many theories, little solace (The Denver Post 3/24)

Funeral services are being scheduled for the victims of Monday's shootings. The Minneapolis Star Tribune lists services for four, including Daryl Allen Lussier, Weise's grandfather, and Michelle Leigh Sigana, his grandfather's partner.

One of the victims, school security officer Derrick Brun, 28, was killed trying to protect the school and prevent Weise from entering, surviving guard LeeAnn Grant said. "Derrick saved my life," Grant told The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

An injured student in critical condition, Jeffrey May, 15, told his family that he tried to stop Weise by stabbing him a pencil but that didn't work. May wrestled with Weise before being shot twice, May's brother said. May also dreamt about the incident the night before it happened. his mother said.

Services set for shooting victims (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/24)
Family faces the unthinkable (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/24) pw1
Red Lake Reservation Readies Burial Rituals (The Los Angeles Times 3/24) pwlat
Slain guard confronted shooter, co-worker says (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/24)
Slain Guard Called a Hero for Actions at School (The Washington Post 3/24)
Boy's dream foretold shootings (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/24)

The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service are coordinating the federal response to the tragedy. The BIA has sent uniformed officers and other personnel to the reservation along with social workers and a mobile community substation to help coordinate telecommunications among law enforcement.

The Bemidji Area Office of the IHS is dealing with health needs on the reservation and meeting with family members of the victims. Emergency funding are being released to the Red Lake Nation. "We are working with other Federal agencies to do all that we can to alleviate the suffering and lingering effects of this dreadful day," said IHS Director Dr. Charles Grim.

The tribe itself continues to restrict the movements of the media as the community deals with the crisis. "They are a very proud nation," Tom Heffelfinger, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, said at a press conference. "They will heal in their own way."

But the family of Derrick Brun, who was killed on Monday, criticized the tribe for limiting reporters to a certain area of the reservation. "The media shouldn't be censored like this," Victoria Brun, Derrick's mother, was quoted as saying.

Trauma, turmoil can last for years, experts advise (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/24)
'Being together ... helps' (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/24)
Indian rituals help begin healing process at Red Lake (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/24)
Reservation families pull together (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/24)
Fatal shortcomings of tribal sovereignty (The Guardian 3/24)
The world reaches out to Red Lake (USA Today 3/24)
Victim's family upset over media limits (AP 3/24)
Red Lake copes with attention, cultural differences (The Fargo Forum 3/24) pwday
A religion and a way of life meld in Red Lake (The Grand Forks Herald 3/24)
A Tribe Seeks a Cloak of Privacy (The New York Times 3/24)
Chippewa Indians draw a veil over their grief (The Independent Online 3/24)
Reservation's closing offers insight into Chippewa culture, belief (The Chicago Tribune 3/24)
School preparing to recover, restart (The St. Paul Pioneer Press / Duluth News Tribune 3/24)

Many Red Lake tribal members who live in the Twin Cities are seeking assistance to travel back home. The tribe's Red Lake Urban Office is arranging donations. They can be sent to: Red Lake urban office at the Franklin Business Center, 1433 E. Franklin Av., Suite 13A, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

In Minneapolis, Red Lake Ojbiwe long to head home (Minnesota Public Radio 3/24)

Also, donations for the victims and their families can be sent to:
Red Lake Nation Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 574
Red Lake, Minnesota 56671

Relevant Links:
Red Lake Net News -
Red Lake Nation -
Red Lake High School -