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Tragedy at Red Lake Reservation: Farewells and funerals

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

The FBI has arrested the son of Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr. in connection with last week's deadly shootings, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The paper identifies the youth as Louis Jourdain. U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger wouldn't confirm the person's identity or say how he is linked to the incident.
Tribal chairman's son arrested in Red Lake school shootings (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/28)
Arrest Made in Minn. School Shooting (The Washington Post 3/28)
Juvenile Arrested in Connection to Minnesota School Shooting (AP 3/28)


Jeff Weise in a 2005 class photo.
Star Tribune: Red Lake School Shootings
Pioneer Press: Red Lake shooting
The Minneapolis Star Tribune and The St. Paul Pioneer Press attempt to piece together the events of last Monday.Jeff Weise reportedly ate lunch with relatives at his grandmother's house. A teacher from Red Lake High School, where he attended before being suspended, had come by to drop off an assignment.

Sometime after lunch, he reportedly headed to the home of his grandfather, Daryl Lussier, 58, and Lussier's companion, Michelle Sigana, 32. Lussier, a veteran tribal police officer, had recently taken the midnight shift to spend more time with Sigana, who worked the midnight shift at the tribe's casino. Weise shot and killed them both with a .22 rifle that may or may not have belonged to Lussier, according to the reports.

Bearing his grandfather's bulletproof vest and more guns, Weise arrived at the school around 2:55pm and begins firing shots. Derrick Brun, 28, a security guard is killed near the entrance as he confronted Weise. LeeAnn Grant, 20, another guard, fled and was not injured.

Teachers and students hear shots and begin calling 911 to report the incident. Teachers lock doors to their classrooms as student hide under desks. Moving through the hallway, Weise reportedly shoots twice through a closed door, hitting Cody Thunder, 15.

Heading back into the hall, Weise reportedly goes after English teacher Neva Rogers, 62, and some students who tried to hide in a classroom. He shoots and kills Rogers before killing Dewayne Lewis, 15, Chanelle Rosebear, 15, Alicia White, 14, Thurlene Stillday, 15, and Chase Lussier, 15. He wounds Jeffrey May, 15, and several others, not all of whom have been identified.

Weise reportedly goes back into the hall and continues shooting before tribal police enter the building and reportedly shoot at Weise, who returned fire. He reportedly goes back into the classroom where he had wounded Lance Crowe, 15. At 3:05pm, he fired a single shot, killing himself.

A week soaked in tears: 'Planning. Waiting. Hating,' he wrote (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/27) pwlat
Driven to a 'darker path' (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/28) pw1
10 MINUTES OF TERROR (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/28)
Family Wonders if Prozac Prompted School Shootings (The New York Times 3/26) pwnyt

Three funerals were held on Saturday. Daryl Lussier Sr., 58, and his companion, Michelle Sigana, 32, were buried together at a ceremony in Red Lake attended by hundreds, including Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) and Sens. Mark Dayton (D) and Norm Coleman (R). Chase Lussier, 15, was buried in a separate ceremony on Saturday in Red Lake also attended by hundreds.

Thurlene Stillday, 15, was buried on Sunday. She was laid to rest at the family's burial ground in Ponemah.

The funerals for the remaining victims will take place today and Saturday. Jeff Weise is being buried today.

Day of remembrance in Minnesota (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/28)
Farewell to Thurlene Stillday (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/28)
More funerals (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/28)
Drums echo the loss touching everyone (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/27)
Beliefs mingle during funeral rites (The Grand Forks Herald 3/27)
Tribe Buries 3 on a Long Road to Healing (The New York Times 3/27)
Family begins two-day vigil beside White's casket (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/27)
Teacher Killed in Minn. Shootings Praised (AP 3/28)
Chase Lussier, 15 (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/27)
Daryl Lussier, 58 (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/27)
Michelle Sigana, 32 (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/27)
Derrick Brun, 28, and other victims (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/27)
The first of the final farewells (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/26)
Bush, Pawlenty offer support as first Red Lake funerals take place (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/26)
Minnesotans Mourn Slaying Victims (The Washington Post 3/26) pwpwd

Steven Cobenais, 15, was shot in the left side of his forehead and lost his left eye. He remains in critical condition at MeritCare in Fargo, North Dakota

Jeffrey May, 15, underwent surgery last week at MeritCare after being shot in the face. He suffered a stroke that has paralyzed his left side. It is not known whether the paralysis will be permanent.

Cody Thunder, 15, was released from a hospital in Bemidji, Minnesota, on Friday, and he attended the funeral services on the weekend. Lance Crowe, 15, and Ryan Auginash, 15, were also released on Saturday.

Stories of heroism buoy survivors (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/28)
Wounded boy holding own; 2nd leaves hospital (AP 3/26)

President Bush finally spoke about the shootings in his weekly radio address on Saturday. He spoke to Red Lake Nation Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr. on Friday to offer condolences and support.

The tribe continues to grieve over the incident, considered a very private affair by Jourdain and others. Jourdain endured criticism for restricting the movements of reporters but lifted the policy as the funerals approached. "It is rare that the media come to the reservation to visit," he told The Grand Forks Herald. But now they want full and unrestricted access, he noted.

Tribal chair wins praise for leadership (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/28)
A sovereign nation and its ways (The Grand Forks Herald 3/27)
Band fiercely protective of community (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/27)
Tribe Responds to Killings With Grief Rather Than Anger (The Washington Post 3/27)
Kindred spirits (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/28)
Prayers, but not song, come easily as community mourns (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/27)
During radio address, Bush praises guard (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/27)
'Bravery cost him his life' (AP 3/27)

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
Franklin Business Center
1433 E. Franklin Ave
Suite 13A
Minneapolis, MN 55404

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
How to help the Red Lake people (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/27)

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