Details emerge on tragedy at Red Lake Reservation

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

A photo of Jeff Weise at age 9.
Star Tribune: Red Lake School Shootings
News accounts settled on the age of Jeff Weise after authorities said he was 16 years old. He was raised in Minneapolis and frequently moved between Red Lake and the Twin Cities. He was a sophomore at Red Lake High School but may have been held back a couple of grades.

Much attention is being paid to Weise's upbringing, his apparent fascination with Nazis and Adolf Hitler and any "warning signs" of trouble. His father, Daryl Lussier Jr., committed suicide in July 1997 following a police standoff. His mother, Joanne Weise, suffered brain damage after a serious alcohol-related car accident and now lives in a nursing home.

People describe Weise as a quiet, smart kid who liked "Goth" fashion, music and culture. He was reported to be 6 feet tall and 250 pounds. He lived with his paternal grandmother on the reservation. His grandfather, who was killed, lived in a separate home on the reservation with his companion who was also killed.

Within the past couple of years, he began to frequent a neo-Nazi web site,, where he posted messages about being Native American. He once wrote that he was accused of threatening to "shoot up the school" on the anniversary of Hitler's birthday on April 20, 2004, according to cached versions of his posts.

Whether any of this explains why he killed nine other and himself on Monday is not known. Authorities are still searching for a motive for his deadly spree but say he planned it well. After shooting his grandfather, a veteran tribal police officer, and his grandfather's companion with a .22-caliber rifle, he took his grandfather's 12-gauge shotgun, .40-caliber handgun, bulletproof vest and police vehicle to the school. He may or may not have been shot by a tribal police offer who responded to the scene before shooting himself.

School shooting: familiar echoes, new concerns (The Christian Science Monitor 3/23)
Jeff Weise: A mystery in a life full of hardship (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/23) pwlat
Shooter had a plan, FBI says (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/23) pwlat
Chronology of a shooting spree (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/23) pwlat
Ten minutes of terror (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/23) pw1
On surface, 16-year-old matched FBI's model (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/23) pw1
School shootings motive sought (AP 3/23)
Teenage killer used police vest, car (CBC 3/23)
Rampage in Minn. Mirrors Other Cases (The Washington Post 3/23) pwpwd
Gunman Found Haven on Nazi Web Site (The Washington Post 3/23) pwpwd
Behind the Why of a Rampage, Loner With a Taste for Nazism (The New York Times 3/23) pwnyt
Nazi Site Intrigued Shooter (The Los Angeles Times 3/23) pwlat

Thurlene Stillday, 15, one of the victims.
Seven people, including five students, were killed at the Red Lake High School. They were: teacher Neva Rogers, 62; Derrick Brun, 28, a security guard; Dwayne Lewis, 15; Chase Lussier, 15; Alicia Spike, 15; Thurlene Stillday, 15; and Chanelle Rosebear, 15.

Five victims remain hospitalized. They are: Steven Cobenais, 15; Jeffrey May, 15; Ryan Augunash, 15; Lance Crowe, 15; and Cody Thunder, 15. Cobenais and May are in critical condition after suffering serious injuries.

All the victims were tribal members. It was not clear whether Rogers was a tribal member. She was a popular English teacher who had previously taught on the reservation.

Wounded boys fight to survive (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/23) pwlat
Profiles of Victims, Shooter (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/23) pwlat
Heartbroken friends remember those they lost Monday (The Duluth News Tribune 3/23) pw1

A ceremony at the State Capitol.
The Red Lake Nation is largely closed to outsiders. Access by the media and the public is being restricted as law enforcement authorities investigate the scene. Local officials warned people to stay away from the reservation and Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr. restricted reporters' activities to a certain area of the reservation.

Others urged the public to allow the community to grieve. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Association of School Psychologists have sent teams to the reservation to respond to people in need of counseling or other services.

A ceremony was held at the Minnesota State Capitol to begin the healing process. The Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe brought the community together for a ceremony at the tribal school yesterday. Another ceremony was held in Bemidji at the North Country Regional Hospital, where three of the victims were being treated.

Tribal leaders restrict reporters' movements (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 3/23) pw1
Prayers for healing offered on steps of State Capitol (AP 3/23)
Red Lake shooting: 'A deep, deep pain' (The Grand Forks Herald 3/23)
10 minutes of terror (The Duluth News Tribune 3/23) pw1
'A Very Quiet Sense of Shock' (The Washington Post 3/23) pwpwd
Grieving reservation shuts world out (The Herald Sun 3/23)
A rapid response to help the healing (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/23) pwlat

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 -