Tragedy at Red Lake: Investigation of shootings widens

An update on the latest developments involving the March 21, 2005, fatal shootings on the Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota.

Star Tribune: Red Lake School Shootings
Pioneer Press: Red Lake shooting
Authorities believe up to 20 teens on the Red Lake Reservation may have known about Jeff Weise's plans to shoot up the Red Lake High School, and as many as four may have helped plan the attack, according to news reports. More than dozen teens have been interviewed and computers have taken from their homes and the school's computer labs in hopes of finding more information about the deadly incident.

So far only one teen, Louis Jourdain, 16, the son of Red Lake Nation Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr. has been arrested in connection with the shootings, but more arrests are possible. Louis Jordain has been charged with conspiracy in federal court as a juvenile. The FBI says the people who may be involved communicated online via e-mail and instant messages.

The alleged involvement of Chairman Jourdain's son has raised questions about his leadership but he says he won't resign. "Imagine the worst nightmare you could ever have and it keeps getting worse and you can't wake up," Jourdain told The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

'Up to 20 kids' may have known about Red Lake shooting plot (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 4/2) pw1
Others Aware of Red Lake Plans, Officials Say (The Washington Post 4/2) pwpwd
After Tragedy, Turmoil on Reservation (Newsday 4/3)
Inquiry on School Attack May Include 20 Students (The New York Times 4/3) pwnyt
Jourdain: Tribe needs leader, despite son's alleged involvement (AP 4/2) pw1
Tribal chairman says he won't resign, defends son (AP 4/2) pwlat
Red Lake chairman's 'nightmare' got worse (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/2) pwlat

The final funeral for the victims who were killed in the shootings was held on Saturday. Dewayne Lewis, 15, was laid to rest during a traditional ceremony in Ponemah. He was a traditional grass dancer and sang in an Ojibwe pow-wow group.

Chase Lussier, 15, another student killed, left behind a girlfriend and son who was just 3 months old. Alex Roy, 14, said Chase encouraged her to go back to school after the birth of their son, Ayden Lussier.

Meanwhile, two survivors who suffered severe injuries are doing better in the hospital. Jeff May, 15, is in guarded condition after being shot in the face. Steven Cobenais, 15, is still in critical condition but has improved after being shot in the forehead and losing his left eye.

The state of Minnesota is asking for $250,000 in federal aid for the families of the victims.

Final Red Lake funeral held (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/3)
Final funeral is for DeWayne Lewis, 15 (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 4/3)
Tears for a loving partner (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/3)
Hospital upgrades condition of wounded Red Lake teen to 'guarded' (AP 4/2)
Most-severely wounded showing improvement (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/2)
Federal aid sought for victims (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 4/3)

The two elementary schools on the reservation were due to reopen today but school board members voted to delay until April 11 out of concerns for security. They also delayed a vote on the reopening of the high school and middle school where the shootings took place. The high school building may not open for the remainder of the year at all. Some teachers are being allowed back in.

Counselors have been providing services on the reservation but some are also relying on Ojibwe tradition for support. Elders held a ceremony on Friday to give teens and their families a forum to talk about the incident. "Happy. I felt happy finally after coming here," Taria Aubid, 17, told The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The tribe has welcomed the support is has received from Indian Country and around the world. Secretary Judy Roy said the incident has shown that the tribe must do more for its youth. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, after experiencing 17 teen suicides in less than two years, began work on a youth center to provide a place for youth on the reservation.

Security concerns keep Red Lake schools closed (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/2)
Red Lake teachers return to halls (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/4)
Red Lake teachers to be allowed back in school (AP 4/3)
Seeking healing in the old ways (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/2)
An attempt at healing on the Red Lake Reservation (Minnesota Public Radio 4/3)
Their advice: Kids must have reasons for hope (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/4)
RED LAKE SHOOTINGS: Coming home to help (The Grand Forks Herald 4/3)
Violence-themed rap promoter denies role in inspiring Red Lake shootings (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/4)

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 -