Tragedy at Red Lake: A tough day for many students

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
A federal grand jury has subpoenaed multiple youths as it investigates the shootings committed by Jeff Weise, 16. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that a female relative of Derrick Brun, 28, a security guard killed at the Red Lake High School, is one of those who has been subpoenaed. "If she had known something was going to happen to Derrick, why didn't she call somebody?" Victoria Brun, Derrick's sister, said.

News reports indicate several youths have been called before the grand jury. According to the Associated Press, two groups of students have been identified -- as many as nine who may have helped plan the attack and others who may have heard about it.

Since the case involves juveniles and the federal court system, the grand jury subpoenas indicate the investigation is gaining momentum, The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Unlike cases involving adults, the grand jury doesn't need to indict juveniles.

Guard's family member may have known of Weise's plan (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/13) pwlat
Feds looking at nine Red Lake kids (AP 4/13)
Federal grand jury prepares to take up probe (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 4/13) pw1
Jeff Weise 'ain't no victim in this' (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 4/13)

Donna Lewis, whose son Dewayne Lewis, 15, was killed in the attack, attended the first tribal council meeting since the shootings but walked out when someone said Weise was a victim. "He ain't no victim in this. He's the one that caused all of this," Lewis said, according to The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Lewis and her daughter Brittaney said they blame tribal leaders -- including Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr. -- and others for not doing something about Weise, who had a troubled upbringing. "They knew he was having problems," she said.

Chairman Jourdain spoke at the council meeting, which was closed to non-members. His son, Louis, 16, has been charged in connection with the incident but says he is innocent.

Jeff Weise 'ain't no victim in this' (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 4/13)
Tribal council holds meeting (The Grand Forks Herald 4/13)

It was a tough day for many on Tuesday, as classes resumed at the school where eight people died on March 21. Only about 90 students showed up, less than a third of the normal school population. "There were a lot of people who were sad or crying," Lee Neadeau, 15, told The Star Tribune. Counselors were on hand to help the students, who were given blankets and teddy bears to make it through the half-day of classes.

Some parents and students are showing reluctance, and outright refusal, to return to the place where their friends, fellow tribal members and a favorite teacher died. "My mom told me that I'm not ever going back to that school," Kara Stillday, 16, said. Her sister, Thurlene Stillday, was killed in the attack. "There is no way any of my children or my grandchildren will ever set foot in that building again," said Donna Lewis, whose son Dewayne was killed.

Others may need more time and help before going back, said Darrell Auginash, whose nephew, Ryan Auginash, was wounded. "Look at the students from Columbine," Auginash told The Pioneer Press. "It took them months before they were able to go back."

Some students have requested transfers to nearby districts but they are being rejected. Tina Buffalo tried to get daughter, Jamie Martin, 16, enrolled elsewhere. "She wants to go to school and get her education so she can graduate," Buffalo told The Pioneer Press. "But she just doesn't want to go back to Red Lake."

One oops and lots of hugs and smiles all around (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/13)
School resumes, but a chill remains (The St. Paul Pioneer Press 4/13)
At school or at home, it wasn't easy (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/13)
The need to go forward confronts lingering fears (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/13)
Reopening classrooms means opening hearts (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/13)
A day to live and learn (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 4/13)

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 -