Shooter Was Caught With Knife Last School Year

A student is comforted by his mother after he went out of the school where a teacher was shot dead by a teenager on Monday in Viljandi. (AFP Photo/Scanpix)
10/28/2014 9:21 AM
Category: Society

As the search for a motive in the slaying of a teacher at a Viljandi school Monday goes on, it has come to light that the 15-year-old shooter had a run-in with police and school authorities earlier in the year over possession of a knife.

The boy, who has not been named by the Estonian media, came under police and school attention after an anti-narcotics operation on April 16 found the blade.

The boy was not otherwise involved in any illegal activity and did not have a criminal record. On that occasion, the boy's parents were spoken to about the knife. Original reports were that the parents complained, saying their son was mistreated at that time, but this information was later controverted.

By coincidence, the school's board of trustees met 10 days ago to discuss the case, including the narcotics operation, as a follow-up formality, police director general Elmar Vaher told uudised.err.ee. In his comments, Vaher said such operations, where students are frisked for drugs and weapons, were essential and would continue in the future.

A minor found guilty of manslaughter could be sentenced for up to 10 years. In Estonia, a person is capable of guilt if at the time of commission of the act he or she is mentally capable and at least 14 years of age.

School director: parents should be among children's FB friends

Paalalinna school director Aavo Palo said that classes would go on as scheduled tomorrow, but teachers would start the day with a briefing and training and then provide guidance throughout the day, as well as all manner of crisis counseling.

He said teachers had received school shooting training years ago. The response to the crisis on Monday was calm and measured, he said, aided by the fact that the student had surrendered his weapon and given up after killing the teacher. Palo himself did not speak to the shooter, the school information resource officer spoke to the student.

The student had no behavioral problems and was an above-average student, Palo said. However, as some worrisome clues to instability were posted on the pupil's Facebook profile, including weapons videos and hints at suicide, Palo said it was important for parents to be aware of what their children were posting.


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