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Officials continue investigation into school shooting

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US. Marshal’s Office have joined the investigation into the shooting incident at Van Buren Elementary Thursday afternoon, while local authorities continue to provide security for the county and work on reinforcing security at the football sectional game scheduled at Northview High School tonight.

“The federal authorities have greater resources, which are not available at the local level of law enforcement,” Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said about the availability of federal background check assistance and records and resources from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms department. “We are following up on tips provided by the public.”

Heaton said detectives have followed up on tips and interviewed numerous people from around the Wabash Valley in the past 24 hours.

Off-duty officers at the Clay County Sheriff’s and the Brazil City Police departments have been called in to provide additional security at the local schools and help track down leads in the investigation while on-duty officers provide security for the county and city.

Working on the security plans when contacted by The Brazil Times, Heaton said there would be additional security in place at the football sectional at Northview High School.

“We are doing everything we can without dumping all our resources into the school investigation,” he said. “We want to provide security for the entire county and its citizens.”

Shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday, a bullet pierced both glass door windows on the west side of Van Buren Elementary and went into the ceiling of the cafeteria area. No one was injured by the confirmed single shot itself, but flying glass from the broken window struck an unidentified male custodian standing in the area.

The custodian was taken to St. Vincent Clay Hospital where he was later treated and released for eye injuries. The custodian was able to return to work Friday along with the rest of the staff and students.

Indiana State Police Crime Scene Technician Sgt. Jason Fajt is investigating several bullets taken from the school’s west outside wall, next to the cafeteria area, to see whether they match the bullet found in the cafeteria area.

Officials are seeking assistance with any information about two white male suspects driving a black or shiny black, late-model, full-size van with no side windows, seen traveling north on Harmony Road at the time of the incident.

To report information about this case, contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Department at 446-2535, extension 5, or the Indiana State Police at 1-800-742-0717.

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What is wrong with people these days?

-- Posted by Bruther on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 12:31 PM

As anyone stopped and realized that Van Buren is in a Rural Area...and hunters live in the same area....and Hunting Season is fast approaching, actualy I believe it's already in effect for certain Game.....As the thought crossed anyones mind that perhaps some hunters were in the Woods a little ways down the road, or perhaps some one was preparing for hunting season nearby...and this is simply a case of a couple of stray rounds.....and perhaps this Van with 2 guys in it, just happened to be passing by at the time......

I'm no Law Enforcement Expert but I do know that what were being told doesn't equate to ANY school shootings I've heard about.....

I'm NOT trying to discredit anything or Divert attention.....I'm trying to throw some alternatives out there...as it seems Everyone in the States has gone into Overdrive on this......The fact that the FBI and the Federal Marshall Services are in Town now sparked this in me.....

Still, People...Stop and think..don't just go overboard and expect the worse here....It is VERY Scary that it happened, especially in Brazil.......I was shocked and scared when I Read it on my Local TV Stations Website(I live in Lafayette)....But the more I think abou tit, the more I have to wonder if this isn't gonna end in a bad way.

-- Posted by Fitch9392 on Fri, Oct 19, 2007, at 3:31 PM

Hunting accident? I can't see that. To strike that side of the building the bullet would have to have been shot from the west. Thats all open field for about 3/4 a mile. The report says there was more than one shot. I can't see that being an accident.

The one that passed through the window was reported to have passed through the ceiling too. That would indicate that the person was shooting at an upward angle. That would be consistent with the shot a person would have to take if they were sitting in a vehicle aiming at the school. The Cafeteria is a few feet above ground level, so to shoot it where they did one would have to aim upwards. There is no way a person could have accidentally made that shot. If a person was hunting in the woods, for one, they would have to have a high powered riffle to make the shot from that distance. Even if so, that would be one heck of a shot, there is a small line of trees and a big barn in the way. Not to mention that when a bullet is fired a long distance it has gravity and wind to contend with. Both making it pretty much impossible for the bullet to be fired from that grate a distance and still have an upwards trajectory.

It would be nice if this was all just an accident. But I can't see it as being one. I think a couple of idiots set out to do something that would make the news. And they did just that. I'm guessing whoever they are, were probably watching the news getting a good laugh. But now that this story has gone national, and the feds are involved, they are probably coming to the realization of just how bad they screwed up their lives. Next knock at the door could be the law. Its not really a matter of if they will get caught, its just a matter of when. And they will get caught.

The law will get their men. They wanted the attention, they got it. They could have done just about any stupid crime and got some local attention. A mention in the paper, something to brag about to their friends. But no, they took a shot at a school! They screwed up big! This isn't just a slap on the hand community service deal. No, this is the big time, this is federal time, for a long, long time.

-- Posted by Big Bad Si on Sat, Oct 20, 2007, at 6:40 AM

Unfortunately, there is a lot wrong with people these days.

-- Posted by meharber on Sat, Oct 20, 2007, at 7:43 AM

My eight year old step son attends Van Buren Elementary and his class room runs along the same side as the cafeteria where the shooting took place. I was happy to hear how quickly the school staff responded and went into a lockdown.

I do however have some concerns. It appears the school was ready to respond to an emergengy, but the police were not so prepared. If the van was identified by two people that accuratly gave a description and gave the direction the van was heading; where were the road blocks? Sure the police force was at the school in a matter of minutes but couldn't they have had the road blocks set up in the same matter of minutes? We didn't need everyone at the school because the van was already gone.

If this was a hunting accident and the van just happened to be passing by; the driver of that van needs to come forward so law enforcement can do their job.

Lastly, what measures are being taken to ensure the safety of our children come monday? My instinct is to just pull up a chair next to him in his classroom.

-- Posted by Cleghorn on Sat, Oct 20, 2007, at 9:28 AM

If these people were just passing the school by coincidence don't you think they would have came forward by now? Somethings not right. I wish it were an accident because I see no reason for this but it does not look like an accident to me.

-- Posted by petmonster on Sun, Oct 21, 2007, at 11:25 AM

While I don't support the hunting theory, I do realize it's possible. Check out this story from CNN. A police officer was shooting at a snake in a tree and hit a 5-year-old boy who was fishing with his grandfather.


And I'm sure the police have solid leads. How many black vans are there with missing windows? This incident is so well-publicized that a neighbor has or will alert police. Give it time, folks.

I'm just relieved no one was hurt. Thank God.

-- Posted by JJBrazil on Sun, Oct 21, 2007, at 11:08 PM

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