60 on 6: Red Lake MassacreRed Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - It will go down as one of America's worst school shootings, and it happened in our own backyard in March of 2005.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Red Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - It will go down as one of America's worst school shootings, and it happened in our own backyard in March of 2005.
As WDAY marks its 60th year on the air, we are taking a look back at those stories that changed our region.
On our special, "60 on 6": The massacre at the Red Lake school.
Before heading out to school on that March 2005 morning, 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed his grandfather, a tribal police officer, as he slept. He also shot and killed his grandfather's girlfriend. Weise then took his grandpa's police-issued gun belt and bullet-proof vest and police car, and headed to the high school.
“I turned around and there was Jeff Weise. He pointed a gun at me and started shooting.”
He first shot the security guard who stood near a metal detector. Then, Weise randomly shot students and teachers; five in one room.
“I know one student stepped right in front of another, his friend, and got shot.”
“My teacher pushed the desk in front of the door. We barricaded the door.”
When the day ended, 10 people, including Weise, were dead. He took his life when tribal police caught up with him in the school.
“I went to school with this guy since sixth grade. I never expected something like this to happen.”
“One sustained a gunshot wound that entered in his cheek area.”
Five were hospitalized… Some airlifted here to Fargo; two with critical gunshot wounds to the head.
The shootings attracted media from across the county. It was the worst school massacre since Columbine.
“He was calm and collected. He was not scared.”
And within hours, the link was made between Weise and a neo-Nazi website. He called himself the “Angel of Death” and “Native Nazi.” He even posted a disturbing animated video he made called Target Practice.
“Wicked drawings of school shootings; hanging there dead.”
For months to come, the reservation, FBI and school violence experts tried to piece together the hows and why.
“The darkest days in the history of our people.”
The tragedy would forever scar Red Lake; this from a boy who once posted that his hobbies include planning, waiting and hating.
Following the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, students from Red Lake traveled to Newtown, Connecticut to comfort families.