Is there any parent among us who dreams their child is someday going to go nuts, pull out a gun, and open fire on people at school? I don't think so. And surely, Police Detective Robert Butler is in much shock, grief, and anguish today after his 17-year-old son Robert Butler Jr., a senior at Millard South High School in Omaha, shot the school's principal Curtis Case and the assistant principal Vicki Kaspar before driving off campus and turning the gun on himself.
Principal Case is in stable but serious condition, and Assistant Principal Kaspar is in critical condition; however, thankfully they are both alive. Not so for young Butler who died by that self-afflicted gunshot. No other students were physically injured today.
Young Butler posted his intentions on his Facebook page before shots rang out at the school. So could this crime have been prevented?
Butler, who had only been at Millard for a few months after transferring from a school in Lincoln (not a forced transfer, by the way), put up the following Facebook status update today via mobile phone:
Everybody that used to know me I'm sry but Omaha changed me and (expletive) me up. and the school I attend is even worse ur gonna here about the evil (expletive) I did but that (expletive) school drove me to this. I wont u guys to remember me for who I was b4 this ik. I greatly affected the lives of the families ruined but I'm sorry. goodbye.
Now I don't assume that Facebook has anyone reading updates looking for crime alerts like this or that anyone else, students or family, had the chance, on a work/school day, to read the update before it was too late. But it's so clear in this update that this boy was seriously off kilter. Were there no signs before this day? Or didn't anyone take the signs seriously?
Of course, it seems like another case of, "He was popular with students and seemed real pleasant," according to Butler's former principal at Southwest, Rob Slauson, who also described Butler as "a fairly normal, average" student. So is it possible this troubled kid could hide these terrifying thoughts and feelings?
More will surely be revealed, but no information will make this story any easier to stomach.
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Image via BobbyProm