In the wake of the recent Maryland school shooting, there is just one question everyone wants an answer to: Why? It's not only on the mind of parents, students, teachers, and victims. It's something even suspect Robert Wayne Gladden Jr.'s family is asking too.
With the 15-year-old being held without bail on charges of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault, his father shed some light on what his son may have been going through when he opened fire on the first day of school.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the dad revealed that his son had been bullied. It's a familiar excuse, I know, but nevertheless an important detail. Kids who are bullied often feel alone and like they have no one to turn to who will help make things better. Now, it seems, his father may feel as powerless as his son in the wake of this shooting. A family statement read: "We are horrified. We did not see this coming and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and the victim's family."
Revealing that Robert was the victim of bullies doesn't explain away this horrific crime, but it's clear that this parent is grieving too. It must have been startling to learn of Robert's final Facebook update:
First day of school, last day of my life. ...f-- the world.
I can’t imagine being in his shoes. This parent is in a desperate situation, wondering what he could have done to prevent it, searching for answers along with the victim’s family and the community. If it were me, I certainly would feel blame and shame. I would regret not doing more to stop the bullying or not monitoring that Facebook account. The list could go on and on. Truth is, the shooter's dad will spend the rest of his life asking “what if” much like everyone else who has been touched by this terrible tragedy.
See more news about the school shooting here:
Do you think the shooter's family deserves our sympathy?