Facebook message before gun attack


Robert Butler Jr, who shot dead a school teacher before killing himself (AP)

A teenager who opened fire at a Nebraska high school on Wednesday, killing an assistant principal before shooting himself dead, left a message on Facebook which could offer clues as to why he turned violent.

Robert Butler Jr, 17, also wounded the principal at Millard South High School in Omaha before fleeing the scene and shooting himself in his car about a mile away.

Assistant principal Vicki Kaspar, 58, died at Creighton University Medical Centre on Wednesday evening, hours after the shooting. Principal Curtis Case, 45, was in a “serious but stable” condition.

Butler, who had only been at the school for two months after moving from Lincoln, Nebraska, left a Facebook message about his unhappiness with his new school before the shootings. The expletive-laden note predicted his friends would hear about the “evil things” he was about to do.

He wrote that the Omaha school was worse than his previous one and that the new city had changed him. He apologised and said he wanted people to remember him for who he was before affecting “the lives of the families I ruined”. The post ended with “goodbye”.

Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes provided no details on the weapon Butler used or how he obtained it. Butler’s father is a detective for the Omaha Police Department and investigators were interviewing the seven-year veteran to learn more about what may have led to the shooting.

Butler’s step-grandfather Robert Uribe said he appeared fine during a conversation in December. Mr Uribe added: “It’s just unreal. I don’t know what would possess him to do that.”

A former classmate from Lincoln, Conner Gerner, recalled Butler as being energetic, fun and outgoing. He said Butler sometimes got in trouble for speaking out too much in class but he did not seem angry.

“He just seemed like he had a lot of energy. He liked to talk to people. He was always moving,” he said.

Lincoln school officials declined to provide details about Butler’s student record but they described him as a “fairly normal, average student”. Lincoln Southwest High School principal Rob Slauson said Butler was involved in few, if any, school activities.

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