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Gunmen kills girls 'execution-style' at Pennsylvania Amish school
Cat : Chez Les Autres
Date : 2006-10-03 17:53:17                      Reader : 298
Double standards in the West is a natural policy !!


Associated France Press (AFP) 3/10/2006

Gunmen kills girls 'execution-style' at Pennsylvania Amish school


by Virginie Montet

NICKEL MINES, Pennsylvania (AFP) - Survivors are clinging to life as police try to work out why a local man carried out an "execution style" shooting in an Amish schoolhouse, killing four girls before shooting himself.

Seven other girls were wounded after the heavily-armed gunman with a grudge burst into the one-room rural school building early Monday, ordered out the boys and adults, bound the girls then opened fire.

It was the third fatal killing in a US school in a week.

State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller named the gunman as 32-year-old truck driver Charles Roberts, a married father of three who was not Amish.

Miller said Roberts told his wife, in a final conversation before killing himself, that he wanted "revenge" for something that happened 20 years ago.

"He was angry, angry at God," Miller said, adding that Roberts "was equipped for a lengthy siege."

Three girls, including a teenage teaching assistant, died on the scene, police said.

A fourth girl died in hospital hours later, according to Lancaster General Hospital spokeswoman Kim Hatch, though police did not immediately confirm this.

Police called to the scene stormed the building at the sound of gunshots and found "horrendous" carnage inside the Georgetown Amish school in Nickel Mines, Miller said.

The incident stunned this normally quiet farm region 55 miles (88 kilometers) west of Philadelphia, where Amish men in their typical suspenders and straw hats rushed from their fields to gather in shock outside the schoolhouse.

Police said Roberts entered the school shortly before 10 am Monday. He ordered the adults and 15 boys aged six to 13 to leave, keeping behind 11 girls -- three teenage teachers aides and eight younger girls.

Police were notified about 45 minutes later when a teacher who escaped placed a call from a nearby farm house.

They said Roberts had nailed lumber across the inside of the door. The girls had been bound with wire and plastic cord and lined up against the blackboard.

Police surrounded the school at around 11:45 and frantically tried to make contact with Roberts, then rushed the building after hearing several rapid gunshots in succession.

"It appears that when he began shooting the victims, these victims were shot execution style in the head," Miller told reporters.

Some "were shot in the head, some were shot in the arms," Miller added.

"One of the children died in the arms of one of our troopers," Miller said. "It is a horrendous crime scene."

A spokeswoman at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia said three girls -- aged eight, 10 and 12 -- were undergoing surgery for gunshot wounds.

Three other victims -- two girls aged eight and six in critical condition, and a 13-year-old whose condition had been upgraded to serious -- were being treated at the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a spokesman there said. The location of the the seventh victim was not clear.

Miller said the gunman's exact grudge was not known, though said he had left suicide notes for his children.

"Apparently there was some sort of an issue in his past that he, for some reason, wanted to exact revenge against female victims," Miller said.

Roberts had grown up in the area and was well known locally.

The Roberts family released a statement saying: "Our lives are shattered and we grieve for the innocent and lives that were lost today."

US President George W. Bush was "deeply saddened and troubled" by the incident and ordered his cabinet officials to find ways to help in the aftermath of recent school shootings, said Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman.

Last week a 16-year-old schoolgirl was killed when a gunman took six hostages at a Colorado school before opening fire and turning the gun on himself as police stormed a classroom.

On Friday, the principal of a Wisconsin high school was killed after being shot by a student.

There are about 200,000 followers of the reclusive Amish sect in about 20 US states and the Canadian province of Ontario. They eschew technology, and preach isolation from the modern world.

Their distinctive tiny black, horse drawn buggies are a familiar site on the roads of Lancaster County, and the community was a model for the 1985 movie "Witness", starring Harrison Ford.

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