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Friday, February 15, 2008

LGBTQ: Gay Student Killed

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that 15-year-old Lawrence E. King of Oxnard was shot twice by a 14-year-old fellow student at E.O. Green Junior High.

King, who was openly gay and, according to fellow students, sometimes wore feminine clothing and makeup, apparently had a falling-out with the shooter over his (King's) sexuality. Neurosurgeons who examined him have now pronounced him brain-dead.
"He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails -- the whole thing," said Michael Sweeney, 13, an eighth-grader. "That was freaking the guys out."
Ventura County D.A. Gregory Totten has indicated that the shooter will be charged in adult court rather than the juvenile court proceedings that normally attend crimes committed by youth under a certain age.

Oxnard Police spokesman David Keith indicated that if the investigation determines that the suspect targeted King because of his sexual orientation, the case could rise to the level of a hate crime.

According to the article, recent studies show that a student who comes "out" as gay or lesbian is far more likely to suffer abuse, said Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network based in New York.
A student thought to be gay was five times as likely to be threatened or injured by a weapon, a 2002 California Department of Education study said. Jennings said other studies have found similar results. His group advocates more teacher training on how to handle bullying and harassment, specifically of gay students.


"This Oxnard shooting is very upsetting but not surprising," Jennings said. "The real issue is not the kid coming out, but the kid sitting next to him. Schools must teach that we may not like one another, but we must respect one another."
King leaves behind, in addition to his parents, an older sister, two older brothers, and a younger brother. According to various sources, including the Ventura Star, for several months before to the shooting, Larry King had been living at Casa Pacifica, a residential center for troubled youths in Camarillo. Casa Pacifica bills itself as a provider of services for " [...] children removed from home by Child Protective Services [...] and children requiring out-of-home placement[..]."

Parents, teach your goddamned kids to keep their attitudes respectful if not necessarily loving towards all. Because this is what happens when you fail. Somebody else's kid is dead, and your kid is looking at a long long time in prison. By the time he gets out, you could well be dead.

The shooter is not being identified by the police. However, several of his classmates have identified him as one Brandon David McInerney. His grandfather, William McInerney, said he had no idea where his grandson might have gotten a gun. He said his grandson has lived in his Oxnard home for a couple of years and is a good kid. Rumour has it that Brandon McInerney's father is apparently a police officer, but we have no confirmation.

Attorney Brian A. Vogel, representing McInerney and his family, has requested a postponement of the arraignment hearing to allow him time to review the documents in the case. The judge accordingly has postponed it to March 21st. McInerney's bail is set at $770,000.

Update: The NCTimes is now reporting that the D.A.'s office has filed murder charges that include hate-crime and firearm-use enhancements. Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox has announced that the murder charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years to life, with an additional maximum of 25 years for the firearms enhancement and an added one to three years for the hate-crime enhancement.

Update to this story available here.

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At 3:39 PM, Blogger Batocchio said...

Ugh. I just heard about King on the radio at lunch,

At 7:58 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

The killer looks like a total psycho. Just all-around sad.


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