Indiana School Shooter Thwarted Because Mother Called Police

An update on the fourteen-year-old student who committed suicide with a gun at Dennis Intermediate School last week:

Police say a 14-year-old Indiana boy’s mother was the 911 caller who warned authorities before the teenager shot his way into a middle school and exchanged gunfire with officers.

State Police said Friday that the mother warned of “imminent danger” before Thursday morning’s shooting at Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond. PoliceOne, Boy’s Mother Called 911 Before Indiana School Shooting

His mother apparently called police after the boy used the gun to take another family member hostage for the purpose of forcing them to drive him to the school:

The Indiana State Police confirmed Friday afternoon that the mother of suspect [name omitted] called in the tip warning police about a “potential violent act” at Dennis Intermediate School after the boy took another family member hostage and forced the family member to drive him to the school. WHIO, Richmond School Shooting: 14-year-old Took Hostage, Mom Called in Tip

Because his mother took the step of calling law enforcement they were able to intercept the boy quickly. Countless case studies have shown that shooters – or in this case, potential shooters – confronted by law enforcement frequently turn the gun on themselves.

Speaking as a mother and a gun owner I applaud his mother’s actions in calling law enforcement (although I do wonder how he got his hands on the guns in the first place). Although I am sure she hoped for her son’s survival I am sure she also understood the reality of the situation and that it would likely end in his death. Absolutely heartbreaking. Good for her for calling law enforcement.



  1. avatar Big Sky says:

    and the 14 year old got the gun where, Mom?

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Because no 14-year-old is sneaky enough to shoulder surf to spy a combination, or steal a safe key. Certainly not one intent on committing a mass murder. And certainly if there were a law about, everything would be fixed.

      1. avatar John Haley says:

        I’m with Carlos on this. A 14 year old determined to get the gun is going to be difficult to defeat. Like convicts always seem to be able to fashion weapons, the kid, like the convicts, has one thing on his mind. Mom has a million and likely doesn’t even see him coming. She can “win” at that game a thousand times, he only has to win once. I wouldn’t blame the mom.

        1. avatar Geoff "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" PR says:

          “She can “win” at that game a thousand times, he only has to win once. I wouldn’t blame the mom.”

          When Omar Abdel-Rahman, the ‘Blind Sheik’ who plotted the first World Trade Center attack in1993 was being moved by helicopter to a criminal court appointment, one of the FBI agents keeping an eye on him in back of the helicopter said to the ‘Sheik’ “Well, the tower is still standing”.

          The ‘Blind Sheik’ supposedly replied to the FBI agent “You have to be lucky every time. We need to be lucky *once*”…

      2. avatar Frank M. says:

        Part of your logic is shared by gun control advocates. I’m sure many feel that since guns are difficult to secure, they must be verboten.

        Rather than making this argument I feel it would be more logically sound to make an argument for robust community support for troubled kids and their families, including universal healthcare and other social services.

        1. avatar Ed in North Texas says:

          “universal healthcare” as an answer to mass shootings. Yeah, Medicare for All will do it, just like the National Health Service in Britain where they have people starve to death in some hospitals because they are taking up a needed bed.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      I bought guns before I was legally able to do so with my money raised doing jobs like paper route and lawn mowing.

      There were no handguns in my house until I brought them in. I was 14. We can’t assume that this 14yo got his gun from his family.

      1. avatar Marty says:

        Yea, the article was pretty vague, maybe because the case is still under investigation. When I was about 14, I bought my very first gun, a Remington Model 514 from the local Fed Mart. I’m sure the reason the manager let me buy it was because he was friends with my parents and they already told him they approved of the purchase. My mom, being an ER nurse, was pretty much anti gun always attending to shooting victims. Took me a long time to convince her to allow the purchase. Things were so much simpler back in those days.

      2. avatar Chi-mecha says:

        Me too. I may or may not have bought a gun from a “gangsters” girlfriend in English class, because she was mad at him. I was 16 I think? In Chicago during our strict ban on guns…. late 90’s

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      When I was 12, I had access to all the guns. The age isn’t the problem. It’s the mentality.

      Horrible story. I pray her life isn’t completely miserable.

      1. avatar M1Lou says:

        I knew where the key was earlier, but I also had access at 12.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        When I was 12 I didn’t know what a gun safe was. People had racks on the walls with long guns. Glass fronted display cases that were never locked. In my house we kept our shotguns and rifles in the closets.

        I walked across the student parking lots of a couple of different high schools in different parts of the country when I was high school age and there were trucks with window racks that had long guns in them.

        Guns were every where and not locked up.

  2. avatar CarlosT says:

    The deadliest weapon in mass shootings is time alone with helpless victims. In the worst cases, it five minutes, ten minutes, or even more. In this case, that time was zero, and therefore the difference is night and day.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Losers using guns for mass killings are just attention whores. If you really want to kill a lot of people more simply, there is the age old method of fire.

      1. avatar Chi-mecha says:

        A thought for prevention:
        How about instead of the national media focusing on the gun control debate, guns are evil, guns are evil, 11 dead, it’s the guns, shooter’s name exe. The media show shooters past rotting in a jail cell, getting bullied by bubba, and emphasize never getting laid.

        1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          But but but the agenda is worth millions of dead kids we are building the future after all.

        2. avatar Ing says:

          The news media and the anti-gun shills and the Democratic party (but I repeat myself) make FAR too much money off the dead children. It’ll never happen.

    2. avatar Angry Az says:

      I’d you really wanna kill allot of people keys is being Communist…. Stalin , Mao, etc

  3. avatar Thom Ream says:

    And I’m sure the police intercepted this armed killer with their tactical hockey pucks (a la H.S. in MI.), right? Or maybe they used those tacticool rocks some other dumbass issued to their defenseless students.
    While I cannot imagine the pain that poor mother is going through (and my sympathy may change when we find out the story of where the gun came from), can you image how much worse it will be for parents of students who’s “protectors” came up with the idea of hockey pucks and rocks to stop a gun-totting killer? If that doesn’t disqualify someone as being unworthy of trust, I’m just not sure what would. Hockey pucks? Seriously? Rocks? That’s the best you can do? And I thought my home state of Kali had a lock on stupidity…

    1. avatar RA-15 says:

      Nope , you are not alone in Kali. There are actually states that are ,and have been some of the worst offenders. I think N.Y. wins the crown when it comes to foolish , blatant disregard for our second Amendment rights. Want an AR-15 ? Ok so long as the magazine is welded to the mag release. Oh and 10 round max on said mag.
      It seems to me we are fighting a losing battle. Thank the Dem’s & Lib’s. They are the largest group of offenders , for they feel entitled to dictate what rights law abiding citizens are trustworthy enough to have. In short : no rights. The constitution of the US is just paper with no meaning to the anti’s. They are doing their best to defile what our founding fathers bled for. And what are we doing to stop them ?

      1. avatar Binder says:

        Garands are perfectly legal. If your rounds limited, don’t bother with a poodle popper.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          The Garand also costs 2-5x what a good AR does. It’s a great gun but the point of the law is obviously to limit availability, in this case, by social strata.

          You can get a “decent” AR for ~$500. The cheapest Garand I’ve seen, in a place I could actually inspect/handle it was $1800 and beat to shit. You can get them cheaper online, maybe $900, but not everyone knows that/is comfortable with that/lives in a place where it’s not questionable.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Plenty of cases of younger kids than him saving themselves or family from attackers with firearms. Unless the kid was a nut (and let’s face it, he most likely was known to be messed up for years, same as all the others) there’s no reason he should have necessarily not had access to firearms by his age.

    3. avatar HoundDogDave says:

      tactical hockey pucks (a la H.S. in MI.), right?

      Nope… not a Michigan High School, one of our finer centers of ( “diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all community members”) higher learning, Oakland University.

      I don’t see this as a problem. Big picture, I see the commie leftist training their potential combatants on their side of a potential civil war with indefensible skills. In the long run, this will save lives on both sides if it ever comes down to a fighting war.

  4. avatar Hannibal says:

    I mean… yeah, it’s good that she called police but this wasn’t exactly a “hey, my kid has a weird diary moment, maybe I should take this to a shrink” revelation. He grabbed a family member at gunpoint.

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      I agree. Mr. Magoo on a foggy night could see where that was headed.

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    Sorry your kid is dead…how many dindu mama’s wouldn’t call the po-leece after their progeny did likewise?!?

  6. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    Why is a 14 year old committing suicide? Or rather why are any of these teenagers doing these types of things?

    There was another hearing last week for our local school shooter. (Killed his father and went to school killing a 6 year old and wounding couple of others) This shooting didn’t really make the national news for any length of time. (Jacob Hall was little boy who bled out)

    What changed from my childhood (1960s-70s) to now that teenagers mass murder and commit suicide?

    1. avatar Binder says:

      I think that the fact that the world could end at any minute kind of makes any issues you may be having look small in comparison. Personally I prefer having to worry about an 1 in a million chance on a nut with a AR than the very real chance that someone would do something historically stupid.

    2. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      “Why is a 14 year old committing suicide? Or rather why are any of these teenagers doing these types of things?

      What changed from my childhood (1960s-70s) to now that teenagers mass murder and commit suicide?”

      The media is manufacturing these monsters. Watch a news broadcast of a mass shooting, the news media makes these monsters into Anti-Heroes. I wish I could find the video of the forensic psychologist speaking of how the media creates them with their method of coverage.

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        If you happen to find the video give me a shout on any thread, I’ll see it.


  7. avatar Michael says:

    Everybody loses. Bad spreads so easy and so fast. Kid’s dead, mother’s permanently traumatized. Christmas is gonna suck in lots of homes this year. Officers involved get to carry that memory around for the rest of their lives. If you haven’t heard the silence after the last shot is fired, please…no joy here at all. Everybody loses.-30-

    1. avatar L says:

      It’s not all grim. The kids who would have died in the case of this attack being unprevented will go home to see their families for Christmas next week. For that we should be happy.

  8. avatar Ark says:

    She deserves applause for making the call, and the recipient of the call deserves applause for acting swiftly. The school was on lockdown bare minutes before the shooter, and police arrived almost exactly the same time the shooter did. A couple of minutes made the difference. Summoning the police to kill her own son must have been a horrifying decision to make, but she did it without hesitation and lives were saved as a result.

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      The kid took himself out. Calling the police before the shooting started was probably the only chance to get him to surrender. If he got his 20 minutes to shoot up the school, a dozen more kids would be dead, the police still would have come, and he would have still killed himself.

  9. avatar FedUp says:

    So it wasn’t great police work, but rather, advance notice, that enabled this to be stopped before any innocent lives were lost?

    And therefore we still haven’t found a solution, other than the sheer luck seen here?
    For depending on a family member to witness and report a kidnapping in advance of a school shooting would be depending on Lotto ticket sized luck.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Speaking as a mother and a gun owner I applaud his mother’s actions in calling law enforcement (although I do wonder how he got his hands on the guns in the first place).

    How could a 14 year-old child obtain a firearm? You do realize that millions of families leave teenagers home alone or even in charge of younger sibling without any adults at home. Thus, millions of families make sure that a firearm is available:
    (a) in the home
    (b) to their children
    (c) at all times

    There is nothing bad, wrong, or irresponsible about this if the child is old enough, responsible enough, properly trained, and capable.

    The really relevant question is, “When is your child old enough, responsible enough, trained enough, and capable enough to have a firearm available?” In some cases that might be as young as 10 years old. In other cases it might be never.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      And for reference my children ALWAYS have access to multiple firearms at all times in my home in case they have to defend themselves while they are home alone.

      If some scumbag/s ever tried to break into our home, there is an extremely high probability that it will end quite poorly for the attacker/s.

      1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

        I am a millennial and I remember growing up that the shotgun was in the corner during deer/turkey season and that dads 38 was under the bed. Wasn’t the best kid but would never think to shoot someone.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Exactly. When I was a teenager, I had access to my dad’s .38 Special revolver all the time and I never even imagined doing anything to harm anyone with it beyond simple and righteous self-defense.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Likewise, and I reemphasize the feeling that I did not even *imagine* doing such a thing, I do not credit myself for making the correct decision, there was no decision. Never. crossed. my. mind.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Some strange assumptions going on, here. My automatic assumption, given 1) the obvious caliber of this young man, and 2) the fact his mom reported the danger instantly, would be that the 14-year-old stole the gun, probably burglarizing a neighbor.

  11. avatar Jack says:

    I am going to take a wild, yet statistically correct stab and say the father is nowhere to be found

    1. avatar Anonymous says:


      My thought too!

  12. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    My concern is how this kid was allowed to go around unsupervised, or even not institutionalized. Nobody’s first major instance of acting out is to steal a firearm, kidnap a relative, jack a car, attempt a spree shooting, get into a shootout with police, and then commit suicide.

    Geez, he did more crime before 10:00 a.m. than many career criminals do in their entire lives. That’s really more the kind of thing you build up to. I bet there were sky writing sized warning signs for many months with this little darling. I know, I know, hindsight is 20/20. Well, you can see a lot of things right in front of you no matter what your eyesight status. Hell, you can feel some things and figure them out in pitch black darkness.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      That’s true, but if you’re that mom, there is nothing whatever you can do about it (shoulda had that abortion 15 years ago) until it is time to make that call.

    2. avatar Ardent says:

      I’d say you’re right, that the warning signs on this one went up years ago, were stacked on top of each other until they blotted out the sky and had flashing lights and sirens on them…
      However, from personal and acquaintances experienced and situations like the Parkland Shooter, you can call the principal, the counselor, child therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, the school resource officer, the local PD, the sheriff’s office and the FBI and in all likelihood you’ll end up back at home, alone, broke and exhausted, with your little psychopath. You can shout the problem from the rooftops, and in all likelihood no one will help. That is, until the child commits a serious violent felony, then, if you’re lucky, they try them as an adult and send them to prison for years…where they get worse.
      I’ve seen reports of minors battering parents to the point they hospitalized them being sent to foster care for a few weeks and then CPS wants to pit them back in the home. Kids who have stolen family members cars on 4 or 5 occasions repeatedly put back into deferment programs where they come home and go back to school, despite parents saying the child is completely beyond their control and begging for someone to incarcerate the kid.
      There is a huge and growing problem out there, and sometimes, perhaps often, the parents are part of the problem, but no matter how much those parents reach out, they don’t get any real help.

      I’m not an expert, but I would say 2 things drive the majority of the problem.
      First: mainstreaming, where everything is focused on keeping delinquent, disturbed children in their homes and in regular schools regardless of risks or the cost to the family and society, and especially the other children at the school. What they call mainstreaming litterally means taking seriously impaired or disturbed children and forcing them into classrooms with regular kids and teachers with whom they can’t compete nor relate, and who likewise do not know how to handle them. Its bad for everyone even when it works well, it’s murderous when it fails badly.
      Second: The refusal of society and pediatric practitioners and the juvenile justice system to institutionalize or incarcerate dangerously disturbed and severely delinquent children. The prevailing model over the last 40 years or so follows mainstreaming, where the idea is to keep disturbed children at home and in class with regular kids. The argument is that it’s somehow best for the child. It isn’t, it’s a nightmare for them because they can’t handle it and don’t receive the support they need and the other kids don’t know how to cope with them. It’s also a nightmare for their families, teachers, administrators and the regular students who are frequently victimized by these disturbed, dangerously delinquent children.
      All of this stems from the progressive ideal that no one is different, everyone succeeds, and no one is ever responsible for their actions.
      On top of that, partially because of that, there isn’t money or facilities for dealing with these children. They either get lost in the cracks, age out and go to prison, finally do something that cannot be ignored, or kill themselves because they can’t stand the strain.
      There are no easy solutions, but often parents get the blame when they have done all they can. There ought to be a system by which a parent or caregiver or school authority can have a child assessed and then referred to the appropriate treatment or criminal justice organization. Often there will need to be an in patient treatment facility available as currently many more kids are living in the community than should be, partially due to mainstreaming and partially due to a lack of space available in pediatric and adolescent in patient treatment facilities.

  13. avatar Local Resident says:

    One article says it was the father who drove him there so he wouldn’t kill him and maybe his thought process was he will find another way there or kill his mother first before doing that. But here’s the thing the Richmond sheriffs department and jail is literally 0.8 miles from Dennis. Richmond is also very bound up by construction i.e. he had a great excuse to take detours. So taking him directly to law enforcement preventing this happening at the school at all would have been completely possible.

  14. avatar 22winmag says:

    Gun don’t kill.

    People on pharmaceuticals kill.

  15. avatar Mark says:

    “The media is manufacturing these monsters. Watch a news broadcast of a mass shooting, the news media makes these monsters into Anti-Heroes. I wish I could find the video of the forensic psychologist speaking of how the media creates them with their method of coverage.”

    Most monsters are made by the age of 5. The media coverage may give a monster an idea, but the monster was there already.

    “I am a millennial and I remember growing up that the shotgun was in the corner during deer/turkey season and that dads 38 was under the bed. Wasn’t the best kid but would never think to shoot someone.”

    “Exactly. When I was a teenager, I had access to my dad’s .38 Special revolver all the time and I never even imagined doing anything to harm anyone with it beyond simple and righteous self-defense.”

    Both of you use a noun that is missing in the lives of at least 90% of these monsters.

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