On Friday, October 8th, Brendan O’Rourke entered Kelly Elementary schoolyard during noon recess, carrying a .357 magnum and firing on students, allegedly striking two of them in the arm. After firing six shots, O’Rourke fled the schoolyard and attempted to reload his handgun. A construction crew working at the school cafeteria was able to catch O’Rourke and hold him until police arrived on the scene.
Stephanie Durkee, a campus monitor at the school for 17 years, said O’Rourke was yelling when he entered the playground and started shooting. Durkee said O’Rourke shouted “Death to Obama! Kill all the little fags! Death to them!”
Durkee said when she asked him what he was doing, he replied, “This is a drill and these are blanks.”
ABC 10 San Diego interviews Stephanie Durkee
Investigators plan to re-interview Durkee and the U.S. Secret Service is looking into the account, due to the reference to President Barack Obama.
Live Rounds or Blanks?
Carlos Partida, one of the construction workers who held O’Rourke until police arrived, was asked if he saw any of the children being stuck by the bullets, which were fired at close range.
His reply: “That’s a big negative.”
The heroic Carlos Partida interviewed by KUSI News
In the clip, Carlos Partida also says that he is “surprised he [O’Rourke] didn’t hit no one”, and “I didn’t see anyone fall or nothing like that”.
Two students, aged 6 and 7, were flown by helicopter and admitted to Rady’s Children Hospital with wounds on their right arms. Their families are not speaking to the media.
Authorities originally said the only injuries connected to the shooting were to people with scrapes and bruises, but officials then said one person was taken away by air ambulance.
Furthermore, eyewitness Scott Chandler said that there were two injuries, and suggested that they were sustained while the students were running away. Chandler also said that the children appeared to be stable.
Whether or not the students were actually injured, O’Rourke may have been led to believe he was taking part in a drill and firing blanks.
More on Brendan O’Rourke
O’Rourke has a history of bizarre behavior. In 2002 he plead guilty to telephone harassment after calling a woman 228 times over a five day period.
O’Rourke’s neighbors have called police on several occasions, saying that he often shouted racial slurs out of his window. Vickie Mitchell, O’Rourke’s downstairs neighbor, says that he continually screamed “Christians Unite to Destroy!” However, friends say that O’Rourke didn’t subscribe to any particular religion, and never attended church.
In a phone interview with San Diego’s KFMB, O’Rourke’s former roommate, who asked not to be identified, talked about his experience while living with O’Rourke.
The roommate told the reporter that, after losing his job, O’Rourke became depressed and began acting extremely bizarre. Over a three week period his odd behavior grew progressively worse and his roommate then asked him to move out of the apartment. O’Rourke confided in his roommate and told him that he was having anxiety attacks, and that the government put satellites in his head and were controlling him. O’Rourke’s roommate then drove him to a hospital emergency room.
The following day the hospital informed the roommate that O’Rourke was ok and O’Rourke acted as if nothing had happened. (full interview/mp3)
Brendan O’Rourke Pleads Not Guilty
On Wednesday, O’Rourke pleaded not guilty to seven counts of attempted murder.
Why would a man who was caught red-handed at the scene of the crime, surrounded by multiple eyewitnesses, plead not guilty? Did O’Rourke really believe he was part of a drill?
To reiterate: After unloading six shots at close range while aiming at students, he told campus monitor Stephanie Durkee: “This is a drill and these are blanks.”
In the past, there have been numerous mass shootings that have occurred just days after a security drill or workshop was held. Some shootings occurred on the very same day.
- April 12th, 1999: One week before the Columbine Massacre the school held a crisis handling session and discussed escape routes to be used in the event of a shooting.
- April 19th, 1999: One day before Columbine more than 100 school administrators, including a handful from Littleton, sat through a state workshop, which was prophetically called “Crisis Response Prepare for the Unthinkable: It Could Happen to You.” The workshop was presented by the Jefferson County school response team. Janice Hartmangruber said that at first she could not believe the Littleton incident was happening a day after her emergency preparation class. “It was too eerie,” she said of the coincidence.
- December 5th, 2007: The very day of the Omaha Westroads Mall shooting, department of Homeland Security had a protective security advisor at the mall at the time of the incident, discussing reaction to IEDs and what you can do to prevent or reduce your vulnerability to IEDs. DHS gave over $45,000 to the mall as part of a Buffer Zone Protection Plan, which resulted in allowing them to build entrance bollards, portable barriers, and communication systems. Additionally, members of the SWAT team and other police personnel had been assembled provide security for the president’s visit to Omaha. President Bush’s plane left Omaha close to 1 p.m., about 45 minutes before the shooting began. Although some of the extra officers had been dismissed when the first call for assistance came in, many were still nearby and raced to the mall, said Sgt. Tim Carmody, who heads the SWAT and bomb teams.
- September 28th, 2010: University of Texas, Austin – An emergency drill in which a shooting was to be simulated at the University of Texas Medical Branch was canceled after the real thing happened the same day on a sister campus 200 miles away.
Many drills take place in which there is no physical harm done to the victims. However, the victims are totally unaware that the event is an exercise.
- October 26th, 2006: Wyoming, MI, Lee Middle and High School — A school safety drill that included police officers in riot gear frightened students. Police in the western Michigan community of Wyoming entered two classrooms at Lee Middle and High School on Thursday and announced there was a threat to the school, The Grand Rapids Press reported. Students, who were unaware police were conducting a drill, were taken from the classroom into the halls, patted down by officers and asked what they had in their pockets. “Some of these kids were so scared, they just about wet their pants,” said Marge Bradshaw, a parent with four children in Godfrey-Lee Schools. “I think it’s pure wrong that the students and parents were not informed of this.”
- May 10th, 2007: Murfreesboro, TN, Scales Elementary School – Staff members staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables. MSNBC reported that teachers later said it was just joke.
- February 22nd, 2008: Elizabeth City State University – Students and faculty are being offered counseling after some unknowingly became participants in an emergency response drill Feb. 22 in response to the Northern Illinois University (NIU), which occurred eight days earlier.
- August 28th, 2008: Phillipsburg New Jersey Early Learning Center – Teachers at a New Jersey school experienced a terrifying moment when a shooting rampage turned out to be a drill, but the teachers didn’t know it. A man burst into the library and started shooting. But the gun didn’t have any bullets, just blanks. Teachers took cover under child-sized tables, crying and trembling. “People are crying. The girl next to me is trembling and shaking. You heard people crying. You heard other people praying. It was pretty dramatic,” one teacher said.
- May 24th, 2010: St. Rose Dominican Hospitals-Siena Campus – An off-duty cop pretending to be a terrorist stormed into a hospital intensive care unit brandishing a handgun, which he pointed at nurses while herding them down a corridor and into a room. There, after harrowing moments, he explained that the whole caper was a training exercise.
*Special thanks to starviego, who contributed research to this article.
Quick Militant Note on Criminal Prosecution: ALWAYS plead “not guilty” to everything. I don’t care if they caught you red handed with the evidence on your person, your fingerprints everywhere, DNA evidence, video of you doing the deed, and a thousand witnesses seeing you do it. You’re NOT friggin GUILTY. Pleading guilty dumps nearly all of your rights into the judge’s lap to do with as he pleases. F that.