Jeff Wiese was a quiet, withdrawn loner who was teased about his appearance. A Red Lake School District employee said Wiese, the 15-year-old...
RED LAKE, Minn. — Jeff Wiese was a quiet, withdrawn loner who was teased about his appearance.
A Red Lake School District employee said Wiese, the student named by several Red Lake Reservation residents as the gunman in yesterday’s shootings, was teased about his towering height and about being a “Goth kid” who wore a dark trench coat to school year-round.
Another school worker described Wiese as “a mixed-up kid who seemed lost in life. He wasn’t into normal things that kids should be. But I work with a lot of mixed-up kids who don’t shoot people.”
Neither school employee had a clue about what prompted yesterday’s shooting. Nor did they know if those killed had been targeted.
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Wiese was “a pretty bright kid, but he was lazy when it came to school. He missed a lot of school,” a school source said. “He was big into video games.”
A sophomore, he enjoyed Goth music such as that performed by Marilyn Manson.
“He was constantly drawing stuff in his notebook that was evil and dark,” a source said. “But it wasn’t anything that extreme and out of the ordinary for a Goth kid.”
According to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, relatives said that Wiese’s father committed suicide four years ago and his mother lives in a nursing home in Minneapolis after suffering brain injuries in a car accident.
He had been involved in a few fistfights but not much more than the ordinary. “There is a lot of small violence at Red Lake — mostly fistfights and calling kids out,” the source said.
Some students have brought knives to school and were expelled, the workers said, but they didn’t recall a student ever bringing a firearm.
The school has a metal detector, and a security guard is always posted at the front door during school hours.
Wiese reportedly rammed a pickup into the front entrance and then walked past the front-entrance guard, a woman. The guard who was shot was a man.