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Community Still Looking for Answers in Deadly Minn. School Shooting

April 01, 2005  | 

As the investigation continues into the reasons behind 16-year-old Jeff Weise’s Mar. 21st shooting spree at his home and school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota, grieving family members in the close-knit community are trying to come to terms with the event that left 10 dead.

Weise first killed his paternal grandfather and his grandfather’s longtime companion before driving to his school and killing five students, a teacher, and a guard, as well as wounding seven.

One of Weise’s friends, Sky Grant, told the Associated Press that the two watched the movie “Elephant” a few weeks before the incident. Some think it might have had a part in giving Weise the idea for the shootings. In the 2003 Gus VanSant film, two high school students plan and execute a school shooting similar to the Columbine, Colo., school shooting in 1999.

Authorities are investigating the possibility that Weise planned the shooting with his cousin, Louis Jourdain, 16, the son of Red Lake Band of Chippewa Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr. A government official says prosecutors are considering a conspiracy charge, although it has not been revealed what part Jourdain might have played in the incident.

Some Red Lake High School students have expressed interest in returning to school, which has been closed since the Mar. 21st shooting. School officials plan for students to return to classes April 12th at another location. Federal officials have promised $50,000 for the costs involved in this arrangement, including security.

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