Robert Butler Jr. walked in to the office at Millard South High School just before 1 p.m. and shot principal Curtis Case and assistant principal Vicki Kaspar. Butler was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound a short time later. Police Chief Alex Hayes says Butler was the son of an Omaha Police Detective.
“We currently are speaking with him and we have an officer assigned to help him with any needs he may have as far as his mental state goes,” Hayes said. “So we’ll be continuing to look at that and see what kind of issues were going on with Robert Butler.”
He had recently transferred to Millard South from a school in Lincoln, Neb. Before the shootings, he posted an update to his Facebook page that read:
“Everybody that used to know me I’m sry but Omaha changed me and (expletive) me up. and the school I attend is even worse ur gonna here about the evil (expletive) I did but that (expletive) school drove me to this. I wont u guys to remember me for who I was b4 this ik. I greatly affected the lives of the families ruined but I’m sorry. goodbye.”
Butler Jr’s Facebook profile will be “memorialized”. In an Oct. 26 2009 blog post, Max Kelly, Facebook’s head of security, announced the company’s policy of “memorializing” profiles of users who have died, taking them out of the public search results, sealing them from any future log-in attempts and leaving the wall open for family and friends to pay their respects. Though most media reports claimed this was a new Facebook feature, a spokeswoman for the company told TIME that it’s an option the site has had since its early days.
As of 2009, Nebraska has an estimated population of 1,796,619, with 91.1% of the population White and only 4.6% Black.
In the U.S., Caucasians are nearly 2.5 times more likely to kill themselves than African Americans or Hispanics. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center reports that from 1999-2005, Whites committed 84% of suicides; while Blacks committed 6% of suicides.
Homicide and suicide are the second and third leading causes of death among teens ages 15 to 19, after unintentional injury. Firearms were the instrument of death in over 80
percent of teen homicides and almost half of teen suicides in 2005.
In 2007, the homicide rate for black male teens was 67.1 per 100,000, nearly 20 times higher than the rate for white males (3.4 per 100,000). Rates for other groups were 24.8 per 100,000 for Hispanic males, 10.3* per 100,000 for American Indian males, and 5.5 per 100,000 for Asian and Pacific Islander males.