Shooter at Amish school said he abused relatives
The man who opened fire in an Amish schoolhouse told his wife he had molested family members 20 yearsearlier and was having dreams of molesting again, police said on Tuesday.
Five girls were killed and five were wounded Monday when Charles Roberts, a local milk truck driver, tied them up and shot them ina one-room schoolhouse in the small Pennsylvania community of Nickel Mines. The dead and injured were aged from six to 13 years old.
Roberts, in a phone call to his wife Marie,shortly before shooting the girls, told her he had molested twoyoung members of hisfamily 20 years ago, and for the past two years was dreaming about molesting again, police said.
He named the family members and said they were three and five years old when it happened.
Family members interviewed by police couldn't confirm any past molestations and no police reports were filed, said Col. Jeffrey Miller of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Gunman angry with himself, God
In the phone call to his wife,Robertstold her he would not be coming home and that he would be getting revenge for another event that happened 20 years ago, butsaid hecouldn't giveany further details. He told her where she could find suicide notes for her and their three children.
Inthe notes, Roberts said he was angry with himself and with God because of the death of his daughter Elise, born prematurely nine years ago. That event, he wrote, changed his life forever.
As his wife was speaking with 911 emergency operators, she heard police sirens in their community.
Police said Roberts brought with him to the schoolplastic cuffs, clamps and two tubes of personal lubricant, which, Miller said, he could see no other potentialreason to have other than as a "sexual assault aid."
Miller stressed there is no evidence any of the victims were sexually assaulted during the incident.
Investigators said they found a wooden board with10 eyebolts fastened to it,about 25 centimetres apart.
"It's important to note he had10 victims at that time," said Miller.
Police said Roberts, who was not Amish, drove to the school with three guns, a stun gun, two knives, a pile of wood and a bag with 600 rounds of ammunition.
He also had a change of clothing, toilet paper, bolts and hardware, and rolls of clear tape, which Miller said indicated he could be prepared for a lengthy standoff.
Roberts began purchasing some of the material from a nearby hardware store as early as Sept. 26 and left a checklist behind in his milk delivery truck,he said. The checklist matches the evidence left in the school, said police.
"He was organized, preplanned and had forethought given to his actions," said Miller.
He let 15 male students, a pregnant woman and three women with infants leave the schoolhouse, barred the doors using the planks and desks, then lined up the girls along a chalkboard.
A teacher and another adult fled to a nearby farmhouse and called for help.
When police arrived, Miller said, Roberts began panicking and firing his weapons.
Heshot all10 female students left inside the school, includingseveral of them in the back of the head at close range. Some had their feet bound together, while others had their feet tied to another student.
He fired as many as four rounds from a shotgun and 13 rounds from an automatic weapon. He then fired another round into his head, said Miller.
"He shot himself in the head as police were entering," said Miller.
The dead have been identified as Naomi Rose Ebersole, 7, Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12, Marian Fisher, 13, Mary Liz Miller, 8, and her sister, Lina Miller, 7. Two of the injured are aged eight, while the remaining three are aged six, 11 and 13.
There are no photos of the victims because the Amish forbid photography, based on a biblical commandment.
Miller said Roberts was not targeting the Amish and the school was simply chosen because he wanted to kill young girls.
"This is a horrendous, horrific incident for the Amish community," he said."They're solid citizens in the community. They're good people."