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Gabe Parker Case Study

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Marshall County High School

January 23, 2018, 7:57 AM, Americas third fatal school shooting rang out in Benton County Kentucky. The gunman, a 15 year old boy named Gabriel Parker entered Marshall County High school and opened fire wounding fourteen, five were left in critical condition and two deceased. The deceased victims identified as Bailey Holt and Preston Cope both suffered gunshot wounds to the head. All victims involved ranged between the ages of fourteen and eighteen.

A search warrant of Parkers home revealed the 15 year old gunman's room was decorated with "weaponry, violence and military information." A knife sheath was found without a knife in it. Reports claimed Parker played 'first-person shooter' video games and had in one game, 'Roblox,' a character that "appeared to be a German soldier from the WWII era." Parker was fascinated with WWII history and the Nazi regime. Police said Parker's phone found that the suspect had shown "memes on his phone about SpongeBob and school shootings.

One student showed police a screenshot of a Snapchat group where Parker's account showed a message dated 6-20-17, "sorry for the kids that I may hurt in 42." If you add up the date of the shooting 1-23-18 you get 42. Below a picture of the number 42 was a caption from Parker's account that read "don't panic," suggesting a reference to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

During Parkers interview Detective Hilbrecht said when Parker was asked when he had thought of shooting the school, he replied 'about a week.' Hilbrecht said Parker determined the ‘actual step’ the night before. Parker told detective he obtained his step-father's pistol from a shelf in his step-fathers bedroom. He used a laundry basket full of clothes to conceal the weapon and took the basket to his room.

Parker did not mention any experience of being bullied. He actually made it pretty clear that he wasn’t bullied and he did not experience arguments or negative interactions at school. Parker said he was in a ‘good relationship’ with his mother and step-father and that his relationship with his father ‘had gotten better.’ He made no mention of any issue with a girlfriend or ex- girlfriend.

When interviewing friends and acquaintances of the 15 year old, most all had nice things to say about him. A sophomore friend who played trombone alongside Parker who played the Tuba in the school band, described Parker as a shy, red-headed "grandma's boy" who would go fishing with his grandparents. “Anything Grandma needed, he would get, His grandma was his best friend.” said his neighbor. Ashley Collie, 15, and an acquaintance of Parker said she was baffled when she saw a photograph of Parker being escorted away from the school after the shootings and realized he was the suspect. She said they were in the same math class two years ago and that he seemed "like a really good kid." he was quiet and kept to himself. Jayson Roberts son was in several classes with Parker, and said his son knew of no issues with him in school and that he was well-liked by members of the school band.

One of the victims in the shooting, Hannah Danae, wrote on her social media that she had a bullet in her chest and was about to go into surgery, Danae added that she was “praying for everyone affected.” “The boy who did this was hurting too and we can’t hate him. I love you all. Praying for you.”

Ashley Collie mentioned her and some of Parker's friends noticed he was "snappy" when he returned to school after Christmas break. She said friends also said he talked about violence and an interest in joining the Mafia. Parker said he had been having suicidal thoughts especially in December a month prior to the shooting but said his family would hurt more from him killing himself than harming someone else.

The morning of the shooting, Parker told detective Hilbrecht that he removed the pistol from his clothing, took it out of the case and put it in his book satchel with a spare ammo magazine. There was also a full magazine in the gun. He also placed a hunting knife he had received as a Christmas gift. He said he feared that when he ran out of bullets he would need to defend himself if children attacked him.

According to detective Hilbrecht, Parker said he had overslept the morning of the shooting and missed the bus. He said it was otherwise a normal morning. He ate a bowl of cereal and his mom dropped him off at school. He went to the band room and spoke with friends, wanting to make sure they were safe before going into the commons area. Hilbrecht said there was a 'coin flip,' he asked his friends 'heads or tails' and said they got it wrong. Parker then went to

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