Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shooting Victim 'Acted Gay'

After weeks of insane shootings at malls, city halls and places across the country, here's another. A 15 year-old high school student in Oxnard, California is it critical condition today after being shot by a classmate who taunted him for his feminine mannerisms and for wearing make-up.

A student at an Oxnard junior high school shot another classmate Tuesday in front of two dozen other students who were settling into their first-period English class, police said.

The 15-year-old victim was rushed to St. John's Regional Medical Center, where he was initially listed in critical condition. By day's end, his condition was described as improving.

"He's gone from very critical to a little bit better," said Oxnard police spokesman David Keith. "He's actually communicating with personnel at the hospital."

The boy's alleged assailant ran from the E.O. Green Junior High School and was apprehended nearby a few minutes later by Oxnard and Port Hueneme police officers.

The shooting was not gang-related, said Keith, who added that the school had not been a particular trouble spot before.

"It looked like it was personal between the two of them," he said, declining to elaborate.

Some students said the victim, whose name was not disclosed, sometimes wore makeup and feminine jewelry and had declared himself gay. They said he was frequently taunted by other boys and had been involved in an argument with the alleged shooter, an eighth-grader who also was not named, and others Monday.

During the lunchtime argument, one of the boys shouted at Tuesday's victim, "You better watch your back," said one student who witnessed the encounter.

Update, with names and more info: and here.

updates: Lawrence King, shooting victim, declared brain dead.

What's odd is how early reports state that King was allegedly gay, then the reports backpeddle to remove the motive, and cops try to make it sound as if the two had fought, not that King had endured violence and taunts by the killer.

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