The Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania has been hit by the unthinkable -- a school shooting. So far, four people are dead. We know seven others are in area hospitals -- some are confirmed to have been shot in the head and torso. It is the nation's third deadly school shooting in less than a week, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history.
Apparently, the gunman, Charles Carl Roberts, (32 yrs old) entered the school after backing a blue pickup truck to the school's front door. Charles Roberts was a tanker truck driver for local company, Northwest Foods .
Reports say he burst into the one-room school house at around 10:00am and made demands of the teacher and students. Roberts made all the males leave the school, along with adult teachers and a pregnant aid. He then boarded the doors with 2x4's and 2x6's. One of the teachers called 911 at 10:36am. She told law enforcement what was going on at the school.
Officers responded to the scene around 10:45am -- and set up a parameter around the school building. Roberts called the 911 center around 11:00am and demanded that the police back off or something major would happen. He gave them 10 seconds to respond. While the police were trying to get the word to their officers, and contact Charles Roberts to negotiate, Roberts opened fire. He had already bound the female students, whose ages ranged from six to thirteen years. The children were totally helpless to defend themselves.
ASIDE: The police say Roberts' suicide notes make mention of something that happened 20 years ago, and possible revenge for that event. It looks like he was around 12 years old at that time. He may have been rejected by a school girl friend, but never got over it. He took his revenge at the closest place he could find young girls -- a school just down the road from where he lived.
Just after 11:00am, Roberts called his wife and told her he was not coming home again. He told her that he had left notes for his own children. As Roberts shot the young girls in the head, execution style, troopers stormed the building. They entered through windows (as the doors were blocked off). Roberts fired at officers frantically. Charles Roberts then killed himself.
There are clothes strewn about the otherwise sparse school grounds. I saw a bat laying in the ballfield to the left of the school house -- indicating some children may have been outside when Charles Roberts arrived. There are two spots covered with sheets, presumably blood stains from the shootings.
We are learning more every few minutes. I'll update this story as I receive more information.
ADDENDUM 3:02pm ET: Some reports are now saying that two young girls and a teacher's aide were the three murdered; the fourth being Charles Roberts.