Friend: People made fun of Richmond school shooter

The mother of the 14-year-old who brought a gun to a Richmond school called 9-1-1 to alert police, allowing officers and school officials to intervene before the teen could potentially harm others.

Indiana State Police on Friday night confirmed that Mary York, 42, of Richmond, made the call Thursday morning.

Grief counselors flocked to Richmond schools to talk with students and faculty Friday, a day after the active shooter incident that kept hundreds of children locked in classrooms.

Brandon Clegg was the 14-year-old who died in the incident, turning the gun on himself after exchanging shots with officers who engaged him as he arrived at Dennis Intermediate School.

Not many details of the investigation are being disclosed.

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One of the teen’s friends, 13-year-old Kaden Baker, said Clegg was picked on by others and had dropped out of Dennis Intermediate.

“He wasn’t like a bad kid. People would just make fun of his hair and stuff. I don’t know why. It was actually even not that bad,” Kaden said, who spoke to WHIO-TV with his father’s permission.

Kaden said he and his friends pulled up Clegg’s Facebook page after word spread of what he had done. He said there were pictures of guns.

“He was actually pretty nice to me. So me and him were cool,” Kaden said.

Officials transported Clegg’s body to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office in Dayton for the autopsy. Officials in Wayne County, Indiana, Friday evening confirmed that preliminary results show Clegg died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound but declined to say more.

Final autopsy results are not expected for weeks.

State police also said Friday the 9-1-1 audio recording is evidence in an ongoing investigation and cannot be released at this time.

Investigators searched the teen’s home on Thursday, and on Friday afternoon police returned control of Dennis Intermediate back to the school district.

Richmond Community Schools Superintendent Todd Terrill would not answer questions regarding the investigation in a Friday afternoon press conference, and he refused to comment about Clegg, other than he was not a current student of the district.

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“As far as the individual, at this time … I choose not to talk about him and his status with Richmond Community Schools other than to say he was not a student at this time,” Terrill said.

When asked about the district’s practice and policy regarding bullying among students, Terrill said, “We have a bullying policy that we adhere to.”

“I would love to know what makes an individual bring a gun to school. I don’t have an answer for that. I think that’s something as a country, as a society, we’ve got to try and get a better handle on,” Terrill said.

The incident, which happened shortly after classes began at Dennis and the district’s 15 other schools, forced the lockdown of all school buildings for the first few hours of the day.

The district’s four school resource officers responded to Dennis Intermediate after authorities received a 911 call reporting the teen was going to the school with a gun. Law enforcement from three jurisdictions arrived at the school just as Clegg got there. The teen fired a round into a school door to gain entry.

Police said officers cornered the suspect in a stairwell, and gunfire was exchanged. Police said the teen turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

In the wake of the incident, Dennis Intermediate was evacuated and students were transported to the high school, about five minutes away, where parents were able to pick up their children.

Terrill said teachers at Dennis had completed active shooter and lockdown training “within the last few weeks,” which he said proved helpful.

Terrill said the reunification with students and parents took about six hours to complete. He thanked parents for their patience during the process.

“It’s not only the teachers and the students at Dennis. There was impacts that were felt throughout our community, throughout our schools. Brothers, sisters, siblings in other buildings. It’s important to make sure that we meet the needs of them as well.”

Terrill said the biggest challenge now facing the district and community is moving forward.

“That’s part of the reason why students are in school today. We have to bring a sense of normalcy back to our community,” he said. “We will come back from it. We are Richmond. We will continue to move forward.”

Richmond’s last day of school for students before winter break is Wednesday.


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