Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes disclosed more details Thursday about the shooting at Millard South High School that wounded the principal and assistant principal, who died of her injuries Wednesday night. Principal Dr. Curtis Case remains in stable condition.
Chief Hayes confirmed that 17-year-old Robert Butler Jr. fired off a few more rounds before running out of the building. A school nurse was injured by flying debris.
He also said though ballistics tests are not yet back, it appears the gun Butler used belonged to his father, a seven-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department. The younger Butler apparently took the weapon from a closet at their apartment.
At 8:10 a.m. Wednesday, Butler was called out of class to speak with assistant principal Dr. Kaspar. He met with her and was then escorted out of the building by security at 9:23 a.m. Butler had been cited for criminal trespass last Saturday afternoon for driving his vehicle on the school football field and track.
At 12:45 p.m., Butler walked in the school’s main entrance and signed in to speak with Dr. Kaspar. Butler was believed to be in Dr. Kaspar’s office for approximately four minutes with the door closed. Police believe Butler shot Dr. Kaspar as she was in her office, then shot Dr. Case.
An unarmed security officer who was sitting at a security desk outside the administrative office looked through the office window after recognizing the sounds as gunfire and saw Butler as he was walking out. Butler pointed the gun toward the security guard who took cover since he was unarmed and in the same position as all of the other employees in the building.
The school resource officer was in his office at the time of the shooting. After it was determined that the sound heard was gunfire, the SRO put out a “help an officer” call stating shots had been fired. The SRO cleared the office area for any suspects then headed for the exit doors after seeing the security guard out front. The security guard relayed Butler’s name and vehicle description to the SRO who then advised the information over the police radio.
At approximately 1:35 p.m., 911 received a call of a suspicious vehicle near South 147th and F streets matching Butler’s vehicle description. Officers arrived to find Butler dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside his running vehicle.
Dr. Kaspar was shot twice in the torso. She was 58. Funeral services for Dr. Kaspar will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, 153rd and Pacific.
The 45-year-old Dr. Case was hit three times by gunfire. The shots did not hit any vital organs.
Butler was a senior transfer student from Lincoln Southwest High School. He started at Millard South in November. Butler posted a message on a social media Web site (see photo below).
“Everybody that used to know me, I'm sorry but Omaha changed me and the school I now attend is even worse. You're going to hear about the evil I did, but that school drove me to this. I want you guys to remember me for who I was before this. I greatly affected the lives of the families ruined, but I'm sorry. Goodbye.”
Millard South students were dismissed one class at a time starting around 2:40 p.m. and directed to Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church at 15005 Q Street where parents waited for them. The last class was let out of school at around 5 p.m.
Wednesday was the first day of classes following the winter break. Millard South was closed on Thursday. Classes resume on Friday.
Crisis counselors are available at the Don Stroh Administration Center, 5606 South 147th Street until 5 p.m. Thursday. They wlll assist students, staff and parents. Crisis counselors will be at Millard South from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday.
Westside Church at 156th and Dodge and Christ Community Church at 108th and Dodge held prayer services Wednesday evening.
Late Wednesday, a candlight vigil that began with a dozen students grew, in a half-hour, to more than 200 standing outside the main entrance to Millard South, as close as you could get without going around the crime tape. Students held candles and prayed. One teenager told the group, "We are still Patriots, who stand together and support each other."