Tuesday brought more bad news to a peaceful Amish community already rocked to its core by the execution-style shootings of eleven girls in a one-room schoolhouse Monday in Lancaster County, Pa.
Two more of the girls died overnight, one at a hospital in Delaware and the other at a hospital in Hershey, Pa., raising the death toll from the shootings to five.
Three girls died in the schoolhouse, one in the arms of a state trooper.
But there was good news, as well—reports that four of the six remaining survivors are expected to make full recoveries.
Police say the gunman, Charles Roberts, 32, left a rambling suicide note and may have been motivated by a grudge he bore for 20 years.
Roberts, a milk truck driver, put his own three children on a school bus Monday morning, and then drove to the small schoolhouse where he terrorized the class of 15 boys and 11 girls as well as the teacher and several other adult women.
He ordered the boys and the adult women to leave, and then lined the girls up next to the backboard and bound their feet with plastic restraints.
The teacher ran to a phone and called police.
State troopers responded quickly, but even as a negotiator was attempting to call Roberts’ cell phone, the gunman followed through on the threat he had made moments earlier in a call to a 911 dispatcher and opened fire on the young students.
Troopers stormed the schoolhouse, only to discover that Roberts had boarded up the doors.
The broke out windows to get into the building. Inside they found Roberts and three of the girls dead or dying.
Police say Roberts planned the massacre.
He was armed with three guns, a stun gun, two knives and a bag with bout 600 rounds of ammunition.
The shooting Monday was the third deadly incident of school violence in less than a week in the US.
Last Wednesday, a 53-year-old gunman took six female students hostage at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colo. and later killed one of them, Emily Keyes, 16, before taking his own life.
On Friday, a student at a rural Wisconsin High School shot and killed the school’s principal, John Klang.
The student, Eric Hainstock, made a court appearance Monday, during which his bond was set at $750,000. He’s charged with first degree intentional homicide.
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