Gifts of money, e-mails with condolences and offers of counselling services flooded an Indian tribe in Minnesota as it prepared for the funerals of nine victims of a school shooting.
The chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa offered thanks for support from outsiders and said the group will overcome the shootings at the reservation’s high school.
“There’s no way you can prepare for something like this,” Floyd Jourdain said, “but we’re fortunate that we’re a strong, resilient people.”
Jeff Weise, 16, shot to death five students, a security guard and a teacher on Monday, then killed himself. Earlier, he shot to death his grandfather and the man’s girlfriend.
Authorities were still trying to determine what set Weise off, investigating reports that the teenager posted messages on a neo-Nazi website expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler and using the name Angel of Death.
Some of the funerals set for tomorrow will be closed to outsiders.
Funerals for tribal police officer Daryl Lussier and school security officer and former police officer Derrick Brun will include police escorts
“They deserve full honours, and we intend to honour them with every resource we have,” Jourdain said.
Officials were working to reopen the school, but said it may not before April 12. Even with the broken glass is swept up and the bullet holes repaired, reopening will be tough on students, Jourdain said.
“They’re just stunned, and to go back into their building is going to require one community-wide effort,” he said.
A teenager wounded in the shooting said he reached out to Weise before the attack because the boy seemed to have no friends.
“He looked like a cool guy, and then I talked to him a few times,” 15-year-old Cody Thunder said. “He talked about guns and shooting people."
He said even though Weise cultivated a dangerous appearance that included sculpting his hair into devil horns, he never thought Weise would shoot up their school.