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Others Aware of Red Lake Plans, Officials Say
« on: April 02, 2005, 01:41:00 PM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... 5Apr1.html

Others Aware of Red Lake Plans, Officials Say
As Many as Four Believed to Have Helped Plot Attack

By Dana Hedgpeth and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, April 2, 2005; Page A03

RED LAKE, Minn., April 1 -- As many as 20 teenagers may have known ahead of time about plans for the shooting spree that resulted in the deaths of 10 people on the Indian reservation here March 21, tribal and federal officials said Friday.

Capt. Dewayne Dow of the tribal police told a group of parents, teachers and staff at a three-hour school board meeting that authorities believe as many as 20 students were involved.

Roland Lussier, left, comforted son Roland Jr. after a wake for his older brother, Chase, last week in Red Lake, Minn. The last funeral for the 10 who died in the March 21 shootings is scheduled for today, and observers said many young people on the Red Lake Band of Chippewa reservation are still on edge. (Richard Tsong-taatarii -- Star Tribune Via AP)

One law enforcement official said the FBI believes that as many as four students -- including gunman Jeff Weise and Louis Jourdain, a classmate arrested Sunday -- were directly involved in planning an attack on Red Lake High School, and well over a dozen others may have heard about the plot.

"There may have been as many as four of these kids who were active participants in the plot," said the official, who declined to be identified discussing an ongoing investigation. "The question is, how many other kids had some knowledge of this or had heard about it somehow? We think there were quite a few."

FBI agents plan to perform forensic analysis on 30 to 40 computers seized Friday from the high school computer laboratory, FBI and school officials said. Investigators hope to learn more from the school computers, since much of the alleged discussion and planning among Weise and his friends occurred through e-mails and instant messages, the law enforcement official said.

Those developments capped a week in which daily funerals or wakes kept many members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa in a state of stunned disbelief.

"It still feels like it's a bad dream," Donald May, a member of the tribal council, said in midweek. "We're in shock."

The burial for the last of the 10 fatalities was scheduled for Saturday. "I went to a lot of these funerals these past few days, and I'm just numb," said Allen Pemberton, another tribal council member.

As the week passed in this isolated community, the FBI's continuing investigation was compounding the residents' ingrained distrust of outside authorities.

"It used to be when you saw someone who's a non-Indian coming on the reservation, there's only one reason -- he's either an FBI agent or a Mormon," said Mike Fairbanks, a 40-year law enforcement veteran and a member of the Red Lake Chippewa.

Some of the distrust was cropping up between tribal members.

"I've been getting strange looks," said Cartera Hart, 16, as she left a grocery store on the reservation. Hart, who was dressed in black and wore a hoop through her lip, said she hangs out with about a dozen students who were friends with Weise and Jourdain, who is the tribal chairman's son. Friend Alyssa Roy, 15, said, "There's going to be more and more people tormenting us and thinking we're involved."

To cope with the attention, and with the shootings, some tribal members simply withdrew to their homes. As the weather turned warm and sunny on Thursday, basketball courts and parks were empty. A few younger children rode bikes around in their yards, close to their houses.

"I stay in my house, and I don't want my kids to go outside," said Barbara Bedeau, 42, who said she has struggled to explain the shooting spree to her daughter, 8. "I want them to stay close, near me. It's made us all scared."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... pr1_2.html

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Others Aware of Red Lake Plans, Officials Say

At two counseling centers set up on the reservation, a handful of the counselors who had been brought in from around the area sat, one afternoon, sipping donated sodas and waiting for someone to counsel. Some parents said that their teenagers had gone for counseling the first few days after the shooting, but that they would like to see the roughly 30 counselors come to their houses, because they are nervous and afraid.

Many tribal members said they felt more comfortable talking about their grief in private, with friends and family. Some people said they were on edge as FBI agents showed up at residents' houses, and teenagers were being taken to the detention center for hours of questioning.

Roland Lussier, left, comforted son Roland Jr. after a wake for his older brother, Chase, last week in Red Lake, Minn. The last funeral for the 10 who died in the March 21 shootings is scheduled for today, and observers said many young people on the Red Lake Band of Chippewa reservation are still on edge. (Richard Tsong-taatarii -- Star Tribune Via AP)

"It's hard to see your kids go through this," said the father of two teenagers at the Red Lake high school, who asked that his name not be used because he is afraid that if other students were involved, they would go after his children. "They don't listen to as much music anymore" he said. "They don't seem to like to watch as much TV. They're not on the Internet as much."

At the high school grounds, a few miles from the man's house, police cars and yellow tape blocked the entrance. Teddy bears, flowers, candles and signs offering condolences hung along a metal fence in the schoolyard. Inside the school, the sounds of drills could be heard as workers repaired the damage.

School officials said they plan to reopen the nearby elementary school April 11, but are unsure when the middle school and high school would reopen. Some students say they are ready to go back and move on; others are trying to transfer to other school districts.

"I don't want to go back," said Amanda Lussier, 16, whose boyfriend, Steven Cobenais, was wounded in the shooting. Cobenais, 15, was listed in critical condition at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, N.D.

"It will be too hard, knowing all that happened there," Lussier said.

Tribal chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain Jr. appeared at Friday's school board meeting and defended his son. "I sincerely feel my son is a victim, just like everybody else's," Jourdain said. "He's equally traumatized as anybody. He's been more traumatized, because he was a friend of Jeff Wiese's. The only thing he's being guilty of is being a friend."

Eggen reported from Washington. Special correspondent Dalton Walker contributed to this report from Red Lake.
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