Just Another Guy with Opinions

15-Year-Old Gay Student Shot Dead

Posted by shadmia on February 15, 2008


Lawrence King, 15, an eighth-grader at E.O. Green School, was pronounced brain-dead at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard about 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14th, after two examinations by neurosurgeons, said Craig Stevens, a Ventura County senior deputy medical examiner. The killer has been identified as 14-year-old Brandon David McInerney. Prosecutors filed a charge of murder with hate-crime and firearm-use enhancements against Brandon David McInerney, who will be tried as an adult.

If convicted on all three charges McInerney could be sentenced to more than 50 years in jail. He made his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon, but his hearing was continued until March 21. He was ordered held on $770,000 bail.

At around 8:30am on Tuesday, Feb. 12th, McInerney shot Lawrence King twice in the head, in front of about two dozen students who had just settled down in a computer lab to work on their English assignments. After the shooting McInerney dropped the gun at the scene and fled the school. He was picked up minutes later by a police officer not far from the school and arrested. For video clips of the scene immediately after the shooting click here and here.

Oxnard police said the shooting apparently stemmed from a personal dispute between King and the suspect. Police spokesman David Keith said investigators interviewed more than 100 people, but he declined to reveal further information on a possible motive.

Some students have said King was openly gay. Nicholas Cortez, 14, said King would come to school “wearing makeup and high heels”. Another eighth-grader, Michael Sweeney, said King’s appearance was “freaking the guys out”:

“He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails — the whole thing,” Sweeney said.

13-year-old Mariah Thompson, one of King’s friends who emerged from the school with her mother, after talking to detectives was very distraught:

“He didn’t deserve it,” she said, crying. She said she was one of the wounded boy’s few friends, a confidant he trusted with stories about others making life at school miserable for him. “I would always tell him, ‘Don’t let them get to you,’ ” she said.

School administrators expressed shock as word of the shooting spread. Jerry Dannenberg, superintendent of the Hueneme School District since 2002, said he had not heard of any guns showing up in the district’s schools before Tuesday. Without commenting on a possible motive, Dannenberg stressed the importance of tolerance. “We have to be accepting of others, and when there are differences, people need to resolve them without resorting to violence,” he said.

Principal Joel Lovstedt said he was not aware of any previous fight between the victim and suspect. “If there had been a fight, it wasn’t to the level that it reached my office,” he said. Lovstedt said he had heard reports of teasing, and he had spoken to the victim about the problem. “I’ve talked to the victim myself, and I said if anyone teases you, let me know,” he said.

“This is a horrific act. If we had any inkling that something like this would have happened, we would have stopped it,” he said.

Lawrence King was living in foster care, at Casa Pacifica, a residential center for troubled and abused youths. He would take the bus to school every day. “It’s just overwhelming, unbelievable,” said Steven Elson, the facility’s administrator, of the shooting. “Our staff and kids are really trying to cope with this. We have not had a child die in a violent manner like this” Elson said, adding that Casa Pacifica plans to hold a memorial service next week.

“We’re are all stunned and it’s just an unspeakable tragedy,” Elson said. “This is a very big traumatic experience for all of us.”

Members of King’s family (they called him Larry) decided together to donate his organs. “I think that that’s what he would have wanted,” his father, Greg King said, adding that his son was headstrong, confident and sweet. He loved to sing songs by folk rock trio Crosby, Stills and Nash, and was studying the Star Spangled Banner in hopes of singing it at his brother’s baseball games. His father said he had a very gifted singing voice.

He was so good in fact, that one of Greg King’s friends — who was unaware of the family’s tragedy — called on Wednesday to say King should try to get his son to try out for American Idol.

Larry’s mother, Dawn King, said Larry would often remind her to take her medicines to control her diabetes. Larry also had an affinity for animals. He loved butterflies and built a special connection with a stray dog he named Jasmine, his father said. “She’d fetch for Larry, but anyone else that tried to come near her she’d run.” He also enjoyed using licorice sticks to catch crawdads at Bubbling Springs Park in Port Hueneme, where his family would go for baseball games.


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15 Responses to “15-Year-Old Gay Student Shot Dead”

  1. damian said

    My heart goes out for this young man. I live in toronto, canada where this tragic loss I hope will never happen.

  2. diego ortega said

    gay kids should be treated better because they need friends to show them that they are humans
    and are likes me and u and everyone else.,.,.
    im not against gays i respect them they have not done anything to me
    because of one doens’t mean everyone has to pay for

    hope hes in gods side smiling and taking care of kids like him

    love and hugs to his family members

  3. Mario said

    “My heart goes out for this young man. I live in toronto, canada where this tragic loss I hope will never happen.”

    Umm…sweetie pie, it already does happen. Don’t you have news in Canada? It’s amazing the ignorant “ugly Canadian” smugness that reeks from your country these days. Not only do you have more than your share of vicious anti-gay attacks, but you had 2 serial killers in the past year targeting homosexuals. Sad that you don’t know this.

  4. B.j. said

    R.I.P. 2 da dude Im not gay but im also not against gays but if he wasnt bothering the guy why kill him thats some sick shit to kill another teen now you lose two life the shooter and the victum

    R.I.P. Larry

  5. C.B said

    My heart goes out to this boy’s family. It was a senseless act of violence. I am from Canada and we are not blind by any means to this sort of violence. Violence of this sort is everywhere, not just in the U.S. It is not fair for someone to accuse all of us of “ugly canadian” smugness as we all are not ignorant to the ugly things humans are capable of everyday, everywhere to eachother. Hatred needs to stop, no matter the type.

    R.I.P Larry

  6. Nykki said

    I hope that one day everyone can be respecting to one other. I mean just a few years ago these type of things happened to black people. People need to start teaching their kids to be more accepting of people. To love each other and respect the differences that other people and cultures have. It would make this whole world alot easier to live in. Wake up people our babies are dying because of stupid shit!!! Let’s do something about it before half of the next generation is dead and the other half is in jail. Teach your kids to love everyone. To respect everyone. To be more understanding. Let’s not have let Larry die in vain. Let’s try to learn from this horrible experience.

    To the King Family,
    I know that you are hurting right now, I would hate to lose my children. But be strong and remember what a wonderful person your son was and that even though it was just a short while. He touched your hearts and you are better people for having known him.


  7. Geo said

    I know half of what it is like to be in his position. In his family’s position. I have been pushed, hit, beaten, kicked, tripped, had my things vandalized, broken, stained, ripped, I have been verbally and physically abused by people that hate me for who I am. I stand up every day, I go to work and respect everyone who I may even be acquainted with. I spill my heart out to people so I can prove there is no right way to live your life. I am a lesbian and I am proud of who I am. I have a beautiful fiance’ who I will never get to marry, a job that will never get me anywhere, and a family who couldn’t care less about me all because I am gay. This is what happens when you let things go. When people hate or don’t care. Stand up for a better future for everyone, gay, straight, trans gender, black, white, asian, latino, mixed, people with disabilities. We have all been stomped on at one point or another for who we are. Take a stand and help those people you know are getting put down. NO ONE should have to go through anything like this. NO FAMILY should have to deal with a loss like this. As for Brandon David McInerney, I blame his parents, friends, and anyone who taught him to hate and now I hope he gets what he deserves. I send my heart and blessings to the King family. I am sorry for your loss and I know he must have been a beautiful young man. I wish you all the best and my prayers are out for your beloved son.

  8. Sample99 said

    Well I hope Brandon David McInerney spends his life in Jail.. Umm if he should get out I think Brandon David McInerney will be “Taken Out” by someone for sure!!

  9. krisii said

    my heart goes out to the King’s. I definately cannot imagine the pain that they’re going through. I just feel like… I can’t wrap my head around this. What kind of parents raises a child like this David kid? I mean I have a brother who’s 14, even though he’s not gay, he’s not ignorant stupid or crazy enough to shoot a boy for being gay. Our parents taught us not to discriminate while we were growing up, what did the McInerney’s teach their kid? Not only did David kill a boy that did absolutely nothing wrong, he is responsible for the trauma his classmates has to go through forever. You can’t help who you fall in love with.

  10. Rebecca said

    This is so sad
    I live In Victoria BC
    and a similar bullying act happened here
    the death of Rina Virk (google it)
    So hate crimes happen everywhere.

  11. Shayan said

    I’m a 25 YO gay from Iran. Here, gay people are hanged.It’s a dreadfull thing to see that a 15 Yo kid, gets killed because of his oorientation.

    We homosexuals have too many problems in Iran; we cant’t make friends and date other gays. these isn’t any chance for us to live happily. and now I get surprised to see in US a kid is killed over his sexuality.

    Hope he rests in peace; hope people around us open their eyes and see that “WE Are Humans too”.

  12. ilena said

    kinda sucks that i live in ugly canada where i am ingorant of everything that happens and that i have no idea that stuff like this happens where my brother lives…..oh and im 11 and probably know more about this stuff than any usa person

  13. mark said

    i live in Washington (UK) i am a young gay too its hard for me at school too i get beaten up almost every day and i dont really have any friends i think that schools should have some time to teach students about gays,les and peoples feelings i hope the child who killed him gets life he should infact get death himself

    r.i.p larry

  14. ali said

    i am a iranian boy i am gay and like the gay boys but i live in iran… in our contiry even sex with girls is bad now gay=killing.sorry may english not well….just i am a gay….gay…and gay who help me? ….who can help me?im a human i love gay..what i am doing?

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