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Classes resume a day after shooting death at Stillwater Junior High School

Police are not releasing further details on the apparent suicide of a 13-year-old at Stillwater Junior High School while the investigation into the death continues, a police captain said. Classes continued there Thursday, a day after the death.
by Juliana Keeping Modified: September 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm •  Published: September 27, 2012

She declined to elaborate.

Students dressed as superheroes Wednesday for cancer awareness week, but Poulos was not wearing a costume at the time of his death, Dickerson said.

“He was wearing jeans and a dark-colored, button-down shirt that was unbuttoned with a T-shirt underneath,” Dickerson said.

Numerous agencies from the community offered counseling for students, faculty and staff, Caine said. People stopped by the school to offer food and prayers for staff.

The mood was somber Thursday morning, as students streamed past the site of Poulos' death and traded hugs. A special cleaning crew visited the school overnight; there was no sign any tragedy occurred there.

Ninth-grade student Autumn Farnes, 14, attended school but not class Thursday. She and her friends first visited an area called “the pit,” where students hang out or pray in the morning. Poulos died nearby.

She and her friends sat there and cried. They also prayed together over the spot of Poulos' death.

Although she did not know Poulos, she created a Facebook memorial page that captured almost 20,000 “likes” in just over a day because “I wanted to show my respect,” she said.

“It's heartbreaking that he took his own life,” Farnes said.

Others couldn't face the school Thursday. About 115 students were absent, about double the normal number of absences, Caine said.

More than 120 family, friends and Stillwater residents attended a prayer service Wednesday night hosted by Highland Park United Methodist Church, the Tulsa World reported.

Landon Horner wanted Poulos' family to know he always would remember his friend and that lots of prayers are being directed their way, he told the paper. “A lot of people are praying for you,” he said. “My prayers are with you.”

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by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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