School shooting leaves Stillwater stunned

Police identified Cade Poulos as the student found Wednesday with a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound in the hallway of Stillwater Junior High School, about 65 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.
BY JULIANA KEEPING jkeeping@opubco.com Modified: September 26, 2012 at 10:07 pm •  Published: September 26, 2012

The ordeal was over for Moffitt by 10 a.m., she said, but she knows she'll struggle with what she saw Wednesday morning, the image of Poulos in the pool of blood continuing to play over in her mind.

Bullied?

A memorial page quickly sprung up on Facebook, where many were quick to point to bullying as a reason for Poulos' public suicide.

Caine said the district tracks instances of bullying and had recorded none for Poulos. Dickerson said it was too early in the investigation to point to bullying as a driving force in the boy's death.

“I'm not aware of any credibility to that — I can't say one way or another, obviously, but the detectives are still looking into it and that's one of the things we'll take into consideration,” Dickerson said.

Moffitt knew Poulos but the two weren't close, she said. She said he looked happy the day before as he walked by her table at lunch.

Moving forward

School counselors were available to students quickly after the tragedy, Caine said. The school will create a counseling plan, and has already received support along those lines from the Stillwater community, with offers of help from Oklahoma State University and The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Classes and extracurricular activities are set to resume Thursday as normal, Caine said.

The junior high does not have metal detectors, Caine said. It's a subject that will be addressed.

“We're still in the midst of trying to wrap our minds around the tragedy and take care of our students and our staff that witnessed that or that just knew him. The metal detector question is something we'll talk about pretty quickly.”

Police are not releasing information on where Poulos got the gun he took to school, Dickerson said.

Community pulls together

On Facebook, people commenting on the memorial page penned tributes to Poulos and left notes of support to the family. The page had more than 5,000 “likes” less than 12 hours after the student's death.

A local church planned a service in Poulos' honor Wednesday evening.

A large crowd of friends and family gathered at a mobile home where Poulos' family lives in rural Stillwater, bringing gifts of food to the family. A man who turned away reporters returned to the crowd and offered hugs to grieving women sitting at a picnic table outside.


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