Barry Loukaitis was 14 years old when he went to school carrying 2 pistols and a high powered rifle and shot his algebra teacher and 2 classmates to death on February 2nd 1996. Out of the crimes came large controversy and speculation as to what motive Loukaitis could have had. The dysfunction of his family, bullying he allegedly experienced at school, and his admitted mood swings were a few that commonly came up. Additionally, Loukaitis’ association with certain films and books were taken into consideration, most notably “Rage” by Stephen King, as Loukaitis referenced the book during his attack quoting “This sure beats the hell out of algebra, doesn’t it?” before shooting. He later admitted that he tried to model his life after the protagonist in the book, who had shot his two teachers and held his algebra class hostage.
One day, Loukaitis told a classmate: “Some people don’t deserve to live; some people should just die or be killed.” When the girl later argued with him over answers on a worksheet, Loukaitis exploded in anger, telling her, “Do you think you deserve to live?” It was a question he had begun to ask many students before the shootings.
“I Guess Reflex Just Took Over” - The Frontier Middle School Shooting
Fourteen year old Barry Dale Loukaitis was a severely troubled young man with a difficult home life. His father was largely absent for most of his childhood, and his mother often talked about suicide. Barry felt isolated and different from his classmates, and they treated him like an outcast. Whats more, Barry Loukaitis had entered puberty in the Nineties, a decade notorious for an unprecedented increase in gun violence in schools across America.
On February 2, 1996, Barry Loukaitis walked to Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, Washington, dressed in a long duster coat, boots, and a cowboy hat. Concealed in the coat was a 30-30 rifle and two handguns, along with over seventy rounds of ammunition. Loukaitis calmly approached his algebra classroom, walked through the door, and opened fire; two boys who were sitting at the front of the classroom, Arnold Fritz and Manuel Vela, were killed instantly. Loukaitis then fatally shot the teacher, Leona Caires, in the chest. Another girl received gunshot wounds to her leg and abdomen, but she would pull through and live.
Loukaitis took the rest of the class hostage. Realising the police had surrounded the school, Loukaitis panicked and told the frightened children one of them would have to come along as a shield so he could safely escape the school. Two teachers who had run into the classroom when he fired the first shots both volunteered to be hostages. Loukaitis chose Jon Lane, a gym teacher, and told him to walk. Instead Lane grabbed the barrel of Loukaitis’ rifle and wrestled him to the ground. Lane shouted at the children to run, and they were evacuated by encroaching police. Lane kept Loukaitis pinned to the ground until they arrived and arrested him.
Loukaitis showed little emotion when discussing the shooting in his police interviews, and coolly remarked that “reflex took over” when he entered the algebra classroom with a fully loaded rifle. He was tried as an adult and pled insane to all the charges against him, citing “mood swings” as the cause of his actions. The prosecution claimed that Loukaitis planned the shooting in advance, and he was inspired by violent media such as Pearl Jam’s song “Jeremy” and Stephen King’s novel “Rage”
In September 1997 Barry Loukaitis was found guilty on three charges of murder, one charge of attempted murder, and sixteen counts of aggravated kidnapping. He received two life sentences plus an additional sentence of 206 years.
am i the only who whos starting to think true crime is starting to become i dont know how to say this a trend? Because in these last few weeks its been starting to fill with girls who dont know shit about columbine let alone other shootings, murderers and unsolved cases they just pout and pose in their natural selection or wrath t-shirt for the aesthetic all they do is reblog eric and dylan photos and caption them with 78 emojis along with obnoxious kink names? I mean yeah sure were all a little into e/d (who wouldnt be) but this is just pathetic. They just come here to act edgy (because thats the new trend apparently) and act like they don’t care about the victims at all because im fucking sure if one of their loved ones was to die in a mass murder im pretty sure they would fuck shit up this is just starting to become ridiculous.
To put it simply, I was an asshole. I felt isolated from everyone, and didn’t fit in. Rather than see this for what it was and embrace individuality, I chose to be mean to people. I had a very puerile ‘they’re not worth befriending anyway’ attitude, which insulated me from the feeling of rejection. Suffice it to say that I adopted an identity which wasn’t really who I was. Deep down I knew this but I ignored it. I tried to project a fearsome image, but would never act accordingly. When I was challenged, I backed down. After this happened several times I felt I needed to prove myself, that I was what I claimed to be. The result was me murdering people.
Barry Loukaitis on the decision that landed him in prison for life.