Terry Loukaitis saw the look in his son’s bloodshot eyes - a look of “cold fury” - and recoiled in fright.
“He was a completely different person. I was shocked, horrified,” the Moses Lake man testified Thursday, his voice quaking with emotion.
“I didn’t know what to think. It was like the whole thing was a nightmare. It was as if all of this stuff that had been boiling up inside of him all of a sudden started coming out.”
The eruption came the afternoon of Feb. 2, when 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis stepped into his fifth-period algebra class at Frontier Junior High School and started firing his father’s hunting rifle.
The rampage ended when a physical education teacher grabbed the boy and the gun. By then, the classroom was splattered with blood. Two classmates and a teacher were dead; a third student was wounded.
Later that day, Terry Loukaitis told police there was nothing wrong with his son, but when he visited Barry behind bars, he knew it was a lie.
“He was scary looking,” he said Thursday at a hearing to determine if the boy will face aggravated murder charges as a juvenile or an adult.
The confessed killer’s mother also took the witness stand. In a quiet voice, she detailed her son’s two-year slide into angry isolation.
When Barry was in sixth grade, JoAnn Loukaitis said, he was a happy kid - brighter than most, popular, with a flair for writing.
“He was really friendly; he was outgoing,” she said. “He was in student council; he had friends that came over a lot.”
But the next fall, when he started seventh grade at Frontier, things started to change. “He didn’t have friends over as much anymore. He started slowly backing away from people,” his mother said.
JoAnn Loukaitis, 47, clutched a tissue, stared at her lap and said she understands because she long has suffered from depression. When her marriage began falling apart, dissolving into fistfights and curses, she said, some of the fallout wounded Barry, who then was about 12.
By eighth grade, Barry had become so withdrawn, gloomy and angry that his parents had to order him to do fun things, such as go to the movies.
“He just totally isolated himself,” she said. “It was like all of the sudden he didn’t like people; he didn’t trust people; he thought all people were bad.”
Those feelings intensified a couple of weeks before the shootings, when JoAnn Loukaitis, who had just filed for divorce, revealed her plan to kill herself in front of her husband and his suspected lover.
She said Barry urged her not to do it. “Mom, just write about it,” she said he told her. “That way, you’ll get it off your chest. … I don’t want you to die.”
Afterward, the teenager avoided his parents, he ate in his room - if he ate at all - and he slept away much of the day.
JoAnn Loukaitis said her son didn’t snap out of his depression until he was prescribed lithium a couple of months after his arrest. “He started being like the old Barry, who was fun to be with,” she said.
Defense attorney Guillermo Romero later called his third mental health expert, Seattle psychologist Kenneth Muscatel.
While Muscatel ruled out full-blown psychosis, he described Barry Loukaitis as “one of the strangest kids I’ve ever met.” He found the boy, now 15, to be angry, detached and depressed - warning signs of suicide, not murder.
During cross-examination by Grant County Prosecutor John Knodell, Muscatel said Loukaitis’ preparation for the shooting, such as stockpiling ammunition and weapons and buying a trench coat to hide the rifle, required sophistication.
In previous testimony for the defense, a psychiatrist and a psychologist said Loukaitis was mentally ill and wouldn’t have resorted to violence if he’d been properly treated.
Spokane psychologist Mark Mays said the boy was suffering from depression brought on by his troubled home life. Psychiatrist Julia Moore of Federal Way, Wash., went further, diagnosing the teenager as having a bipolar personality disorder - depression combined with unrelenting anger and mood swings.
That was challenged late Thursday by University of Washington psychology professor Alan Unis, the prosecution’s first rebuttal witness.
Unis found Loukaitis to be mentally ill, but not bipolar. The witness said Loukaitis is too young to have that disorder because his personality hasn’t fully developed.
Loukaitis, who has no prior criminal record, is charged with three counts of aggravated first-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault. Killed were classmates Manuel Vela and Arnold Fritz and teacher Leona Caires. Student Natalie Hintz was wounded. Testimony is expected to conclude today.
“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.
‘It’s like I pictured myself doing it or something I never really pictured myself doing anything else.’
Date: February 2, 1996
School: Frontier Junior High School. Moses Lake, WA
Outcome: Held class hostage. Overpowered. In prison.
Mrs Loukaitis confided too much in her son. her marriage had fallen apart, and her husband became involved with another woman. Mrs Loukaitis planned to get revenge against her husband and his girlfriend; she wanted to tie them up, tell them how much they’d hurt her, show them that she had a gun, frighten them into thinking she was going to kill them, and then shoot herself. She said, ‘If he didn’t remember my life, I was going to make him remember my death.’ She shared this plan with her son, on the last weekend of January, told him that she was going to kill herself on February 14 because she knew she could catch her husband with his girlfriend. On February 2, just a few days after she told Loukaitis her plan, he committed his school shooting.
Through his elementary school years he was reportedly outgoing and popular. He served on student council in sixth grade, and numerous friends visited his house. In seventh grade he became more withdrawn. His mother said he had a bad temper and would hit walls in anger.
During middle school Loukaitis was arrogant and intimidating. When he crossed paths with his peers, he would ‘curse them, tell them to shut up or order them out of his way.’ He loved the random violence in the movie Natural Born Killers and liked to quote from it. He talked about his desire to kill someone before he died. He was drawn to the idea of murder, saying ‘It would be cool to kill people…to try and get away with it.’
He also felt superior to his peers and viewed murder as a way of eliminating inferior people. He told a female classmate, ‘Some people don’t deserve to live; some people should just die or be killed.’
On February 2, Loukaitis entered his algebra class and shot Manuel Vela, Mrs Caires and two other students. Having shot 4 people, Loukaitis held the class hostage. During this time Loukaitis was said to be at ease. When the police arrived and wanted to negotiate with him, he reportedly was not afraid but annoyed. Loukaitis was apprehended when a teacher ripped the gun from his hands. Once in custody, a detective commented on how unruffled Loukaitis was: ‘He was acting shockingly calm…I expected to see a look of remorse.’ An officer commented that when he read Loukaitis his rights, ‘He looked up at me and cracked a smile and said ‘I know my rights, man.’ After giving his confession, he curled up in his cell and had a nap. Later that day, Loukaitis’s father described him as ‘Vicious. No emotion. Not crying.’
Author: Askance Words: 31,820 Summary: Almost two years after the world doesn’t end, Castiel falls from grace—and loses his voice in the process. It is the impetus for confession and change; before long, he is settling into a loving relationship with Dean, the Winchesters are tired, and hunting for a place to land has taken precedence to hunting anything else. Dean and Castiel fall in love with the strange little house on the end of Swallowtail Drive, and for a little while life is as it should be—sweet, affectionate, and beginning afresh.
But more and more Castiel sees and hears things in the house that beg the question of whether or not a place itself can be alive. The walls and rooms seem to shift and grow and breathe, and one night, Dean comes home from a hunt changed in a way that Castiel cannot explain. In the months that follow, their domestic bliss takes turns for the dark and sour, and the confusion of their circumstances will ultimately test everything Castiel knows about the man he loves, and everything he believes to be true.
Author: a_frayed_edge Words: 43,858 Summary: Four years ago Castiel Lord married local mechanic, Dean Winchester, and for two years their relationship flourished, until a decision made by Castiel sent Dean out the front door, and divorce papers were served. Now Castiel is two days from the alter with a new fiance on his arm, and he’s over Dean, he really is, their relationship dissolved for completely valid reasons. Of course, that’s a lot easier to believe when Dean isn’t standing in his mother’s back yard, offering an olive branch in the form of a favor for the Lord household. Suddenly memories of their past are everywhere and Castiel is faced with a choice he never thought he’d get again.
Author: PilDoor Words: 64,212 Summary: Castiel just moved to Moses Lake and thus is new at school. He meets Dean his second week there. Dean is warm and funny and just so nice, but why does everyone at school treat him like that??
Dean’s had an abusive relationship that’s traumatized him, and it stays with him for years, though Cas tries his best to be there for him.
Author: WinJennster Words: 105,637 Summary: Author Castiel Novak has finally hit the big time, with a book based on his failed college relationship with a brilliant painter. He’s put all his pain behind him, but at a book signing, he comes face to face with Dean Winchester for the first time in twelve years, and the reunion doesn’t go like Cas hoped. Dean’s a broken man, with a lot of scars and secrets, shoulders weighed down by his demons and self loathing.
Cas sees a second chance with the man he’s never stopped loving, but Dean’s moved on, and is about to get married. Sam launches a “brilliant” plan to reunite his brother and his best friend, but Cas is worried it will all blow up in their faces, and he’ll go through the agony of losing Dean a second time.
Author: lemonoclefox Words: 149,793 Summary: Dean Winchester is in high school, crushing hard on Castiel Novak, the unbelievably hot goth who Dean does his very best to convince himself he hates, despite the fact that he can’t really stop staring at him.Dean tries, but when the two of them finally cross paths, their first conversation takes a surprising turn. And suddenly, they both find themselves falling harder and faster than they ever could have expected.
Author: artsyUnderstudy Words: 163,191 Summary: Nearly a year after starting the fire that claimed the lives of Ruby Darvelle and Anna Novak, fifteen year old Sam Winchester returns home from his stint in court ordered rehab. Sam and his older brother, Dean, struggle to remake their own complicated relationship and the home they’ve lost in the wake of this tragedy, while a chance meeting brings Anna’s brother, the troubled and secretive Castiel, into their lives. Fighting with his recovery, Sam finds himself drawn to the strong and lively Jess, while Castiel and Dean find comfort in one another. As consequences of their past emerge and threaten to tear apart what they’ve carefully rebuilt, they are all forced to reevaluate who their family really is, and to what lengths they’re willing to go to keep it safe.
Author: alternaurora Words: 167,729 Summary: When home has nothing left to offer, Dean Winchester follows his brother out to the east coast. Sam has a new job in the Big Apple, and Dean has no idea what he wants. He’s never had much of a career, and his relationships have all felt like something’s missing. The brothers adopt a dog and Dean feels a spark for the blue-eyed volunteer Castiel Novak, but he knows he’ll never see him again.
A chance meeting with singer Anna Milton brings Dean to The Roadhouse, a struggling music lounge. Anna’s a flirt, but when it’s Castiel behind her at the piano, Dean can’t let him slip away again- except he’s not available, or so he thinks. Dean begins a rocky relationship with Anna, while Castiel becomes the best friend he’s ever known.
Except they both know it’s more than that. It’s everything.
As things fall apart with Anna, everything falls together with Castiel. But when disaster strikes, Dean and Castiel have to fight to hold on to the home and love they’ve found, or else risk losing it forever. - “Seeing you two singing together this morning? It’s so obvious, Castiel… The way you look at him? It’s like all those love songs you sing finally make sense.” -
Author: JhanaMay Words: 250,052 Summary: No matter how difficult he can be, Dean loves his son. Raising him alone after his mother died hasn’t been easy, but with the support of his family and friends, Dean has made it work. Now that Ben is starting kindergarten, Dean hopes that he can finally relax a little, but the challenges Ben faces at school make Dean realize that their struggles are just beginning. When Ben is assigned a new support teacher, Dean finds that Ben isn’t the only Winchester who has a problem dealing with change.
Author: TalesFromPerdition Words: 405,680 Summary: Dean and Sam Winchester struggle to survive when their alcoholic father abandons them. Castiel Novak has turned to drugs in his own father’s absence. As their lives spiral out of control, can their new friendship save them, or will it be a catalyst for destruction?
Author: ColdIntheStudio Words: 500,321 Summary: Castiel Novak is used to change. He’s used to being the new kid in school. So when he moves with his family to the small town of Rail Pass, he doesn’t expect things to be much different than the last three towns. But then he meets Dean Winchester, an aggressive fellow student who sees Castiel as the shiny new toy he and his friends get to mess with. Castiel has had his fair share of bullies in the past, but nothing like this. He’s never felt this way about a bully, or anyone for that matter, before. Maybe something’s wrong with him, that he could feel so attracted to someone who makes his everyday life hell.
But then again, he sees the way Dean looks at him sometimes. And there’s a lot more to Dean Winchester than meets the eye.
On February 2, 1996, Barry Loukaitis entered Frontier Junier High School in Moses Lake, Washington and murdered three people, including one teacher.
For an English assignment, he submitted a poem title “Murder.” It reads as follows:
It’s my first murder I’m at my point of no return I can’t let him live now He’d go to the cops for sure So I finish. I look at his body on the floor Killing a bastard that deserves to die Ain’t nothing like it in the world But he sure did bleed a lot.
We did it you guys! I am so happy right now! I don’t think any of you understand how appreciative I am of you guys and gals. Soooo, if anyone lives in the Moses Lake Wa area, I was thinking of doing a meet up or something. We can hang out or do something. Send something to my ask! This is a great feeling and ye. Thank you again!
Today, my sister got upset so my mom took us on a tour of Moses Lake and told us creepy stories about different locations. They were really scary in some spaces and I got vibes. So much crazy terrible shit happens in this little ass town, but when I search for articles about these events, they are never found. How did people not write about all this shit? This town is too fucking small. Tomorrow I think I’ll go to the Moses Lake Library to do some research, but the librarian will be scandalized whe they realize what I’m looking for.
Now going to sleep will be even more of a challenge.
I want to play airsoft with locals in my town… but idk anybody other than 3 people in my town that go airsofting. Frustrating and annoying seeming as I want to start an airsoft field in my town because the closest one is 2 ½ hours away