Killing spree leaves 6 dead


PDA






Open Carry
May 31, 2005, 11:52 PM
Bellefontaine, Ohio

Killing spree leaves 6 dead
Murder-suicide kills mother, grandparents, three students, sister clings to life at OSU

Bellefontaine Examiner (http://examiner.org/index.php)

By Brian J. Evans
Examiner Staff Writer

Scott Moody was looking forward to graduating from Riverside High School at 2 p.m. Sunday, friends and family said about the 18-year-old farmer.

A classmate and family friend, Megan Karus, 19, also was looking forward to graduating at Riverside; she was to graduate with honors.

But Scott and Megan didn't make it to graduation.

On a day that normally marks the beginning of a new chapter in life, their lives tragically ended, along with four others.

Authorities described a gruesome killing spree that started at one farmhouse just west of the Bellefontaine corporation limit, and ended at another neighboring farmhouse - claiming six lives Sunday. A seventh victim clings to her life, in critical condition at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus.

Investigators said the night before graduation a party was hosted at 37-year-old Sheri "Kay" Shafer's 2647 W. State Route 47 farmhouse for her son, Scott. Among those present were his sister and Ms. Shafer's daughter, Stacy Moody, 15; Megan Karus, who was Stacy's close friend; and Paige Harshbarger, 14, who was believed to be Scott's new girlfriend.

Logan County Sheriff Michael Henry said three people, whom he would not identify, also were present for the celebration, and when they left the
residence late that night everything was fine. There were no disturbances, no fights, and no death threats.

"Everybody went to bed," said Detective Mike Brugler. "There were no problems. They were all planning to go to graduation that afternoon."

Investigators believe sometime between 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Scott went to his grandparents' 2337 W. State Route 47 farmhouse, about a quarter-mile east of his home, and killed them as they made breakfast.

Sharyl Shafer, 66, and Gary Shafer, 67, were found dead in their kitchen.

Scott had shot them with a semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle, which holds 15 to 17 rounds.

A close friend of the family who lived directly behind the farmhouse, Misty Martin, 23, of 2289 W. State Route 47, said she didn't hear any gunshots
that morning. She remembers getting a call from Stacy's cell phone at 9:30 a.m., but it was mumbled and distorted and she couldn't understand anything.

Not thinking much of it, Ms. Martin told Stacy she would stop by her place later that day, but she didn't make it before police converged on the scene.

After shooting his grandparents, detectives believe, Scott secured the residence and went back to his house, where he went through the place and shot his mother, his sister and Megan and Paige while they were sleeping in various areas of the home.

He then shot himself.

Detectives said Megan was found on a downstairs living room sofa. Ms. Shafer was found in a bed upstairs in one room while Paige and Scott were found in another upstairs bedroom.

Stacy was shot in the neck in a third upstairs bedroom, Sgt. Jeff Cooper said, and Scott thought he'd killed her. However, bleeding heavily from the
neck and in shock, she managed to get downstairs to the kitchen where she called Ms. Martin, a second family friend and her stepsister from a cell
phone. Sgt. Cooper said the girl made the three calls from her cell phone after 9:30 a.m., none of which was to 911. It would be more than an hour
before she received medical attention.

The stepsister, identified on a 911 tape as Nicole Vagedes, drove from her DeGraff residence to the farmhouse and discovered the bodies while on the phone with the sheriff's office.

"My sister just called me and said her mom and her had been beaten up and her mom is not waking up," she said in the frantic call to the sheriff's office. "Somebody came into their house and beat them up. ... It's at the Shafer farm on 47 across from the airport. ... She called us and she told us to come because she had blood all over her and she can't wake her mom up. ... Please hurry."

After the caller went into the house, she said she couldn't feel Ms. Shafer's pulse. While she was on the phone, she walked through the place, discovering other bodies lying around the two-story white panel farmhouse.

Much of the call was distorted and hard to understand because of the caller's screams and cries.

"Oh my God," she cried. "The son and the girlfriend are beat up, too. ... Oh my God. There's only one awake."

"How many people have been beat up?" dispatcher Dawn Heppard asked the caller.

"Four, four," Nicole said. "Oh my God. There's one in the living room, too."

"Okay, what's going on right now honey?" dispatcher Heppard asked. "There's another on the couch," the caller cried.

Deputies responded to the scene with squads from the Bellefontaine Fire Department shortly after the 10:46 a.m. call.

The fatal gunshot wounds led to visible bruising similar to blunt force injuries, investigators said. However, detectives have found no evidence of a struggle.

After losing a lot of blood, paramedics said, Stacy was flown by MedFlight to OSU and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the Logan County Coroner's Office were called to the scene.

Based on preliminary evidence at the scene, Sgt. Cooper said, everything indicates Scott was the shooter.

After investigating the first scene, Sgt. Cooper said the investigation led them to the neighboring farmhouse where they discovered Mr. and Mrs. Shafer's bodies.

"We knew the people in the (2647) residence were connected to the Shafers (at 2337)," Sgt. Cooper said. "We wanted to go down there and check to make sure everything was all right number one, and number two, to try get some background to give us some idea on where to go and what to look for. When we got there, that's when we made the discovery."

Riverside School officials were notified only of Scott's death minutes before graduation began and Superintendent Bernie Pachmayer made the announcement after the ceremonies.

"It was a very somber event," Superintendent Pachmayer said. "Most of the people didn't know, but the staff and administrators knew. It was a very sad occasion and it should have been joyous. ... We should have been able to celebrate."

Sheriff Henry said they are working to determine the motives behind the shootings.

"Right now we are trying to figure out why this happened," Sheriff Henry said. "You can't describe how hard this is for the family. ... It's sad; it's really tough. And it's devastating in any community. We've had some ugly tragedies, but none like this. It's hard for us to comprehend why."

Autopsies are being conducted at the Montgomery County Coroner's Office and forensics are being conducted on the gun. Some of the tests could take up to six weeks to complete.

"It takes time to put these things together," Sheriff Henry said. "I'm not sure if we'll ever find out what happened, but we'll try. ... These are the most tragic shootings I've seen in this county in my 31 years here, because of the sheer numbers and all of the victims."

If you enjoyed reading about "Killing spree leaves 6 dead" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Third_Rail
June 1, 2005, 01:01 AM
Very odd.... Kind of reminds me of the man that blew up a school over being shorted a few cents in the 1920s...

Lennyjoe
June 1, 2005, 11:36 AM
That is terrible. This Scott kid had some serious issues.

Why is it that someone feels compelled to take other life and then thier own.

Why cant they just kill themself? I will never understand suicide.

Prayers to the families...

Stolly
June 1, 2005, 12:48 PM
Being from the Montgomery/Greene county area here in Ohio, I've been inundated with this story all weekend. I agree it's a horrible tragedy of senseless violence. It also seems, like in most suicide cases, that someone should have picked up on signs well beforehand. One report from the weekend stated that within an unknown period of time (the paper didn't say), the Bellefontaine Police had received ten calls about disturbances from this kids house. It blows my mind in cases like this where no one claims to have seen any tell-tale signs and all this came out of the blue. :banghead: This Scott kid makes it through four years of high school at the same school, probably around the same teachers and students and yet no one notices when this kid takes a turn for the worse and goes on a murder/suicide rampage? :banghead:

Another thing that chaps me is that the paper listed in the original post feels the need to explain that the particular gun had the capacity to hold 15-17 rounds. Were they not sure exactly how many this particular gun could hold or were they more concerned about stating their opinion about high-capacity gun control. I LOVE THE LIBERAL MINDSET!! :fire: (if only that poor Scott would have had a gun that could only hold 10 rounds) THE SAME NUMBER OF PEOPLE WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED SENSELESSLY!! :fire:

Sorry for the flames. I had to get that out of my system

LaEscopeta
June 1, 2005, 01:07 PM
From the original newspaper story:
Scott had shot them with a semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle, which holds 15 to 17 rounds.
A good reporter gets all the correct facts in the story they can before their deadline. It’s possible one source told the reporter 15 rounds capacity, another said 17, or the sources weren’t sure of the exact capacity.

In any event, I don’t think I’m reading a liberal or anti-gun mindset in this story. The story is about a murder/suicide, and it uses one sentence to describe the weapon. The writer uses adjectives that describe the weapon enough so the reader can know what it is, without using any of the liberal/anti-gun buzz words like “assault” or “deadly” or “unregistered.”

lysander
June 1, 2005, 03:41 PM
I have to ask the question....can anyone who lives in the area...or is familiar with this incident speak to whether the shooter was being treated with psychotropic drugs of any kind?

Molon Labe
June 1, 2005, 09:27 PM
I'm in Champaign County, Ohio, which is one county south of Logan County. Nothing like this has ever happened around here. We're in shock. :(

wasrjoe
June 1, 2005, 09:41 PM
Tragic, absolutely horrible. There is evil in this world. That cannot be denied.

benEzra
June 1, 2005, 09:41 PM
Sounds like it was probably a tubular-magazine .22? Most of those hold 15 to 17 (and were specifically excluded from the AWB, anyway).

The_Antibubba
June 1, 2005, 11:46 PM
I'm interested in autopsy results. Any bets on the presence of an antidepressant or ADD med?

Hawkmoon
June 1, 2005, 11:56 PM
I agree that the mention of the magazine capacity was superfluous to the story. That he used a .22 semi-auto is legitimate. Capacity is meaningless. He could easily have had 200 rounds stuck in the pockets of his jeans, emptied the rifle into the two grandparents, and reloaded on his way home to shoot the rest of the family.

My Henry lever action .22 has similar capacity. So what?

stevelyn
June 2, 2005, 10:18 AM
Any bets on the presence of an anti-depressant or ADD med?

My thoughts exactly.

Travis McGee
June 2, 2005, 11:06 AM
I'd sure be interested to know Scott's psychological history. Has he been seeing a shrink, what meds is he on, and so on. That will be the story behind the story. Prayers to all touched by this dreadful tragedy.

grimjaw
June 2, 2005, 12:48 PM
I agree that capacity in this instance isn't necessarily significant. The weapon had a capacity of '15-17 rounds'. How many of them were used? All? One? If it was tube fed, it actually had a capacity of 20+ rounds, if .22 short were used.

I was in Jonesboro, AR, back in the 90's when the Westside school shooting took place. A friend of mine had just dropped off office supplies at the school thirty minutes beforehand. Thirty minutes from being a statistic. My question's were the same as today. What was wrong with this kid? How could it have been identified? What was his history with firearms? How did he get the gun?

My initial reaction from this one news report was that the family was totally defenseless and unaware that the boy was a danger to others and himself.

Very senseless and tragic. This is the fourth news story involving tragic death in Ohio that I've heard in two weeks. Two tazer deaths, eight people killed in a house fire on Cleveland's east side (suspected arson), and now this.

jmm

centac
June 2, 2005, 01:23 PM
Are we trying to fault the media for an effort to include information? Because of the way those facts may be interpreted? Frankly, I'd like to know more about the weapon used, not less.

How does this jibe with wanting to know the most personal information possible about the shooter - his medical/psychiatric history?

SteveS
June 2, 2005, 01:52 PM
How does this jibe with wanting to know the most personal information possible about the shooter - his medical/psychiatric history?

Unfortunately, after terrible events like this one, people and groups will pick apart the events and try to figure out what happened. As a part of this, various groups and individuals will formulate theories and some will even try to push their agendas.

Anti gun folks will focus on the "ease" in which this individual obtained a "high capacity" gun. If it turns out he was on any medication for AD/HD or depression, I am sure that will be blamed. If he listened to a certain kind of music or played certain video games, that will named as a factor, as will his association with certain groups.

MechAg94
June 2, 2005, 02:29 PM
I guess because the gun didn't pull it's own trigger.

Also, is a pump or lever action .22 considered semi-auto?

2nd Amendment
June 2, 2005, 03:23 PM
Are we trying to fault the media for an effort to include information? Because of the way those facts may be interpreted?

The "information " is quite probably wrong and utterly meaningless in this issue. The only reason for including it was to create a specific perception.

Frankly, I'd like to know more about the weapon used, not less.

It was a .22 rifle. Why would you need any more data than that, since the firearm had nothing to do with the "why" of what happened?

How does this jibe with wanting to know the most personal information possible about the shooter - his medical/psychiatric history?

Because while the firearm is simply a tool, one of many that could have been used to carry out the crime, his mental and medical state are relevant to what caused him to do this. Expecially if he was yet another of those public school victims being medicated to the eyes for "AD/HD" or whatever "affliction of the month" they may have now.

SteveS
June 2, 2005, 03:55 PM
Because while the firearm is simply a tool, one of many that could have been used to carry out the crime, his mental and medical state are relevant to what caused him to do this. Expecially if he was yet another of those public school victims being medicated to the eyes for "AD/HD" or whatever "affliction of the month" they may have now.

As someone that works in the mental health field, I will agree that some children are overmedicated by their parents and their doctors, though I think it is unwise to focus on one aspect of his medical/mental state and ignore other possible causes. It is also hard to say that the medication caused the psychosis, since relation does not imply causation. Many people that are prescribed medication are disturbed/problematic to begin with.

Having worked with some very disturbed children, I would have to say it is very difficult to identify contributing factors with any high degree of certainty. After working in this fied for approximately 10 years, I have yet to meet a child that became psychotic or uncontrollably aggressive after being placed on medication. I am not saying that it couldn't happen, I am just saying that I don't have any 1st hand evidence.

Don't get me wrong, I usually cringe when I get a parent that is wanting me to help them get medication for their child, when they should be looking to other avenues first, but I am not willing to definitively say that medication causes psychosis.

Another thing to consider is perception. Many non-gunowners have a poor image of firearms because the media disproportionately reports on negative incidents involving firearms. They do the same thing with many other things, including psychotropic medication.

LaEscopeta
June 2, 2005, 04:35 PM
Quote:
Frankly, I'd like to know more about the weapon used, not less.
It was a .22 rifle. Why would you need any more data than that, since the firearm had nothing to do with the "why" of what happened?
As I understand the convention in place in this county for the last 80 years or so, reporters are supposed to answer who, what, where and when in news stories (sometimes how.) Why and how are supposed to be answered in editorials and feature articles. Stating the weapon used was a .22 semi-auto rifle with 15-17 rounds capicity helps answer what. They could also have said what kind of stock or sights it had. None of this relates to why the kid did this, and the story would be just as tragic no matter what the weapon was, but it adds detail to the story. I don’t think reporters should write stories based on how some group or another may gleam a few facts to push they own agenda; there are so many groups with agendas to worry about reporters would never file any stories.

(Of course if they added details about the weapon that are incorrect (like it was lever action not semi-auto) that’s a whole different problem.)

2nd Amendment
June 2, 2005, 04:42 PM
I'm not going to hijack the thread but I'll say this from experience: In my fairly immediate family there have been three elementary age boys all placed on Ritalin at the initial suggestion of a school nurse/counsellor. All three went from highstrung "typical boys" semi-automatons who periodically had angry fits(though never actually "violent"). This fits perfectly with the stories detailing the apparent abuse of medicating school children I have read and followed for quite a while(but never previously experienced).

One is not in a private school and off the drugs. He's wound up like a watch spring, always on the go and into things. Very much a boy. One other is off the drugs and still in public skool(different district). He's doing ok but not "as well" it seems. Subjective, I admit. Third is still in the same school, same drugs and same comparatively zombie-like attitude with occasional fits of temper.

Now I admit, to anyone who didn't know the kid before he's not like a zombie. It's when you saw "before and after" that the change is so obvious(and sort of unpleasant). I also don't deny the need for mental care for some, I just don't see how at this point we can deny some causal aspect when we keep discovering the kids who do things like this also are then currently medicated...

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled pointless debates...

grimjaw
June 2, 2005, 05:10 PM
Frankly, I'd like to know more about the weapon used, not less.

I made a poor point, before.

I'd like to know more about the weapon used, the shots fired, the boy's mental state/history/family details, and numerous other things. I'd have to know much more than what's in that article to make any kind of informed judgement as to what happened and how it might be prevented in the future. The fact that the article focused on the (slim) details of the gun but almost nothing about the other *important* details makes me think it's trying to flame passions of those in the gun control camp. If he'd used a knife/car bomb/etc, it still doesn't explain why.

jmm

akluvr
June 2, 2005, 05:38 PM
OK folks, some facts from the story. I work with two deputies that are close to the case. The rifle in question is a Marlin model 60, 22lr., tube fed. All deaths occurred from multiple gunshot wounds. The only person that was shot once has survived so far- still in critical condition. We are still waiting for ballistics to confirm what ammo was used. No mental history for the shooter, no psychotic episodes- nothing to indicate this may happen that has been uncovered so far. No drug use. A graduation party, a lot of alcohol the night before, but no drugs. Only theories as to what lead up to this so far. One is that the kid was supposed to take over the DEEPLY indebted farm upon graduation and the grandparents were moving to block it. This is strictly theory, it may never be discovered exactly why. Once I find out what the ammo was, I'll post.

SteveS
June 3, 2005, 09:01 AM
I'm not going to hijack the thread but I'll say this from experience: In my fairly immediate family there have been three elementary age boys all placed on Ritalin at the initial suggestion of a school nurse/counsellor. All three went from highstrung "typical boys" semi-automatons who periodically had angry fits(though never actually "violent"). This fits perfectly with the stories detailing the apparent abuse of medicating school children I have read and followed for quite a while(but never previously experienced).

Hijack continued...though I do think it is somewhat relevant to this thread. As a counselor, I would have to say that your family was treated poorly/incompotently by the school nurse/counselor. The only professionals that have any business suggesting medication are doctors and sometimes even they get it wrong. I have never suggested to a client that they try medication. I may suggest an evaluation by a physician, based upon certain symptoms, but that is it.

One is not in a private school and off the drugs. He's wound up like a watch spring, always on the go and into things. Very much a boy. One other is off the drugs and still in public skool(different district). He's doing ok but not "as well" it seems. Subjective, I admit. Third is still in the same school, same drugs and same comparatively zombie-like attitude with occasional fits of temper.

The third one needs to find a decent specialist. If he is feeling zombie-like he is either over medicated or on the wrong medication.

I just don't see how at this point we can deny some causal aspect when we keep discovering the kids who do things like this also are then currently medicated...

I am not denying any causal relationship, I am just trying to be careful. I'd like to see more research and base my opinions on that, rather then some of the post-shooting analyses. I remember a few years back there was a shooting and many were focused on the medication and video games that the kid was involved with as possible causes. One of the articles indicated that the killer was molested by an uncle. I would have thought that this might have played a role. No, I am not suggesting that everyone that is molested becomes violent, I am suggesting that there can be rage associated with being a victim of molestation.

Andrew Rothman
June 4, 2005, 12:31 AM
Scott Moody...18-year-old farmer.

...Paige Harshbarger, 14, who was believed to be Scott's new girlfriend.

Pretty sure that's illegal. Damn sure it ain't right.

10 Ring Tao
June 4, 2005, 01:58 AM
I'm interested in autopsy results. Any bets on the presence of an antidepressant or ADD med?

My exact first thought.

If you enjoyed reading about "Killing spree leaves 6 dead" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!