Gunman dræber fem elever på Amish -skolen

Gunman dræber fem elever på Amish -skolen


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Charles Roberts går ind på West Nickel Mines Amish School i Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, hvor han skyder fem kvindelige studerende og sårer fem mere, før han vender sin pistol mod sig selv og dør af selvmord.

Charles Carl Roberts IV, en 32-årig mælkebilchauffør fra en nærliggende by, kom ind i etværelsesskolehuset omkring klokken 10.30 bevæbnet med et arsenal af våben, ammunition, værktøjer og andre ting, herunder toiletpapir, der angav, at han planlagt for muligheden for en lang stand -off. Han tvang de 15 drenge og flere kvinder med spædbørn inde i skolen til at forlade og fik de 11 fremmødte piger til at stille sig op mod tavlen. Politiet blev kontaktet om gidselsituationen cirka klokken 10.30 Da de ankom til skolehuset kort tid senere, havde Roberts spærret skoledørene med brædder, han havde taget med sig og bandt sine gidsler. Roberts talte kort med sin kone via mobiltelefon og sagde, at han var ked af Gud over hans datters datter død i 1997. Han fortalte hende også, at han havde misbrugt to piger 20 år tidligere og havde fantasier om at forulempe børn igen. Omkring klokken 11.00 talte Roberts med en 911 -afsender og sagde, at hvis politiet ikke forlod, ville han begynde at skyde. Sekunder efter skød han fem af eleverne. Da myndighederne stormede skolehuset, skød Roberts sig selv i hovedet.

Roberts, en far til tre, havde ingen kriminel historie eller tegn på psykisk sygdom. Derudover vidste hans familie intet om hans påstande om, at han havde misbrugt to unge kvindelige slægtninge. Amish -samfundet, der er kendt for deres religiøse hengivenhed, samt iført traditionelt tøj og undgår visse moderne bekvemmeligheder, trøstede Roberts 'kone i kølvandet på tragedien; nogle medlemmer deltog endda i hans begravelse. Ti dage efter skyderierne rev Amish skolehuset ned og byggede til sidst et nyt i nærheden.


Amish School Shooter's Widow, Marie Monville, taler ud

30. september 2013-Hustruen til manden, der stormede ind i et etværelses Amish-skolehus i Lancaster County, Pa., For syv år siden og skød 10 skolepiger, fem af dem dødeligt, vil aldrig glemme det telefonopkald, hun fik fra hendes mand tidligt den morgen.

Han sagde, at hun aldrig ville se ham igen, og hun bønfaldt ham om at komme hjem og tale med hende, selvom hun ikke anede om den rædsel, han var ved at slippe løs.

Kriminaliteten bedøvede nationen, ikke kun på grund af brutaliteten mod små børn, men fordi den fandt sted i et traditionelt kristent samfund, hvis beboere er kendt for deres fredelige måder og undgåelse af den moderne verden.

Gerningsmanden var Charles Roberts, en far til tre og mand. Roberts, hans kone, Marie og deres børn boede en kilometer væk fra skolen.

Hans daværende kone-der siden har giftet sig igen og taget efternavnet Monville-taler nu om den tragedie, der ændrede så mange liv, herunder hendes eget.

I et interview med ABC News 'Amy Robach blev Monville, 35, spurgt, om hun vidste, hvorfor hendes mand gjorde, hvad han gjorde.

Monville beskrev Roberts som en jævnt tempereret mand, der havde periodiske, korte anfald af depression. Hun sagde, at de var blevet lidt fjernt fra hinanden i deres ægteskab, men havde ingen anelse om, at hendes 32-årige mand kunne begå en sådan handling.

Om morgenen den 2. oktober 2006 så Roberts, en mælkebilchauffør, sine børn ud til skolebussen og kyssede sin kone farvel, før han forlod huset, men tre timer senere ringede han for at fortælle Marie, at han aldrig kom hjem, og at han havde efterladt hende et brev. Hans stemme lød "flad og livløs".

Hun blev straks foruroliget og bad ham om at genoverveje, hvad han skulle gøre. Monville fortalte Robach, at hun troede, at han ville begå selvmord.

'Det var for sent'

"Jeg troede bare, at det var noget, han gjorde ved sig selv," sagde hun. "Jeg anede ikke, at det skulle involvere andre mennesker. Og det hentyder han ikke til på telefonen på nogen måde."

Hun huskede, at hun "tiggede ham" om at komme hjem og tale, men "han fortalte mig, at det var for sent."

I sit brev til hende skrev hendes mand om tabet af deres første datter, Elise, i 1997, sagde Monville. Elise, parrets første barn, døde 20 minutter efter at være blevet født tre måneder for tidligt.

"Og på en eller anden måde følte han, at han var ved at vende tilbage til Herren for det tab, vi havde lidt," sagde hun.

Han fortalte hende også, at han havde forurettet to familiemedlemmer for årtier siden, men Monville sagde, at politiet undersøgte denne påstand og ikke kunne bevise den.

Da hun læste brevet, ringede hun til 911, fordi hun følte, at noget slemt skulle ske med hendes mand.

Den morgen hørte hun sirener bruse. Politibiler kørte forbi, og helikoptere fløj over hovedet. Da politiet bankede på hendes dør, intensiveredes hendes frygt.

"Da jeg åbnede døren, sagde jeg til dem 'Det er Charlie, ikke?' Og de sagde 'ja'. Og jeg sagde, 'og han er død, ikke sandt?' Og de sagde 'ja', "sagde hun.

Da hun fandt ud af, at han ikke bare havde dræbt sig selv, men havde skudt små piger, græd hun. Politiet var sikre på, at hendes mand var ansvarlig, og hun troede på dem.

"Der var så mange ting at gøre, og så mange spørgsmål at besvare," sagde hun.

Roberts havde angiveligt beordret den mandlige lærer og mandlige elever ud af skolestuen på West Nickel Mines Amish School sammen med en gravid kvinde og forældre med små børn. Politiet siger, at han barrikaderede sig selv i rummet med de kvindelige studerende, stillede dem op mod tavlen og skød dem.

I en tilsyneladende indsats for at købe tid til sine klassekammerater bad Marian Fisher, 13, den ældste af de fem piger, der blev dræbt, Roberts om at skyde hende først.

Psykisk syg?

Spurgt, om hun troede, at hendes mand var psykisk syg, svarede hun: "Den dag var han helt psykisk syg. Jeg kan ikke se, hvordan nogen kunne så sådan noget og ikke være."

I årene siden skyderiet har Monville brugt tid sammen med rådgivere i forsøget på at forstå, hvordan skyderiet kunne være sket.

"Det blev foreslået for mig, at alle de år med utilstrækkelig depression medførte et psykotisk brud," sagde hun. "Og jeg tror, ​​at vi alle vil have svar. Og selvom det i nogen grad er et svar, er det stadig ikke et svar. Fordi alle de gange, jeg sagde: 'Hvorfor taler du ikke om det med nogen? Kan du ikke tal om det med mig? Kan du tale om det med dine forældre? Kunne du tale om det med nogen i kirken? Har du ikke en ven, du kunne tale om dette med? ' Og jeg blev altid mødt med den samme modstand og den samme 'Nej, jeg kan klare dette på egen hånd.' Det var tydeligt i slutningen, at han ikke kunne. "

Monville skriver om sit liv med Roberts og hvad der er sket siden da i sin bog, "One Light Still Shines." Heri krediterer hun Gud for at hjælpe hende med at komme igennem de frygtelige øjeblikke siden da.

Monville fortalte Robach om at skulle dele nyheden om deres fars død - og forbrydelser - til sine børn. Abigail var 7, Bryce var 5 og Carson var 18 måneder gammel.

Deres børn havde været så beskyttet, at de aldrig engang så nyhederne derhjemme, sagde Monville.

"Du ved, jeg ville beskytte dem mod denne verdens ondskab. Og pludselig havde ondskab invaderet vores hjem. Og der var ingen måde at beskytte mod det," sagde hun.

Hun tilføjede: "Du ved, vi talte meget om det valg, Charlie tog, og hvordan det ikke var en refleksion over dem. Og det var ikke deres skyld. Der var ikke noget, de kunne have gjort anderledes, som ville have gjort stoppede dem. "

Selv da hun kæmpede for at få styr på sin mands død og hans forbrydelser, var opsøgende fra Amish -samfundet på vej.

Ofrenes fællesskab tilgiver

Timer efter at have lært om, hvad Charles Roberts havde gjort, kom et kontingent af den sørgende Amish for at besøge hende.

Monville mindede om, at hun stod i forældrenes køkken, og hun kunne se en gruppe af amisherne gå mod forældrenes hjem.

Hendes far tilbød at gå udenfor og tale med dem.

"Og jeg kunne ikke høre ordene, de sagde, men jeg kunne se den udveksling, der skete. Jeg kunne se deres arme strække sig. Og den måde, de lagde deres hænder på min fars skulder. Jeg kunne mærke det," sagde hun .

"Jeg kunne mærke øjeblikkets følelser. Du ved, det sagde alt," sagde hun og tilføjede, at hendes far sagde, at de havde tilgivet hendes mand. "De var bekymrede for mig og bekymrede for børnene og ønskede, at vi skulle vide, at de støttede vores familie."

Det sluttede ikke der. Da hendes familie blev belejret af medierne på vej til at begrave Charles Roberts, trådte amishen ind igen. Selvom de ikke kan lide at få taget deres billeder, placerede medlemmer af samfundet sig direkte foran nyhedskameraer for at beskytte hendes familie, sagde Monville.

"De vendte ryggen til kameraerne, så de eneste billeder, der kunne tages, var af dem og ikke af vores familie. Og det var fantastisk for mig, at de ville vælge at gøre det for os," sagde hun. "Det var fantastisk. Det var et af de øjeblikke i løbet af ugen, hvor mit åndedrag blev taget væk, men ikke på grund af det onde. Men på grund af kærligheden."

Det var ikke længe efter hendes mands død, at hun fandt kærligheden igen. Dan Monville, 47, en forsikringsagent, der var medlem af det lokale kirkelige netværk, rakte ud for at tilbyde Marie støtte. Deres forhold blomstrede, og de blev gift i maj 2007.

Selvom hun i første omgang var modstandsdygtig over for selv at overveje tanker om ægteskab så kort tid efter tragedien, sagde hun: "Jeg følte virkelig, at Herren talte til mig, at Dan var den mand, jeg skulle giftes med."

Hun vidste, at nogle mennesker ville synes, det var for tidligt, men hun stolede på, at Gud ledede hende, sagde hun.

"Så radikalt som det lød at stole på Herren i potentialet til at gifte sig med nogen så kort tid efter, var jeg kommet fra dette sted af desperation og så Gud gå mig igennem det og udarbejde skønhedssteder fra asken i mit liv," sagde hun sagde.

Marie Monville siger, at hun har tilgivet Charles Roberts, selvom det ikke var let.

"Charlie havde en sygdom. Og det undskylder ikke, hvad han gjorde. Men, du ved, hvis jeg tillader bitterhed og vrede at leve inde i mig? Det var netop de ting, der fik ham til at gøre, hvad han gjorde. Det gør jeg ikke jeg vil ikke have noget at gøre med det, "sagde hun.

"Det er ikke sådan, at jeg en gang kunne tilgive ham for det, han gjorde, og aldrig skulle tænke over det igen. Det er noget, jeg tænker på hele tiden," sagde hun. "Men jeg behøver ikke bare at tilgive Charlie for ham. Jeg er nødt til at tilgive ham, så jeg kan være hel, og så det ikke spiser væk inde i mig på samme måde, som han tillod vrede at spise væk inde i Hej M."


De 11 massedødelige skoleskyderier, der skete siden Columbine

Der har været mange flere skyderier, men 11 med fire eller flere ofre.

De 11 massedødelige skoleskyderier, der skete siden Columbine

Billederne af teenagere, der løb fra deres skole med hænderne oppe - som set den 20. april 1999 på Columbine High School - er blevet et uhyggeligt kendt syn ved efterfølgende skoleskyderier.

Og for mange, herunder eventuelle skoleskytter, var der noget ved Columbine -skydningen, der vakte deres interesse.

John Cohen, en tidligere embedsmand for Department of Homeland Security, der ledede bestræbelser på at bekæmpe masseskyderier, sagde, at Columbine "absolut" havde indflydelse på efterfølgende skyderier.

"Da lovhåndhævelsen har undersøgt de personer, der har begået skoleskyderi og andre masseulykkerangreb, er en af ​​de fælles egenskaber, de har observeret, at disse personer har en tendens til at studere tidligere masseskyderier," sagde Cohen, der nu er en ABC News -bidragyder.

»Da det specifikt vedrører skoleskyderier, finder vi ud af, at columbine ser ud til at være den eneste hændelse, som skoleskytterne ser på. Det ser ud til at give genlyd hos personer, der har de adfærdsmæssige egenskaber, der er i overensstemmelse med denne type angriber, ”sagde han.

”De mennesker, der foretager skoleskyderier, har en tendens til at være utilfredse psykisk ubehagelige personer, der leder efter en følelse af social forbindelse og livsbetydning. De går online, de ser på tidligere angreb og på en pervers måde forbinder de ikke kun tidligere hændelser, men også tidligere angribere, ”sagde Cohen og tilføjede, at” historien om Columbine -skytterne er en historie, der giver genklang hos en gruppe børn der oplever lignende situationer. ”

Selvom der er hundredvis af skyderier, der har fundet sted på skoler i USA i de sidste 20 år, og som har efterladt ødelagte hjem og ødelagte barndom i kølvandet, har der været 11, der kan klassificeres som masseskyderier. FBI definerer et masseskyderi som en hændelse, hvor fire eller flere ofre, inklusive den mistænkte, dræbes.

1. Virginia Tech - 16. april 2007 - 32 ofre

Det dødeligste skoleskyderi i amerikansk historie fandt sted på campus ved Virginia Polytechnic Institute og State University, almindeligvis kendt som Virginia Tech, i Blacksburg.

På tidspunktet for skyderiet gjorde de 32 skydeofre det til den dødeligste skydehændelse i USA, selvom den grusomme titel senere ville blive overhalet af skyderierne på Pulse natklub i 2016 og senere skyderiet på en countrymusikfestival i Las Vegas i 2017 .

Skydningen fandt sted næsten præcis otte år efter Columbine-skydningen, da en 23-årig studerende åbnede ild på to steder på campus-først i et kollegieværelse og derefter i en akademisk bygning på tværs af campus.

I alt dræbte han 32 ofre og sårede 23 andre, før han vendte pistolen mod sig selv.

2. Sandy Hook Elementary School - 14. december 2012 - 26 ofre

Et halvt årti senere ødelagde en anden ung mand et samfund, da han efter først at have dræbt sin mor kørte til en nærliggende folkeskole og åbnede ild og dræbte 20 børn og seks skoleadministratorer, før han dræbte sig selv.

Skydningen på Sandy Hook Elementary School i den søvnige by Newtown, Connecticut, foranledigede en national udgydelse af sorg. Følelserne løb højt, da daværende præsident Barack Obama afgav en erklæring om skyderiet, og standsede på et tidspunkt for at tørre en tåre væk.

"Størstedelen af ​​dem, der døde i dag, var børn - smukke små børn i alderen 5 til 10 år," sagde han i Det Hvide Huss briefingsrum. "De havde hele deres liv foran sig - fødselsdage, eksamener, bryllupper, egne børn. Blandt de faldne var også lærere - mænd og kvinder, der dedikerede deres liv til at hjælpe vores børn med at opfylde deres drømme. Så vores hjerter er knuste i dag. ”

Forargelsen over skyderiet førte til et skub til føderale ændringer af våbenlovene, men lovforslaget gik ikke igennem. I stedet for i årene siden Sandy Hook -skydningen har en række stater ændret deres lokale love.

3. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School - 14. februar 2018 - 17 ofre


Politi: Amish School Shooter sagde, at han havde forurettet børn for mange år siden

Mælkebilchaufføren, der skød og dræbte fem unge piger og sig selv i et Pennsylvania Amish-samfund i denne uge, fortalte sin kone minutter før han døde, at han havde forulempet unge familiemedlemmer for over 20 år siden, og at han havde drømt om at forulempe igen.

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller fortalte imidlertid journalister tirsdag, at de ikke har fundet beviser eller nogen rapport om sådanne overgreb fra gerningsmanden, Charles Carl Roberts IV. De sagde også, at der ikke var tegn på, at nogen af ​​gidslerne på Amish -skolen blev misbrugt seksuelt.

"Hverken hans kone eller et familiemedlem, vi har talt med, har kendskab til nogen forbrydelse," sagde Miller om Roberts påstande om misbrug. "Det er uvist, hvilken form for overgreb det er, om det var kæling eller upassende røring, eller om det var seksuelle overgreb - eller om der skete noget."

Roberts var en 32-årig far til tre fra det nærliggende Bart Township og var ikke Amish, men han var dybt arret ved døden af ​​hans for tidlige baby, Elise-det førstefødte barn af ham og hans kone-for ni år siden, tilføjede Miller .

Roberts efterlod en række selvmordsnotater - herunder en for hver af sine tre børn og hans kone, sagde Miller. Den seddel, der blev efterladt til sin kone, refererede til noget, han gjorde for 20 år siden, men gik ikke i detaljer om, hvad det var. Han sagde imidlertid, at han havde drømt for nylig, hvor han vil gøre det igen. Roberts 'kone vidste ikke, hvad han refererede til, før han ringede til hende inde fra skolehuset under angrebet kl. 10:50

Roberts sagde: "Jeg kommer ikke hjem, politiet er her," ifølge Miller. Bevæbneren fortalte også sin kone, at han havde forulempet to unge familiemedlemmer for mange år siden, og at mandagens skyderi var en slags hævndræb. Familiemedlemmerne var dengang tre eller fire år gamle, sagde Miller, og Roberts ville have været omkring 12 år for 20 år siden.

Noter efterladt af Roberts indikerer også, at gerningsmanden var vred på sig selv og Gud på grund af hans nyfødte barns død, som levede cirka 20 minutter før han døde den 14. november 1997.

"Roberts 'kone sagde til os, at Roberts tog tabet af deres barn Elise meget hårdt," sagde Miller. "Jeg tror ikke, vi nogensinde kommer til at vide med nøjagtighed eller præcision, hvad han tænkte."

Tidligt mandag morgen løb Roberts sin mælkerute som sædvanligt, så fik han og hans kone deres tre børn klar til skole. Roberts 'kone gik til en morgenbønnegruppe, mens han afleverede sine børn ved et busstoppested og derefter kørte til Amish -skolen for at udføre sin plan, sagde Miller.

Angrebet på skolehuset i et værelse i Nickel Mines i Lancaster County var "gennemtænkt", "scriptet og forudplanlagt", sagde Miller, men Roberts gik i panik, da politiet ankom. Roberts havde ting med: KY Jelly, plastbånd, tre kanoner, en bedøvelsespistol, to knive, en bunke træ og en pose med 600 runder ammunition, skiftetøj, toiletpapir, bolte, hardware og ruller med klar tape.

Familiemedlemmer, der havde set Roberts ugen før, sagde, at der ikke var tegn på, at han planlagde en så frygtelig forbrydelse og beskrev ham som "meget afslappet."

Fra selvmordsnotater og telefonopkald var det klart, at Roberts var "vred på livet, han var vred på Gud", og kolleger sagde, at hans humør var blevet mørkere i de seneste dage, sagde Miller.

"Noten, som han efterlod til sin kone, taler om de gode minder sammen, tragedien med Elise, den fokuserer på, at hans liv ændres for altid. Og han hentyder til denne anden årsag til denne vrede, men han kan ikke diskutere det med hende og det skete for 20 år siden, «tilføjede han.

Bevæbnede kone, Marie Roberts, kaldte sin mand "kærlig, støttende og tankevækkende."

"Han var en enestående far," sagde hun i en erklæring. "Han tog børnene med til fodboldtræning og spil, spillede bold i baghaven og tog vores datter på 7 år med på indkøb. Han sagde aldrig nej, da jeg bad ham skifte ble."

"Vores hjerter er knækkede, vores liv er knust, og vi sørger over uskyld og liv, der gik tabt i dag," fortsatte hun. "Frem for alt bedes venligst for de familier, der mistede børn, og bed også for vores familie og børn."

Sorg over de døde

Imens sørgede Amish -samfundet over dødsfaldet for de børn, der blev dræbt af Roberts. Politiet offentliggjorde navnene på de døde som følger: Naomi Rose Edersole, 7 Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12 Marian Fisher, 13 Mary Liz Miller, 8 Lina Miller, 7.

To af de døde børn døde tirsdag morgen: En pige på Christiana Hospital i Delaware døde omkring kl. 01.00, og en 7-årig pige på Penn State Children's Hospital i Hershey døde omkring kl.

"Hendes forældre var sammen med hende," sagde talsmand for hospitalet Amy Buehler Stranges om den 7-årige. "Hun blev taget af livsstøtte, og hun døde kort tid efter."

Fem andre piger blev skudt fire af dem er i kritisk tilstand.

Talsmænd ved Penn State Children's Hospital sagde Amish Fællesskabet anmodede om privatliv i deres sorg og bøn for deres familier.

"Dette er en tragedie af en størrelsesorden, vores samfund ikke er vant til at se," sagde talsmand Sean Young.

En 6-årig pige er stadig i kritisk tilstand, mens en 13-årig kvinde er i alvorlig tilstand, sagde Young. Tre piger i alderen 8, 10 og 12 år blev fløjet til Children's Hospital i Philadelphia, hvor de var ude af operationen, men forblev i kritisk tilstand, sagde talskvinde Peggy Flynn.

"Jeg beder alle Pennsylvanianere om at beholde familierne og ofrene i deres bønner og også beholde dette fine samfund i deres bønner," sagde Pennsylvania -guvernør Ed Rendell tirsdag.

"Jeg tror, ​​at Amish -samfundet ville have alle til at bede for dem, især ofrenes familier," sagde en Amish -mand, der ikke ønskede at blive identificeret på kamera, til FOX News. "Jeg er sikker på, at de vil have dig til at bede for os - at vi kan lægge dette bag os og komme videre."

Bush -administrationen opfordrede mandag til, at der i næste uge holdes et topmøde i skolen med uddannelses- og retshåndhævende myndigheder for at drøfte mulige føderale aktioner for at hjælpe lokalsamfund med at forhindre vold og håndtere følgerne heraf.

Inden han begyndte at skyde, frigav Roberts omkring 15 drenge, en gravid kvinde og tre kvinder med spædbørn, spærrede dørene med skriveborde, et fodboldbord og træ og sikrede dem med søm, bolte og fleksible plastbånd. Han fik derefter pigerne til at stille sig op langs en tavle og bandt deres fødder sammen.

Læreren og en anden voksen løb til et nærliggende stuehus, og myndighederne blev ringet op omkring kl. 10.30. Amish -skoler har traditionelt ikke telefoner. Miller roste tirsdag de to personers handlinger og sagde, at de sandsynligvis forhindrede yderligere dødsfald.

Angrebet lignede et dødbringende skoleskyderi i sidste uge Bailey, Colo., Der efterlod en kvindelig studerende død. Klik her for at få det seneste om Colorado -skydeshistorien.

Fredag ​​blev en skoleleder skudt ihjel Cazenovia, Wis. En 15-årig studerende, der beskrives som ked af en irettesættelse, blev anklaget for drab og er tilbageholdt på 750.000 dollars. Klik her for at få det seneste om den historie.


Mor til gerningsmand, der dræbte fem Amish -piger i 2006, tager sig af overlevende efter sønns massakre

STRASBURG, Pa.-En gang om ugen bruger Terri Roberts tid sammen med en 13-årig Amish-pige ved navn Rosanna, der sidder i en kørestol og spiser gennem et rør. Roberts bader hende, synger for hende, læser hendes historier. Hun kan kun gætte, hvad der foregår inde i Rosannas sind, fordi pigen ikke kan tale.

Roberts 'søn gjorde dette mod hende.

For syv år siden barrikaderede Charles Carl Roberts IV sig inde i et Amish -skolehus nær Lancaster, bandt 10 piger og åbnede ild, dræbte fem og skadede fem andre, før han begik selvmord, da politiet lukkede ind.

Amish reagerede med at tilbyde morderen øjeblikkelig tilgivelse - selv deltage i hans begravelse - og omfavne sin familie.

Terri Roberts tilgav også, og nu deler hun sin erfaring med andre og siger, at verden har brug for flere historier om tilgivelsens kraft og vigtigheden af ​​at søge glæde gennem modgang.

"Jeg indså, at hvis jeg ikke tilgav ham, ville jeg have det samme hul i mit hjerte, som han havde. Og en rod af bitterhed giver aldrig fred til nogen," sagde Roberts. "Vi er kaldet til at tilgive."

Roberts har leveret beskeden til masser af publikum, fra kirkegrupper til gymnasier og skriver en erindringsbog. Hun har endda overvejet at rejse for at tale i Newtown, Conn., Hvor en gerningsmand dræbte 20 børn og seks voksne på Sandy Hook Elementary School sidste år. Men hun er forsigtig, opmærksom på et udseende der kan give fornærmelse.

En af hendes sønner laver en dokumentarfilm - kaldet "Håb" - om hendes bemærkelsesværdige rejse fra hjerteknust mor til inspirerende foredragsholder.

Zachary Roberts udtænkte oprindeligt filmen for at hjælpe sin mor. Men det viser sig også at være katartisk for ham.

"Det var som et skridt i retning af at få det her fra mine skuldre og at kunne tale om det," sagde Roberts, 35, der bor i Sverige. "Jeg har et barn nu, og jeg vil ikke have, at dette skal være en af ​​de mørke familiehemmeligheder, som ingen taler om. Jeg vil have det godt med det, og jeg vil have, at min datter skal være ok med det."

Efter at have optaget på stedet i Pennsylvania, frigav Zachary Roberts og dokumentarfilmens producenter for nylig en trailer og har henvendt sig til et websted for finansiering af mængder for at skaffe penge til at fuldføre produktionen.

Roberts optræder i traileren og snakker ikke ord om den udfordring, som hans mor stod over for efter hans 32-årige brors rasende: "Hvordan går en massemorders mor fremad i livet?"

Terri Roberts 'vej mod helbredelse og forsoning begyndte, overraskende nok, den allerførste eftermiddag.

Hendes mand, Chuck, havde tørret så mange tårer væk, at han havde gnidt hans hud rå. Den pensionerede politibetjent hængte hovedet, utrøsteligt. "Jeg vil aldrig møde mine Amish -venner igen," sagde han igen og igen.

En Amish -nabo ved navn Henry fortalte ham andet. "Roberts, vi elsker dig. Vi holder ikke noget imod dig eller din søn," mindede Terri Roberts Henry om, da han masserede Roberts 'faldende skuldre. "Vi er et tilgivende folk."

Det var en ekstraordinær gestus, der gav Terri Roberts sit første glimt af håb. Hun kalder Henry hendes "engel i sort".

Samme dag hjalp en rådgiver hende til at indse, at "vi ikke behøver at leve i vores sorg." Hendes søns raseri var en del af hans liv, et frygteligt øjebliksbillede, sagde rådgiveren. Bedre at fokusere på alle de gode år.

"Jeg kan ikke fortælle dig, hvad det gjorde for mig. Det var bare så nyttigt for mig, og jeg føler nu, at det har hjulpet mange andre mennesker," sagde Roberts.

Charlie Roberts sagde i selvmordsnotater og et sidste opkald med sin kone, at han blev plaget af ubegrundede minder om at have forulempet et par unge slægtninge og af hans datters død i 1997, kort efter at hun blev født.

Hans mor delte først sin historie ni måneder efter den 2. oktober 2006, drab på West Nickel Mines Amish School, da en ven fra arbejde bad hende tale med nogle japanske udvekslingsstuderende. Beskeden gav genlyd, og Roberts sagde, at hun følte et kald fra Gud.

Roberts er stadig tæt på Charlie Roberts 'kone, Marie Monville, der også bryder sin tavshed med en bog, "One Light Still Shines", der deler et lignende budskab om håb midt i fortvivlelse. Ligesom sin tidligere svigermor har Monville stolet på sin kristne tro for at bære hende gennem den værste tid i sit liv.

"Bogens budskab er, at det er ligegyldigt hvor mørk dagen er, Herrens kærlighed fortsætter, og han er i stand til at skrive en forløsningshistorie over vores liv, selv på de mørke steder," sagde Monville, der har siden giftede sig igen.

Hun sagde, at Gud har givet hende "helbredelse og frihed fra vægten af ​​Charlies valg og fra ordene 'skytterens kone', der forsøgte at definere, hvem jeg var."

Amish blev fejret for, hvordan de reagerede på massakren. Men tilgivelse kommer ikke altid let eller automatisk, selv for denne kristne sekt, hvis medlemmer er kendt for deres almindelige påklædning og enkle måder.

Rosanna Kings far, Christ King, sagde, at amisherne ligner alle andre med de samme skrøbeligheder og følelser.

"Vi håber, at vi har tilgivet, men der er faktisk tidspunkter, hvor vi kæmper med det, og jeg må spørge mig selv: 'Har jeg virkelig tilgivet?'" Sagde King.

"Vi har meget arbejde at gøre for at leve op til det, vi er pralet med," fortsatte han. "Alle talte om denne tilgivelse, og jeg følte, at det lagde meget vægt på vores skuldre for at leve op til det."


Den tilgivende Amish -kultur

Den tilgivende Amish -kultur

Den uge havde Robertses en privat begravelse for deres søn, men da de gik til gravstedet, så de hele 40 Amish begynde at komme ud fra siden af ​​kirkegården og omringede dem som en halvmåne.

"Kærlighed kom bare fra dem," siger Terri. "Jeg husker, at fædrene sagde: 'Jeg tror, ​​at jeg har tilgivet', men der er nogle dage, hvor jeg sætter spørgsmålstegn ved det."

Terri finder det særligt svært at acceptere den tilgivelse, når hun tænker på en af ​​de overlevende, Rosanna.

"Rosanna er den mest sårede af de overlevende," forklarer hun. "Hendes skader var på hovedet. Hun er nu 15, stadig fodret med kørestol og i kørestol. Og hun får anfald, og når det bliver denne tid på året, når vi kommer tættere på jubilæumsdatoen, griber hun mere. Og det er bestemt ikke det liv, denne lille pige skulle have levet. "

Terri spurgte, om det ville være muligt for hende at hjælpe med Rosanna en gang om ugen.

”Jeg læste for hende, jeg badede hende, tørrede hendes hår,” siger Terri, der selv kæmper med kræft.

Terri Roberts (til højre) og hendes ven Delores Hayford under et nylig besøg i StoryCorps. StoryCorps skjul billedtekst

Terri Roberts (til højre) og hendes ven Delores Hayford, under et nylig besøg i StoryCorps.

Og selvom hun ikke kan sige det med 100 procent sikkerhed, mener Terri, at Rosanna ved, hvem hun er.

"Jeg fornemmer bare, at hun ved det," siger hun.

"En helbredende balsam"

"Jeg vil aldrig glemme den ødelæggelse, min søn forårsagede," siger den 65-årige Terri. "Men en af ​​fædrene den anden nat sagde han:" Ingen af ​​os ville nogensinde have valgt dette. Men de relationer, som vi har opbygget gennem det, kan du ikke sætte en pris på. " "

"Og deres valg om at lade livet komme videre var en helbredende balsam for os," siger hun. "Og jeg tror, ​​det er et budskab, verden har brug for."

Lyd produceret til Morgenudgave af Jasmyn Belcher Morris.


2006 – Gunman dræber fem elever på Amish -skolen

Charles Roberts går ind på West Nickel Mines Amish School i Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, hvor han skyder fem kvindelige studerende dødeligt og sårer fem mere, før han vender sin pistol mod sig selv og begår selvmord.

Charles Carl Roberts IV, en 32-årig mælkebilchauffør fra en nærliggende by, kom ind i etværelsesskolehuset omkring klokken 10.30 bevæbnet med et arsenal af våben, ammunition, værktøjer og andre ting, herunder toiletpapir, der angav, at han planlagt for muligheden for en lang stand -off. Han tvang de 15 drenge og flere kvinder med spædbørn inde i skolen til at forlade og fik de 11 tilstedeværende piger til at stille sig op mod tavlen. Politiet blev kontaktet om gidselsituationen cirka klokken 10.30 Da de ankom til skolehuset kort tid senere, havde Roberts spærret skoledørene med brædder, han havde taget med sig og bandt sine gidsler. Roberts talte kort med sin kone via mobiltelefon og sagde, at han var ked af Gud over hans datters datter død i 1997. Han fortalte hende også, at han havde misbrugt to piger 20 år tidligere og havde fantasier om at forulempe børn igen. Omkring klokken 11.00 talte Roberts med en 911 -afsender og sagde, at hvis politiet ikke forlod, ville han begynde at skyde. Sekunder efter skød han fem af eleverne. Da myndighederne stormede skolehuset, skød Roberts sig selv i hovedet.

Roberts, en far til tre, havde ingen kriminel historie eller tegn på psykisk sygdom. Derudover vidste hans familie intet om hans påstande om, at han havde misbrugt to unge kvindelige slægtninge. Amish -samfundet, der var kendt for deres religiøse hengivenhed, samt iført traditionelt tøj og undgik visse moderne bekvemmeligheder, trøstede Roberts 'kone i kølvandet på tragedien, nogle medlemmer deltog endda i hans begravelse. Ten days after the shootings, the Amish tore down the schoolhouse and eventually built a new one nearby.


&ldquoWhy the Amish Forgave a Killer&rdquo

&ldquoOne year ago, Monday morning, October 2, a beautiful clear day in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, a non-Amish man backed his pick up truck into the school yard of the West Nickel Mines Amish school. Inside the one-room schoolhouse were 28 students, and three adult women&mdashthe teacher and three visitors that day.

The intruder, Charles Roberts, was a milk truck driver well known in the area. This morning, however, he was heavily armed, and ordered everyone in the school to lie on the floor. The teacher and one other adult dashed for the door and escaped for help. Apparently startled that his plans apparently were going awry, Roberts ordered the remaining adults and boys out of the school. He nailed the door shut and pulled the blinds to darken the room, and tied together the legs of the remaining ten girls, who were still lying on the floor at the front of the room. He told them that he was angry at God&mdashhad been for years&mdashand that he could not forgive God and he could not forgive himself.

By this time, police had begun arriving at the school, responding to a phone call the distraught teacher had made after running a half mile to the neighboring farmhouse. Realizing the police had arrived and were asking him, through a bullhorn, to surrender, Roberts himself called 911, telling the responder that he would shoot everyone if the police did not leave. Moments later he opened fire, getting off 13 shots in 8 seconds. The rampage killed five of the girls and severely injured the other five. After firing a shot through a window at the police and shot himself.

Within 30 minutes this event literally became news around the world. Not, we should note here, because male violence against girls was newsworthy&mdashthat theme, in fact, was seemingly lost in the reporting that followed or was assumed to be commonplace. Instead, the story that first flew around the globe was that the last safe the rest of the world had imagined&mdashrural Amish schools&mdashhad just been added to the growing list of school shootings sites.

But very quickly the media story shifted from one of lost innocence to one of bewilderment and even consternation. The victimized Amish community, it seemed to many observers, was reacting in strange ways.

Their grief was intense. But they did not convert their grief and shock into calls for retribution. True, the killer was dead, but the Amish did not engage in the most common form of revenge we see in contemporary society: attacking his character or degrading his memory. While other neighbors said they hoped he was enjoying burning in hell, the Amish said they trusted he had met a merciful God. Nor did they ever imply that his apparent mental illness was evil or a moral failing&mdashagain, as some others did. Instead, they sought to treat him as a fellow human being&mdashtroubled, to be sure, but one whose memory warranted respect and whose survivors needed love and compassion.

Within a few hours of the shooting members of the local Amish community reached out in sympathy to his widow, his parents, his parents-in-law, assuring them that they would not scapegoat dem for what happened.

Six days later, when most non-Amish neighbors stayed away from Roberts&rsquo burial, the Amish did not, and ended up being half of the mourners present, and again hugged his family and cried together. They included Amish parents who had just the day before buried their own daughters.

About the same time, the ad hoc Amish committee set up to oversee the money that poured in from around the world for the shooting victims announced that they would be diverting some of the money to a second fund for the Roberts family.

Now this was news. And it was a story that reporters&mdashand the public at large&mdashwas unprepared for. They didn&rsquot know what to make of it. Forgiveness of this sort was so uncommon.

Some people praised Amish forgiveness, and jumped to apply its example to a host of other social and political issues.

Others denounced Amish forgiveness, condemning it as too fast, emotionally unhealthy, and a denial of innate human need to seek revenge.

Why did the Amish forgive?

For the past year two colleagues and I have been on a quest, both academic and personal, to understand the dynamics of what happened in the wake of the Nickel Mines shooting. We came to the story as people who knew something about Amish culture and beliefs we came as parents and a grandparent of young children we came as people who believe forgiveness is a good thing, but a difficult and complex thing.

But there was a lot about this story that we did not know. Take the phrase &ldquoThe Amish forgave.&rdquo What did that mean? What was forgiveness in this case? And why forgive?

It turns out that the Amish have a far from simplistic understanding of forgiveness. True, some things were clear from the start: The decision to forgive came quickly, instinctively. The Amish knew they wanted to forgive, knew it so clearly that they could express it immediately and publicly even if and when they didn&rsquot feel that way. One Amish grandmother laughed when we asked is there had been a meeting to decide if the gunman should be forgiven. No, she and others said, forgiveness was a decided matter&mdashdecided long before October 2 ever raised the occasion for forgiveness.

At the same time, this grandmother and others made clear that forgiving is hard work, emotionally, and that deciding to forgive and expressing that desire with words and actions are only a first step. Many of those close to the tragedy made use of professional counselors and, a year later, continue to work with their grief.

Although the Amish drew on the resources of professionals, they often explained that forgiveness was a long process by citing biblical language: Jesus had said that even small offenses need to be forgiven seventy times seven, they note, suggesting that forgiving takes time and is not a simple once-and-done event.

It&rsquos important here to clarify what the Amish believe forgiveness is and is not.

  • It&rsquos not pretending that nothing happened or that the offense wasn&rsquot so bad.
  • It&rsquos not pardon it&rsquos not saying there should be no consequences for actions. Had Charles Roberts lived, the Amish no doubt would have supported his prosecution and imprisonment for the sake of everyone&rsquos safety.
  • Instead, forgiveness is about giving up: giving up your right to revenge. And giving up feelings of resentment, bitterness and hatred, replacing them with compassion toward the offender. And treating the offender as a fellow human being.

This is hard work, even if the decision to forgive is settled. When a grieving grandfather, asked by reporters less than 48 hours after two of his granddaughters had been slain if he had forgiven the killer, responded, &ldquoIn my heart, yes,&rdquo his words conveyed a commitment to move toward forgiveness, offered with the faith that loving feelings would eventually replace distraught and angry ones.

Speaking the folk wisdom of experience, Amish people told us, &ldquoThe Acid of hate destroys the contain that holds it.&rdquo And &ldquoIt&rsquos not good to hold grudges. Why not let go, give it up and not let the person [who wronged you] have power over you.&rdquo

Forgiving may be about self-denial, but it is not self-loathing. In fact, forgiving, the Amish affirm, is good for you, not just for the person forgiven.

If the Amish explanation of forgiveness is more complicated than many of the popular presentations of Amish forgiveness that suggested they stoically stuffed their feelings in a box, it still begs the question of why? Why and how could the Amish forgive in the way that they did, in the way that they understand forgiveness?

  1. The first thing they cite when explaining their understanding of forgiveness, perhaps not surprisingly, is theological: Jesus tells us to forgive and God expects us to forgive they say.

They immediately point to Jesus parables on forgiveness and especially to the Lord&rsquos Prayer, with its key line: Forgive us as we forgive others.
This phrase rings loudly in Amish ears because they pray the Lord&rsquos Prayer frequently. It&rsquos not uncommon in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania settlement for Amish people to prayer the Lord&rsquos Prayer eight times a day, and ten times on Sundays. The Amish there discourage composing original prayers and use the Lord&rsquos Prayer routinely and liturgically.

As well, they point out that the line forgive us as we forgive others is the only part of the Lord&rsquos Prayer that Jesus underscores. Immediately following the Prayer, Jesus says: &ldquoFor if you forgive others their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you but if you do not forgive others, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses,&rdquo adding emphasis t what the Amish see as a key theological truth.

Indeed, the Amish believe that God&rsquos forgiveness of them is dependant in some way on their forgiving others. Not that they are trying to manipulate God into forgiving them, but they see their relationship with God and their relations with other people as so closely bound together that they cannot be separated.
Their ability to forgive is dependant on God&rsquos forgiving them, but God&rsquos forgiving them is also dependant on their forgiving others. Forgiveness becomes a sort of religious obligation.

  1. But if forgiveness is a duty, it does not stand alone as a cold command to be born in isolation. Amish forgiveness is supported by hundreds of years of Amish history and culture, hundreds of years&rsquo worth of story telling and cultivating habits that celebrate forgiveness and make the terribly difficult responses at Nickel Mines nonetheless seem normal.

And to the degree that forgiveness involves giving up, forgiveness is central to Amish life every day, even when there is no criminal offense to forgive. In many ways, the essence of Amish life is giving up. Giving up self to the group, to God. From how one dresses to the kind of work on does, Amish life is shaped by riuals and routines of self-surrender.

So if forgiveness is about giving up one&rsquos right to revenge, or giving up grudges, Amish culture has primed its members to give up in a host of daily practices. That doesn&rsquot make forgiving easy for the Amish. But it does make it something that is part of the rest of life, and not an unnatural act&mdashas it seemed to appear to outsiders whose culture resists giving up and celebrates getting one&rsquos due.

This cultural context also means that for the Amish, forgiveness is not an individual matter. It was not the job of the wounded girls or shell-shocked boys to forgive. (Their parents say they hope someday those children will feel compassion for Charles Roberts, but they have not press the children on this point.) Amish forgiveness is collective. There was not just one victim, but many many people can forgive. And so the Amish do not have to puzzle over whether it is right for them to forgive on behalf of someone else&mdashan ethical dilemma that has confounded ethicists in individualistically-oriented societies. The Amish forgive on their own behalf because they see the emotional pain as broadly shared, and not the sole burden of those the rest of the world would call &ldquoprimary victims.&rdquo

Although the Amish never anticipated the horror of Nickel Mines, they were prepared to respond long before they needed to.

What does this mean for the rest of us?

This is a question we wrestled with as we worked with this issue, and one many people have been asking us. If the Amish response to Nickel Mines was rooted so deeply in the specifics of who they are, culturally, does it mean anything for those of us who are not Amish?
Further, even for the Amish, forgiveness in this case took a particular shape because of the specific nature of this offense: the killer was known to the community, and he was now dead. Some Amish folks said that it would be harder to forgive Charles Roberts if he were still alive and they had to face him in person. Others said it would have been more difficult to forgive him if he had molested the girls before he killed them.

It doesn&rsquot diminish the terror of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse to note that the situation of forgiveness here is different from situations in which an offense&mdasheven a relatively less severe one&mdashis repeated again and again. Such on-going violations pose different challenges to forgiveness.

For these and other reasons, I&rsquom cautious about applying any lessons of Nickel Mines too broadly as a one-size fits all lesson.

But more to the point, I&rsquom cautious because of what we gøre learn from Amish forgiveness. Amish forgiveness is not an easily transferable technique fordi it grows out of their collective life and culture.

And that is where the rest of us need to start, if we want to explore the possibilities of forgiveness. Not with Amish culture, but with our own, and the mini-cultures all of us create as we go about life. Theologian Miroslav Volf has said something to the effect that if you want to be a forgiving person, surround yourself with forgiving people.

Treating Nickel Mines as an inspirational or motivational story won&rsquot change anything, because forgiveness is too difficult and too complicated to just begin happening because we heard a motivational story.

But it is the case that the stories we tell each day all year, the images we surround ourselves with, the heroes we celebrate, and the communities of friendship and worship to which we give ourselves will do a great deal to shape how we forgive, and the kind of world that makes forgiving so necessary.
Such shaping and reshaping is hard work. It&rsquos hard to distinguish between forgiveness and pardon to know when reconciliation is possible and when it needs more time. Our culture celebrates violence on many levels. Even more, it insists that the most innate human need is to get one&rsquos due, that your most fundamental right is retribution. In such a setting, giving and forgiving are deeply countercultural.

These are things for which we need discerning communities&mdashthe Amish and I recommend Christian community&mdashlong before we think we need them.

Last October, one person who began reflecting on forgiveness and community and Lord&rsquos Prayer, was John McCutchen, a nationally-known folk singing who has performed frequently here at the Goshen College music center, and who offered a song as his contribution to the language and images we might take with us into this difficult work. We&rsquoll end with this song, not because it is the final word on forgiveness, but as one musical offering on the way to taking up the painful, always complicated, but life-giving work of forgiveness.


There have been more than 200 school shootings since 1999. These were the deadliest

Up until April 20, 1999, there had only been six other instances in American history in which five people or more had been killed during an attack on a school.

But in the 20 years since two students murdered 15 people at Columbine High School in Colorado, there have been nine more school shootings that resulted in the deaths of five students or school employees.

Read more about each of the the shootings in the list below.

The list below does not include the 200-plus shootings at schools since April 20, 1999 in which less than five people were killed.

WEST NICKEL MINES SCHOOL

Oct. 2, 2006
A Pennsylvania man stormed a one-room Amish schoolhouse and held a number of female students hostage. As police attempted to negotiate with the gunman, they heard a rapid series of shots. Five students were killed, and the gunman also died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

April 16, 2007
In the deadliest school shooting in American history, a 23-year-old senior from South Korea killed 32 students in two separate buildings on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. He later died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The attack raised a number of questions about student safety on college campus and inspired emergency alert system upgrades at dozens of colleges.

Feb. 14, 2008
A graduate student at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, armed with a shotgun and three pistols, stormed into a large auditorium-style classroom, killing five students and injuring 17. He later died at the scene of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

April 2, 2012
A 43-year-old former student at the Korean Christian College in Oakland, California, entered a nursing classroom, ordered students to line up against a wall, and shot them. Seven students were killed. The gunman was arrested, and eventually pleaded no contest in the case and was sentenced to life in prison. The gunman died in prison of self-inflicted wounds earlier this year.

SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY

Dec. 14, 2012
The deadliest mass shooting at a high school or grade school, 20 children between six and seven years old were killed at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school. Six adult staff members were also shot and killed at the school. Before the shooting at the school, the gunman had also murdered his mother at her home. The gunman later shot and killed himself at the school.

MARYSVILLE PILCHUCK HIGH SCHOOL

Oct. 24, 2014
After inviting a handful of friends to have lunch with, a student pulled out a handgun and killed four people before fatally shooting himself at a high school outside of Seattle. The student's father was later arrested for illegally purchasing the firearm used in the attack.

UMPQUA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Oct. 1, 2015
A 26-year-old student enrolled at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, shot and killed an assistant professor and eight students in a single classroom. Police later engaged in a shootout with the gunmen, and after being injured, he shot himself. Eight other people were injured.

MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL

Feb. 14, 2018
A 19-year-old former student who had been expelled the year before returned to the school with a semi-automatic weapon and killed 14 students and three staff members. The gunman then exited the Florida high school along with other students and was later apprehended by police a few blocks away from the school. He's since been charged with 17 counts of murder.

May 18, 2018
A student at a Texas high school shot and killed eight students and two staff members with multiple guns. Thirteen others were injured. He was also later found to be possessing explosives and molotov cocktails. The student was later arrested and now faces charges of 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.


Gunman Planned Sex Assault on Amish Girls, Police Say

When Charles Carl Roberts IV burst into a one-room Amish schoolhouse on Monday, he carried with him tools for a sexual assault: KY lubricant jelly, plastic flex-cuffs and heavy bolts that could have been used to restrain the children, police said Tuesday.

During a cellphone conversation in the last moments of his life, Roberts told his wife that he had molested two relatives 20 years ago, when he was 12 -- and was tormented by dreams that he would do it again. In a suicide note, Roberts also told his wife that he was in despair over the death of their first child, Elise, who was born prematurely and lived only 20 minutes. The couple later had three children.

“I don’t know how you put up with me all these years. I am not worthy of you, you are the perfect wife you deserve so much better,” he wrote. “I am filled with so much hate, hate toward myself, hate towards God and unimaginable emptiness.”

Seven-year-old Lina Miller was taken off life support Tuesday morning, making her the fifth child to die in the schoolhouse attack. Five other girls remained in area hospitals, four of them in critical condition. There is no evidence that Roberts assaulted the girls during the 45-minute siege, which ended in a barrage of gunfire, Pennsylvania State Police Col. Jeffrey Miller said at a news conference.

In the community of Nickel Mines, where the attack occurred, the black-clad figures of Amish mourners converged on farmhouses from all directions -- in horse-drawn buggies, on foot, on scooters and in vans driven by non-Amish.

Two teenage girls in white gauze bonnets walked down the road, their eyes pink and swollen from crying. But overall, as the families flocked toward the homes of the dead girls, their faces were composed.

Chris Stoltzfus, wearing the beard and flat-brimmed yellow straw hat of Amish men, said there was explosive grief inside the community, “but you don’t see it much out here.” He said the Amish were struggling to accept and forgive Roberts’ crime.

Forgiveness, he said, is not an option but a spiritual imperative. For example, when an Amish person is killed by a motor vehicle -- which happens regularly, since the Amish travel highways on scooters and in buggies -- it is not unusual for a family to invite the vehicle’s driver to the funeral.

“The sooner you resign yourself that it’s the Lord’s will, the sooner you get over it,” said Stoltzfus, a construction worker. This time, he said, was different. “There’s definitely a battle going on.”

The impulse to forgive is typical, said Donald Kraybill, a sociologist at Elizabethtown College who has studied the Anabaptists. The Amish believe “that all life is under the provenance of God, including evil acts like this,” he said. “And they accept that there is no sense of arguing with God. They have an enormous capacity to accept suffering.”

The latest revelations about Roberts offered a motive for the attack. At 10 a.m. Monday, after walking two of his children to their school bus, he burst into the Amish schoolhouse brandishing a 9-millimeter semiautomatic weapon and ordered the adult women and 15 boys to leave. One girl escaped with her brother, Miller said, leaving the 10 girls -- ages 6 to 13 -- behind.

Roberts then nailed planks of wood to the windows and bound the girls’ legs together using wires and plastic cuffs. With police surrounding the building, Roberts warned at 10:48 a.m. that he would start shooting if they did not retreat within 10 seconds. While troopers were attempting to reach Roberts on his cellphone, he opened fire, shooting into the backs of the girls’ heads. He then turned the gun on himself.

Investigators are searching for the two victims Roberts said he molested when he was a boy. But Miller said they may not even recall the episodes, since they were reportedly between 3 and 5 at the time. Neither Roberts’ wife nor any member of his family, Miller said, “has any kind of knowledge” of the molestation. Roberts had no criminal record and no known history of mental illness.

He was the son of a police officer, was home-schooled, and in 1996 married Marie Welk, a descendant of Georgetown’s settlers. In a statement released Monday, his wife said he was “loving, supportive, thoughtful -- all the things you’d want, and more.”

The Robertses were a church-going family. On Monday morning, when her husband was buying the last few supplies for his rampage, Marie Roberts was leading a mother’s prayer group at a nearby Presbyterian church. After the attack, neighbors recalled Charlie Roberts doing ordinary things: taking his kids trick-or-treating, or walking them to the bus stop.

His nearest neighbors were a large Amish family. When Stephen Sipos, another neighbor, went over to inform a woman there that Roberts was the shooter, he thought she was going to fall to the floor. “It was like her whole body went limp,” Sipos said. Aaron Fisher, 73, an Amish man who was shearing lengths of dark cotton fabric in a general store a few doors down from Roberts’ home, would not comment except to say this: “He was a good neighbor.”

As the realization of what had happened began to sink in Tuesday, the Coatesville Savings Bank established two savings accounts -- one for the Nickel Mines school, which may have to be rebuilt, and one for the Robertses’ children. Kristine Hileman, a minister at the church where Marie Roberts ran her prayer group, said the community would close ranks around the family.

“She may go some other place. Maybe that would be best for her. But while she is here we will love her,” she said.

Meanwhile, friends and relatives Tuesday had come face to face with a new Roberts: the meticulous planner of violence. In his pickup truck, police found a list -- in small, neat writing along the left-hand margin of a notebook -- that gave a picture of what he was planning to do to the children. It read: “Tape. I-bolts. Tools. Nails. Wrenches. Hose. KY. Bullets. Guns. Binoculars. Earplugs. Batteries. Black light. Candle. Wood. Tape.”


TIMELINE: Deadliest school shootings in recent history

May 18, 2018:
Students at Santa Fe High School in Texas began to evacuate after fire alarms were activated at the school around 7:45 a.m. after students heard gunfire. Ten people were killed and 14 were injured.

February 14, 2018:
A former student of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, opened fire on students and staff after activating the fire alarm. Seventeen people were killed and 17 were injured.

November 14, 2017:
A gunman rammed a truck into a gate at the Rancho Tehama Elementary School in Reserve, California, before firing at classrooms. Five people were killed and 18 were injured.

October 1, 2015:
A shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, left 10 people dead and seven wounded. Shooter Christopher Harper-Mercer, 26, exchanged gunfire with police then killed himself.

May 23, 2014:
A community college student killed six people and wounded 13 in shooting and stabbing attacks in the area near the University of California-Santa Barbara campus. Authorities said he apparently shot himself to death after a gun battle with deputies.

December 14, 2012:
In Newtown, Connecticut, an armed 20-year-old man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 26 people, including 20 first-graders and six adult school staff members. He then killed himself.

April 2, 2012:
Seven people were killed and three were wounded when a 43-year-old former student opened fire at Oikos University in Oakland, California. One Goh was charged with seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, but psychiatric evaluations concluded he suffered from long-term paranoid schizophrenia and was unfit to stand trial.

April 16, 2007:
A senior at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, opened fire in a residence hall and classrooms on campus, killing 32 people and injuring dozens before committing suicide.

October 2, 2006:
A gunman took hostages and shot eight out of 10 girls (aged 6-13), killing five before committing suicide in a Nickle Mines, Pennsylvania, schoolhouse. The West Nickel Mines School was torn down, and a new one-room schoolhouse, the New Hope School, was built at another location.

March 21, 2005:
A 16-year-old shot and killed seven people at Red Lake Senior High School in Red Lake, Minnesota, and wounded five others. The dead included an unarmed security guard at the entrance of the school, then a teacher and five students. The gunman committed suicide.

April 20, 1999:
Two students murdered 12 of their peers and one teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. They injured 21 additional people, and three more were injured while attempting to escape the school. After exchanging fire with responding police officers, the pair of killers subsequently committed suicide.


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