Reporting Mike Schuh
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)— There’s a possible motive for the suspected gunman at Perry Hall High School. His lawyers say he wanted to be killed by a cop. It’s one of two recent gun incidents at Baltimore County schools. Now, the community is rallying to stop student violence.
Mike Schuh has more on the growing problem.
Classmates in both Perry Hall and Essex say both teens that brought guns to school in the past two weeks were bullied. Now, they’re taking a stand to stop it.
Attorneys for 15-year-old Robert Gladden say he’s expressed remorse for opening fire in the cafeteria of Perry Hall High School.
“He has expressed deep sorrow for the child that was injured in this case and for his conduct in this case,” Gladden’s defense attorney Clarke Ahlers said.
They say it was bullying that pushed the teen to the brink.
“I think he expected to be killed and I think he desired to be killed, yes,” Ahlers said.
Bullying is also said to be factor for the 13-year old boy who brought a gun to Stemmers Run Middle School this week.
“He was bullied for three years straight. He tried to commit suicide in seventh grade and they sent him to Catholic school after he did that,” Tyler Prince, an eighth-grader at Stemmers Run, said.
Friends say when he came back to public school, it started again.
The incident at Stemmers Run has sparked some big security changes inside Baltimore County schools.
A larger police presence is now visible and school resource officers will receive metal detecting wands.
But bullying remains a pervasive problem.
McCorkell: “Have you seen other kids bully kids?”
Seth Scurto, seventh-grader: “Plenty of times. As a matter of fact, I’ve been a victim of it.”
Now this community is standing up to bullies.
First Baptist Church of Essex held an anti-bullying rally called Code Blue. They’re urging people to wear the color every Thursday.
“We’re not going to quit wearing blue on Thursdays until bullying has ended in our schools,” Pastor John Smith said.
The First Baptist Church has also started a Code Blue Facebook page and plans to hold more community forums about bullying.
A bail hearing for Gladden was postponed on Thursday. Attorneys say the teen is on suicide watch.