A vulnerable teenager who shot up a classroom, sparking fears of Australia’s first US-style school shooting, will spend at least 16 months in detention.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, took two rifles to his school, Atlantis Beach Baptist College in Two Rocks, about 70 kilometers north of Perth, on May 24 last year.
He fired three shots from his father’s .243 hunting rifle, sending students and teachers running for cover as two bullets hit a classroom and another hit a grassy area near a playground.
No one was physically injured and the teenager was arrested at the scene after calling triple zero and admitting what he had done, Perth Children’s Court heard on Thursday.
A teenager who opened fire at a private school in Perth last year before being arrested by police (pictured) will spend 16 months in custody
He later pleaded guilty to eight charges, including two counts of acting unlawfully with intent to harm and endanger the lives of students and teachers.
Chief Justice Hylton Quail said during sentencing that this was an extremely serious and evil incident.
“Fortunately no one was shot,” he said.
“Good luck prevented a tragic outcome.”
Judge Quail said the teenager’s actions caused fear, anxiety and distress to teachers and students.
“The crime made the blood run cold for every student and parent, and indeed I suspect every person in Western Australia who heard about it,” he said.
‘One teacher said she had never been so scared in her entire life.
“We will all remember this day for a long time.”
Judge Quail said the boy was intelligent and came from a good home and his parents were shocked by his behaviour.
He also said the teenager had “abandoned” his initial plan to kill people before “pulling the trigger” and accepted that he was very remorseful for his actions.
Judge Quail sentenced the boy to three years in detention, and he must serve at least 16 months before he can be released.
The court heard that during the call to triple zero, the boy told the operator that he initially intended to kill people and himself, but did not follow through to protect his siblings.
The incident put the school on lockdown amid reports that a gunman dressed in black was pointing his gun at students on the playground.
A student lay on the ground and tried to use a backpack as cover, causing a teacher to fear he had been shot.
Others ran into classrooms and hid under tables, in closets and storage rooms.
Police responded to the scene (pictured) after the incident and the boy who fired the shot dialed triple zero and admitted to authorities what he had done.
The terrifying incident occurred at Atlantis Beach Baptist College in Two Rocks (file image pictured) about 70 kilometers north of Perth.
The boy, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and was suffering from a depressive episode at the time, began planning the shooting months earlier after being bullied and the target of gossip.
The court heard he conducted dozens of Internet searches seeking information about school shootings, massacres and the age of criminal responsibility.
Four days before pulling the trigger, the teenager “talked a lot about mass shootings in the United States” during a conversation with a friend.
The night before the incident he told another to stay home the next day because he was going to shoot up the university. Neither of them took it seriously.
The next morning, he opened his father’s gun safe and took out two rifles before driving his father’s all-terrain vehicle to school.
Judge Quail previously said there was no legal record of a school shooting in Australia before the boy’s offending.
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