REUTERS – A 15-year-old boy suspected of shooting a fellow student on the first day of classes at a Baltimore-area high school has been charged with first-degree attempted murder, but police say they do not know the motive for what apparently was a well-planned attack.
Robert Wayne Gladden Jr. also left an ominous message on his Facebook page before heading off to Perry Hall High School in Baltimore’s northeast suburbs on Monday morning.
“First day of school, last day of my life,” the posting read. It concluded: “fuck the world.”
Gladden was charged Tuesday as an adult and also faces a first-degree assault charge, Baltimore County Police officials said. He is being held without bail ahead of a preliminary hearing set for September 7.
The shooting is the latest incident of gun violence in a summer plagued by troubling shootings in the United States.
In July, a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. In August, a suspect described by authorities as a white supremacist killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin before committing suicide.
Gladden has been cooperating with the investigation, but police said they still do not know what led him allegedly to open fire in the school cafeteria around 11 a.m..
Counter to press reports, Baltimore County Police Corporal Cathy Batton said Gladden was not a victim of bullying. “He denied being bullied,” Batton said. “That was not the reason.”
“When he walked into the cafeteria and pulled the trigger he did not have any intended target,” Batton said.
Batton said Gladden had carefully planned the attack.
Gladden disassembled a double-barreled shotgun he took from his father’s house, packed it into his school bag along with a bottle of vodka and hid the weapon in a school bathroom, Batton said. The teen allegedly returned, re-assembled the weapon, drank some of the vodka, and went back into the cafeteria.
A guidance counselor rushed and tackled Gladden when he saw the student produce the gun, but Gladden fired one shot into a crowd of students, striking classmate Daniel Borowy in the back, Batton said. Borowy remains hospitalized in critical condition.
In the work and education section of the boy’s Facebook page, located under the handle “Bobby Gladden (SuicidalSmile),” he lists attending Perry Hall but also working for “The Manson Family,” an apparent reference to Charles Manson, who is serving a life sentence for directing the 1969 murder of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
The “About Bobby” section reads: “im a meathead, and thats about it.” (Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Dan Burns and David storey)