A fifteen year old gay boy was shot by a fellow student at an Oxnard, CA junior high school. The victim was reportedly openly gay and was regularly harassed by other students.
A student at an Oxnard junior high school shot another classmate Tuesday in front of two dozen other students who were settling into their first-period English class, police said.
The 15-year-old victim was rushed to St. John's Regional Medical Center, where he was initially listed in critical condition. By day's end, his condition was described as improving.
"He's gone from very critical to a little bit better," said Oxnard police spokesman David Keith. "He's actually communicating with personnel at the hospital."
The boy's alleged assailant ran from the E.O. Green Junior High School and was apprehended nearby a few minutes later by Oxnard and Port Hueneme police officers.
The shooting was not gang-related, said Keith, who added that the school had not been a particular trouble spot before.
"It looked like it was personal between the two of them," he said, declining to elaborate.
Some students said the victim, whose name was not disclosed, sometimes wore makeup and feminine jewelry and had declared himself gay. They said he was frequently taunted by other boys and had been involved in an argument with the alleged shooter, an eighth-grader who also was not named, and others Monday.
During the lunchtime argument, one of the boys shouted at Tuesday's victim, "You better watch your back," said one student who witnessed the encounter.
This says a whole lot about our current political and social climate in which kids think its perfectly okay to shoot another kid because of his sexual orientation. There is no way that the anti-gay evangelicals and conservative Republicans who preach day and night against LGBT Americans can escape culpability in this attempted murder.
Of course, what we will get from them, if anything, is more fire and brimstone aimed LGBT people.
Much love: Joe. My. God.
[ED NOTE:] The young student has been declared brain dead. His alleged attacker is in custody and will be charged with murder. The Los Angeles Times has a truly heartbreaking story with reactions from classmates.