Gay Student Shot Yesterday Declared Brain Dead
The 15 year old junior high school student who was shot yesterday by one of his classmates has been declared brain dead. Lawrence King was openly gay and was shot by a 14 year old classmate in front of about 20 other students.
Police have not determined a motive in the slaying but said it appeared to stem from a personal dispute between King and the suspect.
Keith and Totten declined to elaborate.
But several students at the south Oxnard campus said King and his alleged assailant had a falling out stemming from King’s sexual orientation.
The teenager sometimes wore feminine clothing and makeup, and proclaimed he was gay, students said.
“He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails — the whole thing,” said Michael Sweeney, 13, an eighth-grader. “That was freaking the guys out.”
Student Juan Sandoval, 14, said he shared a fourth-period algebra class with the suspect, whom he described as a calm, smart student who played on the basketball team. “I didn’t think he was that kind of kid,” Sandoval said. “I guess you never know. He made a big mistake.”
“Their lives are both destroyed now,” said student Hansley Rivera, 12.
Several students said that a day before the shooting, King and several boys had some kind of altercation during the lunch period.
If the suspect targeted King because of his sexual orientation, the case could rise to the level of a hate crime, authorities said.