Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Pain goes on for Red Lake community 10 years after shooting massacre

Author:

Saturday marks 10 years since the largest mass homicide in Minnesota's history.

On March 21, 2005, a 16-year-old from the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota named Jeff Weise shot his police officer grandfather to death, along with his grandfather's girlfriend, before heading to the Red Lake Senior High School

There, he killed five 15-year-old students, an English teacher, a security guard, and wounded five, before taking his own life in a classroom.

At the time, it was the biggest school shooting since Columbine and ten years later, the 6,000-strong Chippewa community on the reservation is still haunted by the memories of that fateful day.

The long road to recovery

MPR has spoken to three people involved the massacre, among them Jeff May, who was shot in the face while charging at Weise with a pencil, moments after watching him kill his girlfriend Alicia White, and still bears the scar "as a souvenir."

May, a promising footballer, was held up as a tribal hero following the shooting, as his actions allowed other students to escape. But he has found it tough to move on with his life, spending all of a $750,000 payment he received for the bullet he took, and in 2010 he entered a care facility following a suicide attempt.

Since then he has been trying to piece his life back together, telling MPR: "I prayed. That seemed to help me a lot. Shortly after that I got the will to get up and go forward with my life again."

More counseling is needed

Another person at the school that day was math teacher Missy Dodds, who told the Associated Press she hasn't been back into the classroom since the shooting, and still takes medication for anxiety and attends regular therapy sessions.

She had locked the door to her classroom, only for Weise to shoot through the glass partition. "When I looked up and saw his face in the glass, I thought, 'Oh, my God, we are in so much trouble,'" she told AP.

One of her students, freshman Ashley Lajeunesse, said she is better off than many of the others who witnessed the shootings because she sought help after having issues with drugs and alcohol.

"There are still a lot of them that have never gotten counseling that need it," she said.

Services

Memorial services will be held this weekend to mark the 10th anniversary of the shooting in Red Lake, the Northland News Center reports.

The Bemidji Pioneer reports that the City of Bemidji will be flying the Red Lake Flag half-mast at City Hall this weekend, to remember and honor those who lost their lives.

MPR has published a profile on each of the victims of the shooting, which you can read here.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

2nd period surge leads Wild to fourth straight win

With three goals in the second, the Wild blasted the last-place Coyotes.

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.

ambulance

Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.

ambulance

1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.

robbery

St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.

Related