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Red Lake shootings
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Searching for reasons behind school shootings
A glimpse into the life of Jeff Weise
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Web postings hold clues to Weise's actions
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The character in Weise's animation. (Image courtesy of thesmokinggun.com)
As authorities try to figure out why Jeff Weise went on a shooting rampage at Red Lake High School, Internet postings attributed to the 16-year-old could hold some clues. The FBI says it will take time to verify whether Weise really authored any of the numerous postings, which point to a young man with a violent streak.

St. Paul, Minn. — Weise's online postings took two threads -- one very violent one, and the other showing an admiration for Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

Thesmokinggun.com Web site was the first to report that Jeff Weise apparently created a violent computer animation video that he posted to a popular multimedia Web site last fall. In the 30-second video, a black and white sketched male character lights a cigarette, opens a sack and pulls out a gun. The character then shoots three people in fast succession.

When a squad car pulls up, the shooter blows it up with a grenade, shoots one more bystander, who looks to be wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe, and then the animated character commits suicide.

The video attributed to Weise is called "Target Practice." Its creator used the alias "Regret," but there is a short bio connected to the animation that includes a photo of Weise and a description of the author as, "nothin but a Native American teenage-stoner-industrialist."

In another apparent Weise profile on the MSN Web site, the author lists his name as Weise and his age as 16. He says his occupation is "doormat," and one of his favorite things is "times when maddened psycho paths briefly open the gates of hell, and let chaos flood through." The author says his hobbies are planning, waiting and hating.

Weise spent a lot of time online, where he had profiles on a number of Web sites, using names that included "Todesengel" ("Angel of Death" in German) and "verlassen4-20," which means "abandoned" in German, and refers to Hitler's April 20 birthday.

He said he had a "natural admiration" for Hitler and attached a Hitler quote - "Obstacles do not exist to be surrendered to, but only to be broken" - to some posts.

"The only one's who oppose my views are the teachers at the high school, and a large portion of the student body who think a Nazi is a Klansman, or a White Supremacist thug," he posted under the name "NativeNazi" at a National Socialist forum. "Many of the Natives I know have been poisoned by what they were taught in school."

Authorities and witnesses say Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather's companion Monday, then attacked the high school on the Red Lake Indian reservation in northern Minnesota.

More frustration with school showed up in other posts: "They (teachers) don't openly say that racial purity is wrong, yet when you speak your mind on the subject you get 'silenced' real quick by the teachers and likeminded school officials ..."

"I'm living every mans nightmare and that single fact alone is kicking my ass, I really must be ... worthless," he wrote in a Jan. 27 posting. "This place never changes, it never will."

In an earlier Jan. 4 posting, he wrote: "The instrument of my resurrection was supposed to be my freedom. But there isn't an open sky or endless field to be found where I reside, nor is there light or salvation to be discovered. ... I don't know, but what I do know is I'm a retarded (expletive) for ever believing things would change for me. I'm starting to regret sticking around, I should've taken the razor blade express last time around. ... Well, whatever, man. Maybe they've got another shuttle comin' around soon?"

Dr. David Walsh, president of the National Institute on Media and Family, says he's seen many of the Internet postings attributed to Weise and he's watched the animated video.

If you look at the things that he wrote, if you look at the blogs he wrote, it's clear that he was practically predicting what he was going to do.
- David Walsh, National Institute on Media and the Family

"If you look at the things that he wrote, if you look at the blogs he wrote, it's clear that he was practically predicting what he was going to do. So there were all kinds of warning signs," Walsh says.

But who would have seen those warning signs? Jeff Weise's father had committed suicide years earlier, and his mother was in a nursing home with a brain injury. Many of Weise's classmates described him as a loner without friends.

Among his cyberworld contacts, David Walsh says it's unlikely that any of those people would have been concerned about his Web postings.

"People were reading these things on the Internet sites, but people going to those particular sites were people who were angry themselves," says Walsh.

MPR tried to contact some of the people who communicated online with Weise, but no one has responded to our interview requests.

Walsh says one lesson in this situation is that parents and adults need to reconnect with kids. He points to a study released last year that showed only 49 percent of U.S. teens feel respected and liked by adults. Walsh says for the half who don't feel liked, they are more likely to have that feeling amplified over time.

"It gets exaggerated. And so pretty soon the anger is greater anger. The hatred is greater hatred, and it gets to the point where they take tragic action," says Walsh.

Walsh says it's also likely that Weise was influenced by media violence, whether it was in movies or video games.

Attorney Jack Thompson is convinced it's the latter in this case. Thompson represented the families of the three girls who died in the West Paducah, Kentucky, school shooting eight years ago. In that case, a 14-year-old boy shot eight people at his school. He told authorities he gotten some of his ideas from the video game "Doom."

Thompson sees parallels between the videogame, "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," and Jeff Weise's animated production "Target Practice."

"It's a nearly precise replication of that game, even down to the exploding police car," says Thompson. "Also, the soundtrack of these two flash films, as they're called, that Weise prepared to basically let people know what he was going to do, have sound tracks of videogames on them."

Calls to the company that makes "Grand Theft Auto," Take2 Interactive, were not returned. And it's still not clear if Jeff Weise played video games.

The FBI says it will be some time before the agency is able to confirm whether the numerous Internet postings attributed to Weise actually came from him. The FBI must subpoena records from Internet service providers, and it has to confiscate and study any computers Jeff Weise may have used.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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