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Omaha student gunman wrote angry Facebook post night before shooting

by Jorge Hernandez on January 6, 2011

An angry Facebook note may provide clues as to why a 17-year-old boy in Omaha, Nebraska, opened fire at his high school on Wednesday, seriously injuring the principal and killing the vice principal before escaping to his car where he fatally shot himself. The note paints a picture of an angry individual who was a stark contrast to the fun, outgoing classmate his friends knew, The Associated Press reports.

The gunman, Robert Butler, Jr., had just moved to Omaha's Millard South High School in October from nearby Lincoln. In the note he wrote on Facebook, he blamed Omaha for changing him and that he was unhappy with his new school. He did not go into very much detail, and at the end apologized for the "evil thing" he was going to do.

Some of Butler's friend told authorities that they had no idea he was capable of such a violent rampage. Jacob Rinke, who lived down the street from Butler and talked frequently with him on Facebook, told the police that they even spoke the night before the shooting, he says that nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

"He didn't seem like a kid who would go out and do this," Rinke told the news organization. "When I first heard about this in school I didn't believe it. I was pretty much in denial about it."

Investigators are still looking into the motive behind the shooting, and offered no details about what kind of gun Butler used or how he gained access to it. However, authorities say they received reports of the shooting at around 12:50 p.m. The school was locked down and students were safely released around two hours after the incident.

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