SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Incriminating statements to law officers made by a student arrested after four people were shot at a Washington state high school last year will be admissible in upcoming court proceedings, a Spokane County judge ruled Monday.
Superior Court Judge Michael Price made the decision in the case of Caleb Sharpe, 16, who was arrested for the Sept. 13, 2017 death of one classmate and the wounding of three others at Freeman High School.
Price ruled that Sharpe’s statements to sheriff’s deputies can be used both at an Aug. 13 hearing to decide if he will be tried as an adult, and at his subsequent trial.
Sharpe has been in custody since shootings at the high school south of Spokane.
Sharpe faces one charge of aggravated first degree murder, three charges of attempted first degree murder and 51 counts of second-degree assault. He was 15 at the time of the shootings.
The Associated Press doesn’t typically name juvenile suspects but is doing so because of the severity of the accusations and because Sharpe’s name was released in public documents.
Spokane County sheriff’s detectives Scott Bonney and Marc Melville interviewed Sharpe after the shootings.
They wrote in court records that Sharpe told them about watching documentaries on past school shootings.
Sharpe told detectives that he studied the Columbine High School and Sandy Hook school shootings, and was critical of the perpetrators for killing themselves in the end, the detectives wrote.
On the day of the shooting, Sharpe flipped a coin to decide whether to follow through with his plan, they wrote.
Sharpe said he loaded an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle into a golf bag to conceal it. In his left pocket, he placed a .32-caliber handgun. Both guns “belonged to his father, and he took them without permission,” the detectives wrote.
Sharpe said he did not intend to kill himself, and he denied being a victim of physical or sexual abuse.
“Sharpe said the plan went exactly as intended,” the detectives wrote. “His plan was to shoot some people at school, just like he did. Sharpe said he was not planning on shooting any particular people; he just planned on shooting people in general.”
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
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