Student commits suicide at school near Philadelphia, U.S.A.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Shane Halligan, a 16-year old student in 11th grade, is dead after he shot himself once with an AK-47 at Springfield High School located north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Police searched the grounds for possible explosives and say a bag carried by the shooter tested positive for traces of explosives.

Halligan walked into the school and began to fire shots from his rifle into a hallway ceiling then shot himself according to the Springfield Township Police Chief, Randall Hummel. No other injuries to students occurred and all students were safely evacuated to a middle school not far from the location of the shooting.

"[He died of an] apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," said Hummel. Authorities located a suicide letter in Halligan's pocket, but have not released its contents

The school does not have metal detectors, but according to Roseanne Nyiri, the superintendent of the high school, security at the school will "now be reviewed." Security cameras are on school grounds and police say they have video of the boy firing the gun into the hallway ceiling.

"We're all very much aware that even metal detectors have not deterred students from bringing guns into schools in the past," added Hummel.

According to Michael Delaurentis, 18 a witness and senior attending the school, the student was a "nice kid" and Delaurentis's father, also named Michael, described the student's family as "wonderful."

"It just makes you a little in fear of the future, and not just at this school, any school, because I don't think any school is 100 percent secure," said Delaurentis's father.

"I was walking to my class. I just hear 'Get down.' I heard shots fired into the ceiling and I saw smoke," said Delaurentis.

According to police reports, Halligan committed suicide because of his parents threatening to cut back on his after school activities due to poor performance in school. According to Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr., "The picture that's emerging is he was despondent over (the fact) that his grades were down, his parents were taking appropriate steps to limit extracurricular activities to get the grades up, and he saw the things that he felt were important in his life being taken from him." but this is not the first time a weapon was brought onto school grounds.

Back in September, at the same school, a student brought a gun to show-off to other fellow students causing the entire school to be locked down.