The attorney representing Robert W. Gladden Jr.—the 15-year-old accused of shooting another student in Perry Hall High School Monday morning—is challenging investigators' narrative of the attack.
George Psoras Jr., whose legal practice is based in Lutherville, claims that Gladden, a sophomore, was bullied and never intended to harm anyone when he brought a gun into the school's cafeteria, The Associated Press reports.
Psoras said he believes Gladden shot into the floor, and then shot the gun again accidentally when teachers tried to wrestle it away, according to the report.
"The stereotype right now is that we have a Columbine," Psoras told The Associated Press. "It's simply not the case. This is a typical teenager who was just starting this school year. He was being bullied, and the bullying has to stop."
Psoras declined to comment on the case when contacted by Patch on Wednesday.
During a Tuesday news conference, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson emphasized that Gladden had cooperated with police after his arrest Monday morning, and investigators did not believe bullying was a factor in the shooting.
The Associated Press also detailed Gladden's Facebook page with a status, written before the attack, that included, "First day of school, last day of my life." It also made reference to mass murderer Charles Manson and included the nickname "SuicidalSmile."
Jasmine Turno, a Perry Hall High freshman, said that two days after the attack, the school retained an eerie feeling. Turno said that if students had been more aware of each other, the shooting may never have happened.
"We know we could have stopped it, and we didn't," she said. "Obviously from his Facebook status, he was upset and suicidal ... we should have watched out for him because he was quiet. Everyone knows you have to watch out for the quiet ones. It's just crazy."
Austin Kahmer, a sophomore and acquaintance of Gladden, said he wouldn't have suspected that he would bring a gun to school.
"I didn't know him super well, but I've talked to him. He was never crazy like that before. He used to be all right, and then I don't know what happened," Kahmer said.
Noah Gaylor, also a sophomore, said he remembered Gladden from when they both attended Perry Hall Middle School, but that he was quiet in high school.
"I didn't really talk to him," Gaylor said.