Wisconsin prom shooter was allegedly bullied

Associated Press

Antigo, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Monday called for a discussion on how to deal with bullying in schools after friends of a gunman who wounded two people outside a high school prom said the 18-year-old had been bullied.

Authorities have not revealed a motive for the shooting outside Antigo High School in northern Wisconsin and declined to comment Monday on whether bullying may have been a factor. Police fatally shot former student Jakob E. Wagner after he opened fire on students outside the school Saturday night, authorities say.

Wagner’s mother, Lorrie Wagner, told the Associated Press that her son “wasn’t a monster.”

“If anything, I hope it shines light on bullying and how deeply it affects people,” she said, before ending the interview.

Former classmate Dakotta Mills, who said he had known Wagner since sixth grade, told the Associated Press that he had “some rough spots now and then” and that he had witnessed him being bullied. Another former classmate, Emily Fisher, told the Wausau Daily Herald that students ganged up on Wagner and called him names, in part because of poor hygiene. The bullying started in middle school, Fisher said, and continued through high school.

Walker, a Republican, said authorities should address bullying and mental health, as well as teaching students how to resolve disagreements peacefully rather than impose new limits on firearms. He said that if there were a ban on rifles in Wisconsin, “you wouldn’t have hunting here.”

At a news conference Monday, authorities said they couldn’t confirm that Wagner had been taunted by fellow students or say whether it was a possible motive in the shooting.

“I can’t get into the specifics on that,” Antioch Police Chief Eric Roller said.