Police Label Shooting at California Junior High School a Gay Hate Crime

Oxnard, Calif., is a mostly working class town near Ventura, about an hour north of Los Angeles. In a junior high classroom there Tuesday morning, Brandon McInerney, 14, shot a classmate, Lawrence King, also 14, in the head. Police now say the killing was premeditated and that Mcinerney shot Larry because he’d recently come out as gay:

classmates of the slain boy, Lawrence King, said he recently had started to wear makeup and jewelry and had proclaimed himself gay. Several students said King and a group of boys, including the defendant, had a verbal confrontation concerning King’s sexual orientation a day before the killing.

King, 15, was declared brain-dead and was expected to be taken off a ventilator late Thursday so organs could be removed for donation, said Craig Stevens, senior county deputy medical examiner.

King was shot in the head early Tuesday in a classroom full of students at E.O. Green Junior High School. Police said the suspect fled and was apprehended a few blocks away.

Larry King was a foster child living in Casa Pacifica, a shelter for abused and troubled children in nearby Camarillo.

“He never felt like he had a family, but he told me when he got to Casa Pacifica that he had one there,” a classmate and friend told the Los Angeles Times.

Brandon McInerney’s father has a police record that includes several run-ins with the law, including disturbing the peace, drunk driving and one count of domestic abuse.

Jay Smith, executive director of Ventura County Rainbow Alliance, a gay rights organization, told reporters that “[in] the 15-year history of this organization, this is the first time we’ve seen the district attorney act this swiftly and clearly to say ‘This will not be tolerated’ … We are very eager to see the district attorney follow through”

On Wednesday, the day after the shooting, about three-quarters of the students were back in school:

“We had extra counselors in,” said Superintendent Jerry Dannenberg. “They’ve been meeting with students all day long. They’re reporting a very healthy response.”

After the last bell rang, students stopped at the memorial on their way out, reading the messages. One boy knelt and prayed.

“We love you Larry,” a student had written on a paper note, “1993-2008.”

Brandon McInerney is being held in Juvenile Hall, where he is being held in lieu of $770,000 bail. He could face 50 years to life, if convicted.

California voters gave prosecutors the option of charging children 14 and older as adults with the passage of Proposition 21 in 2002.


  • cwazilla
    February 16, 2008 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    awell you know out there will be people that are saying good for him he got what he deserved for going against god and they will laught their sick little laugh and send this ignorant little asshat cards of sympathy that he got cought and there god will reward him I for one hope he gets just whats comming to him in the form of a big ole bubba type with a taste for fresh fish hope he likes tossin them salads to bad your parents didnt teach you better instead of teaching you to hate farwell and good riddence

  • February 16, 2008 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Justice is not served by incarcerating children. America has the highest per capita incarceration rate among all civilized (and most uncivilized) nations of the world. With all of this senseless violence among our children, we need to ask ourselves why? And we need to act before we don’t have a viable next generation left. A little boy being raped by a criminal does not serve justice. While there is nothing in the Bible that condemns homosexuality (yes I HAVE read it, and those “clobber verses” are not condemning normal caring sex between partners of the same gender), it DOES take a dim view of adults raping children or “socially” forcing them into sexual liaisons (some of those same passages, by the way), even in the case of criminals and captured enemies.

  • Sister Care
    February 17, 2008 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Not that it justifies what occurred at all…but the Bible does condemn homosexuality as it does every other human sin–

  • Marcus
    February 18, 2008 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Sister Care –

    If it doesn’t justify what occurred, why would you write such an obscene thing here?

    God also condemns eating shrimp, lobster and ham and working on Sunday as equal to the sin of homosexual sex. Of course, all of those sins (except working on Sunday, which is in the Ten Commandments) were voided, along with live sacrifices, in the New Covenant.

    But mainly Jesus said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” So it appears you’re going to hell, Sister.

    Oops, I just judged you. Oh well, we’re going to hell together.

  • February 23, 2008 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

    God did not have anything to do with the murder of this child. There is no one among us who can judge either one of these two children. Instead of discussing the underlying issues as to why the shooter had access to a gun, how did he get a gun on public school campus, and why didn’t anyone talk to the child who was murdered about the risks of coming out? So easy to sit back and judge others and cloak it in the euphoric rhetoric of biblical phrases. Really justifies a child being murdered by another child, doesn’t it? As adults we are responsible for for being role models for the children. We have seriously failed in that arena.

  • al
    February 24, 2008 - 1:14 am | Permalink

    Theres nothing wrong with having faith, what good has the bible done? gives people some right to judge (even though it teaches not to). I say put the bible aside…a 14 year old kills another human being and some of you here are worried about him getting raped in jail?? This should be a lesson…parents grow the f*** up and be more responsible!

  • Vincent
    February 26, 2008 - 12:34 am | Permalink

    I am deeply appalled by this act of violence towards someone who is different than them. Ignorance brings on fear and fear brings on violence. Maybe if we were teaching our children that just because someone is black, white, catholic, baptist or GAY does not mean that you should hate them or think that they are going to hell because of who they are and definately not commit an act of violence against them!!!!!!!!

  • February 26, 2008 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    well I defently dont this justice was served.
    im gay and so are alot of my friends.
    and just because of your orientation, doesnt mean you have to be shot. you cant help how your are.or who you are.
    the only choice you have is finally confronting that your gay.
    the boy thats in jail was just hating on the gay kid.
    so what he was was gay and proud.
    we all are.
    i hope they treat that little boy like shit.
    i cant stand people like that.
    but it doesnt mean im going to freaking shoot him.
    grow up.
    what a loser.

  • Non-judgemental
    February 26, 2008 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I agree that the undelying problem is how the child got a gun; however, if this child was determined to do harm, he would have found another way to hurt his classmate. Society needs to step up and take responsibility for its children. The reason this child hated was because of the old literal readings of the bible. The bible is not a direct fax from God. I have God in my life and he is not the wrathful, vengeful God of the old testament. If the bible thumpers would actually think for themselves instead of allowing others to think for them, then they would realize that the God of the Old Testament has human qualities. How Can God be malevolent and benevolent at the same time.

  • V Black
    February 27, 2008 - 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Why are the gays blaiming this shooting on the christians and the bible. The shooter undoutidley has never been to chirch let alone read anything in the bible. Do you realy think He did this tarable thing because He heard some hate message from the pulpit. Did they find a bible in his locker? I think that He knows nothing about Jesus Christ at all. He is just a abused kid who wanted to vent by hurting someone who was different that him. Thats all.

  • V Black
    February 27, 2008 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

    For those of you who say that the Bible does not say anything agenst homosexuality I have some verses 4 you to read. Romans Chapter 1 verses 26-32. But, do not forget that Jesus died for sinners and that all of us have sinned and fall short of what God wants us to be.

  • Madison
    February 28, 2008 - 6:41 am | Permalink

    V Black – Those letters from Paul have been deliberately mistranslated. He was specifically talking about masters have sex with their slaves.

    You and other Bible-believers won’t answer this question: If gay sex is a sin and therefore laws should forbid gays from marrying and having children, what is adultery?

    Since God forbade adultery in the Ten Commandments, why don’t you advocate preventing adulterers from marrying and having more children? Do you really want adulterers teaching in the public schools? Shouldn’t employers be able to fire adulterers on sight, and landlords have the right to evict them because of their status as sinners?

    The “sin of homosexuality” is a complete fiction made up by bigots to perpetuate the patriarchy. The rank hypocrisy of so-called Christians about this issue is the real sin.

    (And by the way, no one who can type is as illiterate as you pretend to be.)

  • V Black
    February 28, 2008 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Madisson. Are we going to tipe directly back and forth by name? Cool. First, the illiteracy is real. There is no spell check so I have no choise but to out myself. Second, instead of pretending that chnteries of Greek speeking scollers have deliberatly mistransilated the Bible mabey you should camp out on what the Apostel Pall had to say to the Bigeouts in Romans Chapter 2 vs 1-4. I have the New American Standerd translation. It reads smoother than the King James.

    Ps. Adultery is a sin of unlove agenst your wife. I think that the Bible says that if you even look after another women with lust in your heart that you have comitted it. So, I think I probably don’t know any teacher who is not an adulterer. Who then whould be left to teach our kids?

  • Madison
    February 28, 2008 - 2:31 pm | Permalink

    The mistranslation was done in the early Roman church, when the Greek was translated to Latin. It was picked up 1,200 years later in the English translation. (Ironically, King James I, the son of Mary Queen of Scots, was gay.)

    What we call homosexuality now (the term was only invented about 120 years ago) was acceptable in both the Greek and Roman cultures of the New Testament era. Jewish sect members like Paul, who were later called Christians, were okay with slavery, which was also pervasive, but drew the line at masters having sex with slaves.

    So you are for restricting the rights of adulterers?

  • V Black
    February 28, 2008 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Well, let me say this about restricting rights. There was an episode of Twilight Zone in which there was a man who hated all evil and wrong doing people. A supernatural power granted Him one which. He wished that all evil and wrong doing people would wake up in the morning and be only 2′ tall. All these wrong and evil people would thus not be able to do any more harm or be listened 2 by any one sense they would only be 2′ tall. He got His which. Then when He woke up in the morning, u guest it, He fell out of bead because He was only 2′ tall.
    Now, I know myself. I have enough wrong doing under my belt to be the first person stoned. But, the first person to throw a stone at me better be perfect. I know that know one is perfect, so I’m safe. And so are you. But not before God. Last time I checked everyone who has ever lived has died. I expect to die some day also. On that day I expect to stand before God. The very last and most foolish thing I would ever say to God is “give me what I deserve”. Rather, I plan on saying “give me what I don’t deserve; I want to go to Heaven”. Where I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will say, you know that in the previous life I was gay. And I’ll say “well it’s a non issue now; let’s just enjoy each others company 4 the rest of eternity.
    I think I first started on this blog to say that this Kid in Oxnard who shot this other boy because He was wairing lipstick and makeup was a bully and a biget but He wasent getting His hatered from the bible. If you are out there and think that you should throw stones at gays because they are gay and you are not, then you should read Romans Ch2. Especialy verse 4.

  • V Black
    March 2, 2008 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    It appears that King James I of England was crowned King James VI of Scotland at one year of age. This happened because His mother Mary Queen of Scots was off in France all the time. Mary’s father was the king of France. Mary’s mother was the sister of King Henry VIII of England. Mary therefore laid claim to both the throne of France and England. This angered both the French and the Protestant English. Mary was strongly Catholic. They tried to kill her in France and she fled to England thinking that her cousin Queen Elisabeth I would protect her. Instead she was arrested and thrown in jail.
    Back in Scotland King James was 15 years old by now. The Scots brought in a Frenchman, The Earl of Lennox, as a caretaker for young King James. Evidently the French Earl was homosexual and liked young boys. The Scottish royal court noticed him molesting King James and removed Him from the scene. The Earl was an older man and James was just 15 years old. I think you would go to jail for doing something like that today. It is said that after that James preferred the company of men. But after the death of Queen Elisabeth of England he was crowned King James I of England and married a Dutch princess. Of course one of the things he is most famous for is his authorization of the Bible being translated into the English language.
    One of King James orders to the translaters was that they should translate directly from the oldest available Greek and Hebrew texts. So nothing was carried over from Latin. But I might point out that at the time of the apostle Paul the oficial language of Rome was Latin and Paul was a citizen of Rome. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Paul would have written his letter to the Romans in Latin since he was a very educated man. How could anyone know what language Paul wrote the letter to the Romans in since no one has Paul’s original hand-written letter.

  • Madison
    March 2, 2008 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

    That sounds mostly right. It’s been more than 30 year since I read up on James I, but I recall that he had several male lovers while he was king.

    Just checked Wikipedia and the regent you’re referring to was Esmé Stewart, Sieur d’Aubigny, first cousin of James’s father Lord Darnley. I was confused because the Earl of Lennox was a hereditary Scottish title that had last been held by Mary’s father, James V. Her son, James VI, conferred it onto Stewart, his lover (and first cousin, once removed), in 1580. A contemporary account describes their relationship like this:

    The two became extremely close and it was said by an English observer that “from the time he was 14 years old and no more, that is, when the Lord Stuart came into Scotland… even then he began… to clasp some one in the embraces of his great love, above all others” and that James became “in such love with him as in the open sight of the people often he will clasp him about the neck with his arms and kiss him.”

    Not to put too fine a point on it but whatever King James, or any king, even at age 14 or 15, wanted to do was automatically “legal.”

    The language of Romans was certainly Latin but it was considered “vulgar” by them. The language of the educated classes, government and diplomacy throughout the Empire, including Tarsus, Damascus and Palestine, was Greek. Paul (who was a Jew from present day Turkey) wrote in Greek — and the letters attributed to him that were written by others were undoubtedly in Greek.

    Nothing in what we think of as the New Testament was written originally in Latin and it is extremely unlikely any of it was written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and if so, that the Hebrew texts were preserved by the early Roman church. (Even if such Hebrew texts had been transcribed and preserved 1,500 years later, the Catholic Church would have forbidden making them available to James I, the Protestant heretic.)

    The Gospels were spread as oral histories for decades before being written down. Embellishments like the virgin birth, Jesus rising from the dead and other miracles were incorporated from other mythologies (Mithras, etc.) during this period. A century or so later, dozens of the gospels were banned in a power grab by the church patriarchy. These texts were tracked down from library to library and burned, in part because these gospels advocated giving women larger roles in the church hierarchy. Miraculously, a collection of these banned gospels was discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945, the most famous of which is the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Elaine Pagels has written a very fine short work on these banned gospels titled “The Gnostic Gospels.”

    Still, it is amusing to think how people who believe the King James New Testament is the literal word of God would react if they did a little research and discovered that the version they view as “scripture” is only 400 years old and was authorized by a gay man, and that the true provenance of every word in it is sketchy at best.

  • V Black
    March 2, 2008 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Well, I believe that the scriptures of the Bible have been watched over by God. If the God of the Bible is the true God then that’s the way it has to be. If we can just go through the Bible and say:, “I don’t like this and that has been mistranslated or that has been added later”, then the whole thing becomes worthless as far as knowing God is concerned. I can’t prove the Bible is unscratched so I guess that it’s just a matter of faith. Of course I’m sure that “my” interpretations of the scriptures are correct. My mind can be changed on some miner points but on the major points I’m totally immovable. Mainly that God’s plan A, the 10 Commandments, which God gave through Moses and was meant to give us eternal life, instead resulted in our death, since when God said, “thou shalt not bear false witness,” we all became guilty because we have all lied. So God went to plan B. Jesus would live a perfect sinless life and then be punished on our behalf. Now my relationship with God and my subsequent entrance into heaven no longer depends on any lack of sin or keeping any law but on my belief in Jesus Christ, who paid every debt I owe. But I’ll tell you a secret; I struggle with being a liar every day. I will lie at the drop of a hat if it suits the moment. Some times I look at myself and doubt I have faith. But I don’t doubt the power of what Jesus did on the cross for me or anyone who comes to Him, gay or straight. In that I’m immovable.

    PS. It’s a tragedy what happened in Oxnard. One boy is dead and another boys life is ruined. I haven’t been for Gun control in the past but I think that I have changed my mind on that. After all a hand gun is only good for one thing and its not hunting.

  • Ashleigh
    March 6, 2008 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Well something alot similar just happened at my school in NY. Only it wasn’t a shooting it was a stabbing. I think it is pretty pathetic that people would want to hurt another human being for their sexuality. And another thing.. you guys on the comment board are fighting about God well guess what?!?!? God loves everybody if God didn’t love homosexuals there wouldn’t be any. It’s unfortunate that this had to happen especially to someone so young. RIP♥

  • Locke
    March 17, 2008 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

    fuck u all seriously. this is the christians fault even though the shooter didn’t go to church once in his life in all probability. his parents were probably raised catholic and were taught that being gay was wrong and a sin and you would go to hell. obviously that rubbed of on their fucking kid who had it stuck in his head that gay was wrong and different and weird. So, naturally, he was scared of this kid because he was different and so he decided to lash out like a fucking retard and he committed the sin of all sins, murder. so why the hell would a kid commit murder and go to jail for his whole life just to kill one gay kid? This whole event is terrible and tragic and retards like the shooter shouldn’t be on the streets free. There is nothing wrong with being gay!!!!!!!! so all you in the closet people don’t let this scare u from coming out. if you keep it a secret kids like that win. be who u are. the hypothetical “god” loves u for who u are. and if god creates us all why would he make some of us gay and then hate us even though he made us himself?? i am not a christian (or even religous for that matter) or a philosopher but still wtf christians???

  • Josh
    March 18, 2008 - 4:34 pm | Permalink


    Not all Christians are like that.
    That’s like saying all Muslims
    are terrorists. I’m a Christian
    and I have friends that are gay.
    I have nothing against gays.
    If anything,it’s a social
    problem,not a religious one.
    The way I see it,he was very
    offended and way over reacted.
    Kids aren’t as suffisticated as
    adults,so they over react to
    things that we would brush
    off. Christianity and Catholicism
    are different by the way and
    have different feelings about
    things. If his parents were
    Christians, he most likely would
    NOT have done what he did. If
    anything,he was Atheist

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