The Millard South High student who shot his principal and an assistant principal Wednesday and then killed himself posted a farewell message on Facebook.
Robert Butler Jr., 17, was found dead in a car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at about 1:30 p.m.
About 40 minutes earlier, he shot Principal Curtis Case and Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar inside the school. He did not shoot any students.
Case was listed mid-afternoon in serious but stable condition at Creighton University Medical Center.
Kaspar was in critical condition at Creighton.
Millard Superintendent Keith Lutz described Case as “young and energetic … I’m sure he’ll pull through this.”
Robert was the son of Omaha Police Det. Robert Butler and attended Lincoln Southwest High School last year. A person familiar with the investigation said it is believed Robert used his father’s Glock.
The younger Butler’s body was found dead at 1:25 p.m. in a red Honda Accord in a parking lot.
On an update to his Facebook page, filed from a mobile phone, Robert wrote:
“Everybody that used to know me I’m sry but Omaha changed me and (expletive) me up. and the school I attend is even worse ur gonna here about the evil (expletive) I did but that (expletive) school drove me to this. I wont u guys to remember me for who I was b4 this ik. I greatly affected the lives of the families ruined but I’m sorry. goodbye.”
Lincoln school officials said Wednesday that Butler transferred from Lincoln Southwest High School to Millard South on Oct. 6 but had not been forced to transfer.
“He was popular with students and seemed real pleasant,” said Southwest Principal Rob Slauson, who described Butler as “a fairly normal, average” student.
Friends, some crying, came to the school office about 2:45 p.m., after learning of Butler’s involvement via text messages.
“Obviously, we were in shock,” Slauson said.
Before moving to Omaha Butler had spent his entire school career in Lincoln, first at Sheridan Elementary in south-central Lincoln and then at Scott Middle School and Lincoln Southwest, which are both on the southwestern edge of the city.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Millard South community … And also to Robert Butler’s family,” Slauson said.
Omaha Police Chief Alex Hayes said the first call to 911 came in at 12:50 p.m. A school resource officer at Millard South put out a “Help an Officer” call, and several officers rushed to the scene.
Arriving officers learned that the suspect had fled in a red Honda. The car was located about 1:25 p.m. at 3909 S. 147th St.
The chief said it would take investigators awhile to determine the suspect’s motives.
The school was locked down immediately following the shooting.
Lutz said schools practice for these kind of situations, but nothing can fully prepare students and teachers for the reality: “There are some things you are not going to be prepared for.”
He said the district would be looking at how Butler was able to bring the gun into the school.
After the lockdown was lifterd, parents picked up their students at Divine Shephard Lutheran Church, just to the west of the school. Other parents gathered at a church across Q Street from Millard South.
Parent Milton Lopez said he heard about the shooting from his son, who received a text message about it from his sister, who is a senior at Millard South.
“I got so nervous,” he said.
Then he got some text messages from his daughter, 17. One, at 1:21 p.m., said, “I’ll call you when I can. Love you mom and dad.”
A couple minutes later, he got another that said, “Don’t worry. I’m hiding.”
“I’d never expect this to happen in a little town like Omaha,” Lopez said.
Jackson Bruckner, a 14-year-old ninth grader, was eating lunch in cafeteria about 12:40 p.m. when a school employee ran in and yelled for students to go into the kitchen.
Students poured into the kitchen.
“We didn’t know what was going on,” Jackson said. “We were all kind of freaking out.”
Some students cried. Others whipped out their cell phones and sent text messages in an effort to learn what was happening inside the school.
Michael Anderson, a 16-year-old junior, was going up some steps on the way to the cafeteria, which is near the office. He he heard popping sounds and thought students were stepping on milk cartons, as they sometimes do.
“I didn’t think anything of it,” he said.
Then he saw people rushing into the kitchen. Once they got into the kitchen, teachers stood by the doors.
Mayor Jim Suttle described the shootings as a tragedy that “descended on our city.” He called on Omahans to bond together to get through it.