Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sniper Shoots Student at Benjamin Tasker Middle School

October 7, 2002 (10 years ago today): Thirteen-year-old Iran Brown was shot by the "Beltway Snipers" after his aunt dropped him off at the Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie.  Brown's aunt, a nurse, drove him to the Bowie Health Center, and he was later transported by helicopter to the Children's National Hospital in D.C. Despite having serious injuries, Brown survived the shooting.

A shell casing and a Tarot card (the Death Card) were discovered at the scene.  "Call me God" was hand written on the front of the card, and the back of the card contained the following note:  "For you mr. Police.  Code: 'Call me God'.  Do not release to the press."

After news of the shooting broke, parents rushed to the school to pick up their children.  Benjamin Tasker Middle School closed for the day, but other Prince George's County Schools remained open.

President George W. Bush called the shooting "cowardly and senseless."

The shooting brought Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose to tears.  "Today it went down to the children," he said to reporters.  "Someone is so mean-spirited that they shot a child.  Now we're stepping over the line. Shooting a kid. I guess it's getting to be really, really personal now."

At the scene of a shooting in Montgomery County later that month, the snipers left a note that said, "your children are not safe, anywhere, at any time."

In the days that followed the shooting, brush was cleared in the wooded area between the school and Foxhill Park - the area where the shooter was believed to be hiding during the attack.

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