Carlsbad school shooter sentenced to 189 years to life
VISTA (CNS) – A man who walked onto the campus of a Carlsbad elementary
school and began firing a .357-Magnum into a crowd of about 230 students during
a midday recess, wounding two second-grade girls, was sentenced Friday to 189
years to life in state prison.
Brendan O'Rourke, 42, was convicted last month of seven counts each of
premeditated attempted murder and assault with a firearm for the attack at
Kelly Elementary School on Oct. 8, 2010. Jurors found that O'Rourke was sane at
the time of the shooting rampage.
Vista Superior Court Judge Aaron Katz praised the children of the
elementary school who testified at the trial.
“These children served as an inspiration to all of us,” Katz said.
The two second-graders wounded in the shooting were each shot in an arm
above the elbow. Both girls survived and testified at O'Rourke's trial.
Deputy Public Defender Dan Segura told jurors that delusions and a
mental disease led the defendant to believe his former employer, AIG Inc., and
Illinois politicians were involved in a conspiracy against him. A number of
psychiatrists testified that O'Rourke was suffering from schizophrenia or a
delusion disorder, or a combination of both, when he opened fire on the school
Among O'Rourke's mental illnesses is a “persecutory delusion” that
someone is out to get him, his attorney said. The disease makes people lose
touch with reality and believe things that are not true, Segura told the jury.
But Stephan argued that O'Rourke was angry, possibly because he recently
had been evicted from his apartment, and that he gave police conflicting
statements on why he carried out the attack.