Preliminary hearing begins for man accused of opening fire at a Carlsbad elementary school

VISTA (CNS) – A preliminary hearing is scheduled Monday for a man who allegedly opened fire at a Carlsbad elementary school last fall, wounding two second-graders.

Brendan Liam O'Rourke, 41, is charged with seven counts each of premeditated attempted murder and assault with a firearm.

At O'Rourke's arraignment last year, Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan told a judge that the defendant jumped a fence at Kelly Elementary and went onto a playground at 12:12 p.m. Oct. 8, during recess time.

He was carrying a .357 Ruger six-shot revolver, a speed re-loader, extra ammunition, a propane tank, gas can and matches, the prosecutor alleged.

O'Rourke confronted two girls, ages 6 and 7, and shot both of them once in the arm, the prosecutor alleged.

The defendant then confronted three young boys and fired at them, but the bullets missed them and stuck in a nearby post, according to Stephan.

O'Rourke was confronted by an aide who asked him what he was doing, and the defendant pointed the gun at her, as well, but it didn't fire because a casing was stuck in the chamber, the prosecutor alleged.

By then, several good Samaritans — worked at a nearby cafeteria — were in pursuit of the defendant, Stephan said. A worker got in his truck and hit the suspect, allowing others to wrestle him to the ground until police arrived.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, a judge will decide if enough evidence was presented for O'Rourke to stand trial. He faces 103 years to life in prison if convicted, Stephan said.


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