RED LAKE, Minn. - As many as 20 teenagers may
have known ahead of time about plans for the shooting spree that
resulted in the deaths of 10 people on an Indian reservation March
21, tribal and federal officials said Friday.
Capt. Dewayne Dow of the tribal police told a group of parents,
teachers and staff at a three-hour school board meeting that
authorities believe as many as 20 students were involved.
One law enforcement official said the FBI believes that as many
as four students, including gunman Jeff Weise and Louis Jourdain, a
classmate arrested Sunday, were directly involved in planning an
attack on Red Lake High School, while well more than a dozen others
may have heard about the plot.
"There may have been as many as four of these kids who were
active participants in the plot," said the official, who declined to
be identified discussing an ongoing investigation. "The question is,
how many other kids had some knowledge of this or had heard about it
somehow? We think there were quite a few."
FBI agents seized 30 to 40 computers from the high school
computer laboratory Friday to perform forensic analysis on the
machines, FBI and school officials said.
Investigators hope to learn more from the school computers,
because much of the alleged discussion and planning among Weise and
his friends occurred through e-mails and instant messages, the law
enforcement official said.
Those developments capped a week in which daily funerals or wakes
kept many members of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa in a state of
As the week passed in this isolated community, the FBI's
continuing investigation was compounding the residents' ingrained
distrust of outside authorities.
"It still feels like it's a bad dream," said Donald May, a member
of the tribal council. "We're in shock."
The last of the 10 dead was to be buried today. "I went to a lot
of these funerals these past few days, and I'm just numb," said
Allen Pemberton, another tribal council member.
"It used to be when you saw someone who's a non-Indian coming on
the reservation, there's only one reason -- he's either an FBI agent
or a Mormon," said Mike Fairbanks, a 40-year law enforcement veteran
and member of Red Lake.
Some of the distrust was cropping up between tribal members.
"I've been getting strange looks," said Cartera Hart, 16, as she
left a grocery store on the reservation. Hart, who was dressed in
black and wore a hoop through her lip, said she hangs out in a group
of about a dozen students who had been friends with Weise and
Jourdain, who is the tribal chairman's son. Her friend Alyssa Roy,
15, said, "There's going to be more and more people tormenting us
and thinking we're involved."
To cope with the onslaught of attention, and with the shootings,
some tribal members simply withdrew to their homes. As the weather
turned warm and sunny Thursday, baseball courts and parks were
empty. A few younger children rode bikes around in their yards,
close to their houses.
At two counseling centers set up on the reservation, a handful of
the counselors who had been brought in from around the area sat one
afternoon, sipping the donated sodas and waiting for someone to
Some parents said that their teenagers had gone for counseling
the first few days after the shooting, but that they would like to
see the roughly 30 counselors come to their houses because they are
nervous and afraid.
Many tribal members said they felt more comfortable talking about
their grief in private, with friends and family.
Some people said they were on edge as FBI agents showed up at
people's houses, and teenagers were being taken to the detention
center for hours of questioning.
At the high school grounds, police cars and yellow tape blocked
the entrance. Teddy bears, flowers, candles and signs offering
condolences hung along a metal fence in the school yard. Inside the
school, the sounds of drills could be heard as workers repaired the
School officials said they plan to reopen the nearby elementary
school April 11, but were unsure when the middle and high schools