Teen Gets 3 Year Sentence in First-Ever School Shooting in Australia

(NewsSpace.com) – While it’s common to hear about school shootings in the United States, they’re not often carried out in other countries. That’s why when a teen opened fire in Australia last year, believed to be the first ever in the country’s Western region, it drew headlines. Additionally, the punishment for the teen responsible for carrying out the shooting is raising eyebrows.

What Happened?

On a school day in May 2023, a 15-year-old teenager, who was not identified likely due to his age, brought his father’s guns to a Perth school, the Atlantis Beach Baptist College, and fired them. He had gone through the cabinet where his father stored the weapons and ammunition, taking two rifles and bullets for them. Then, he drove to the institution’s car park, where he fired three shots.

At the time, there were teachers and students outdoors, who all rushed to take cover when they heard the gunshots. Fortunately, nobody was injured in the event, but two of the bullets did strike the buildings. Initially, the teen spoke with the country’s main emergency service and said he had planned to “kill people and himself,” according to reports. He had carried out research online as to the age of criminal responsibility, gun deaths, school shootings, and what circumstances are like in juvenile detention. He even warned a friend not to go to school the next day. However, he changed his mind, and he was arrested.

Teen Jailed

After authorities took the teen into custody, he was remanded to Banksia Hill, a juvenile detention center, but eventually, he was granted bail and went back to live with his parents after a short stay in a hostel. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in December, he pleaded guilty to a swath of charges, including driving without a license, endangering the lives of students and staff at school, possessing firearms and ammunition, and discharging a firearm to cause fear.

During a plea hearing, the suspect’s lawyer, Simon Freitag, asked Judge Hylton Quail of the Children’s Court of WA to go easy on the child and issue a non-custodial term because the teen was going through a lot at the time of the shooting, including suffering from depression after a relationship failed and rumors spread. Freitag also noted that the boy had undiagnosed autism.

The judge noted that the teen originally intended to kill people, but also took into account that he abandoned the notion and called for help. He was sentenced to three years in juvenile detention, of which he must serve at least 16 months before he’ll be considered for release.

Copyright 2024, NewsSpace.com