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Alleged gunman in Carlsbad school shooting is ID'd

 woman who identified herself as a teacher's aide is escorted off the campus at Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad, Calif., after a gunman opened fire and slightly wounded two students. Credit: Don Bartletti /Los Angeles Times
Authorities late Friday identified the alleged gunman in a Carlsbad, Calif., school shooting that left two young girls with minor injuries as Brendan L. O’Rourke, 41, thought to be a transient.

O'Rourke was booked on six counts of attempted murder and numerous weapons violations, police said. He is being held at the San Diego County jail in Vista.

His arrest came after he was tackled by construction workers after allegedly ranting incoherently  and then firing on the playground at Kelly Elementary School at lunchtime Friday.

The injured girls, both second-graders, suffered graze wounds to the arm, possibly from shrapnel, authorities said. They were airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital in nearby San Diego. Witnesses who saw them taken to the aircraft said they did not appear to be seriously injured and that one girl even waved to onlookers.

Ed Willins, an eyewitness to the shooting, said he saw the workers tackle, punch and kick the gunman. "They were on him immediately," he said. "They administered a little street justice on him before the cops got there."

Shortly after noon, the gunman drove up to Kelly Elementary, said Lt. Kelly Cain of the Carlsbad Police Department. Armed with a .357-caliber handgun, Cain said, the assailant stepped onto the sidewalk next to the playground and started shooting firing "wildly," firing five or six shots.

Construction worker Carlos Partida, who was remodeling the school kitchen in the beachside community 30 miles north of San Diego, said he saw a man jump over the school fence and start firing a gun at children. He said the gunman appeared to be reloading and trying to leave the scene when Partida jumped in his truck and rammed the man, knocking him down.

"My reaction was to get him. Get him away from the kids," he said. Partida, 30, of Chula Vista, said he and two other construction workers held the gunman down and kept the weapon away until police arrived.

Partida said the gunman, who was wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt and black pants, had been screaming incoherently. Authorities later discredited initial reports that the gunman was ranting about President Obama.

Some witnesses said the gunman was carrying a gasoline can and others said it seemed to be gasoline can decorated like a Halloween jack-o’-lantern. The bomb squad was called to examine a propane tank found in the gunman's car.

-- Tony Perry in Carlsbad, Calif.

Photo: A woman who identified herself as a teacher's aide is escorted off the campus at Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad, Calif., after a gunman opened fire and slightly wounded two students.

Credit: Don Bartletti /Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (14)

Just wondering if this sounds wierd to anyone else.
Transient that drives a car?
Owns a relatively obscure, inefficient and expensive gun?
Screaming or rambling incoherantly, possably about Potus?
Dressed in a black on black scheme, seems to indicate some semblance of mental cohesion, as does his alleged reloading.
One guy saw him drive up and fire while another saw him jump a fence.
Why shoot at children?

The construction workers did a fine good job.

It's a about time the media showed "Latinos" doing good
instead of trashing the image of the average "Latino"

I graduated from Carlsbad High back in '07
and things like this aren't out of the norm,
the city is an average upper middle class haven
but during my senior year, there were several bomb threats made.

Carlsbad PD needs to step it up and secure the children more.
Stricter gun control is desperately needed

Carlos, I.m gonna name my Kid after you. "Big Ones"!!

When are we going to have the sense to make guns illegal, like the rest of the civilized world?

No gun lobbyist, guns do kill people; you really cannot hide behind that argument anymore.

Maybe if decent paying construction jobs were available to the white working class, maybe if such jobs weren't all monopolized by Mexicans who hire their cousins and guys from back in their own home, maybe this guy could have led a productive life.

Way to go, Carlos. Way to go, man.


Exactly where in the 'civilized world' are guns 100% banned?

You need to think that through, buddy.

Goodness, why are there so many crazies with guns?!? I'm glad all the kids made it out okay and those construction workers are heroes!

Product of Society: "instead of trashing the image of the average "Latino."

Get over your victim complex. Why do you assume that he is not a 5th generation legal citizen because he has a hispanic name?

'The media" doesn't trash the image of the average Latino. It celebrates it. Just as it does all things Islam. "The media" is sympathetic. The problem is with ILLEGAL latinos, not LEGAL. Hopefully, Carlos Partida is a legal immigrant. Even if he is not I support his legalization for his heroic actions.

Bob: "When are we going to have the sense to make guns illegal, like the rest of the civilized world?"

Bob, you are an idiot. You don't realize it, but we do. The problem is not the constitutional right (like the 1st amendment right that allows you to step up on your soap box and make an A$$ of yourself) to possess a gun (read the Federalist Papers) it's the acquisition of guns (usually ILLEGALLY) by those who should not possess them. By your reasoning, we should prohibit owning cars because drunk drivers kill over 50,000 each year. How many people are killed illegally each year by guns?

Mitchell Young : The problem is not the Mexicans, it's the employers who prefer them over whites. Mexicans will work for less. It's the greedy employers we should have a problem with.

I contrast this capture to the reactions typically done by the police. I'm sure the police would have either 1) just shot the guy in a hail of bullets, or 2) lay low and do nothing until they evaluated the situation (that is protect themselves). They don't seem to want to be heros anymore. Their mantra is protect the police first and the public second.

Good to see the Latinos in a better light. Now if we could just get their gang members to do something productive and enhance the image of their culture.

I work in the schools, and there is easy access to most schools. Stricter gun control will not stop the shootings. In fact, areas that have the least restrictive gun laws have the least crime, and areas that have the most restrictive gun laws have the highest crime. Research it and show me that I'm wrong. The reason is that if there are gun laws, the average citizen is unarmed because they will follow the law, while criminals don't care about gun laws and will get the guns and use them to commit crimes on the average unarmed citizen. There is a chilling effect on crime if everybody potentially has a gun and the ability to stop a crime with equal force. Switzerland reqyuires that males older than 20 have a gune, and it has one of the lowest crime rates in the western world.

The article describes him as a "transient." By definition could mean he is not of the area, city, state and no place to call home. It doesn't define that he does not have money to buy a gun and travel or be a complete nut.

In this case I don't care what race or legal status you are. These construction workers or better yet I call them "real men" saw a group of children in danger, risked their own lives to save others, and held them to the authorities arrived. The part of personal street justice dished out by these men, for me, was just deserved. The shooter trying to target innocence children does not deserve any forgiveness.

I hope that there are real heros like these men still out there. My respect, prayers, and appreciation for what you did. I'm sure your family, community, and friends are proud of you all as am I.

John: doesn't actually sound weird. Watch:

Transient that drives (read: lives in) a car.
Owns one of the most commonly available guns.
Someone who's a bit... out of his mind, shall we say? Such a person, especially in a stressful situation, is going to be hard to understand, if it's possible at all. And the fact that he was not under some kind of supervision means that, at least most of the time, he has some ability to function in society.
His color choices probably had more to do with the range of hues and tones on the racks at the thrift store he'd last been to than with a sense of fashion (believe it or not, it's not actually a high priority for everyone out there).
And I'm not seeing the discrepancies in witness accounts as you described, but even so, it's extremely common for such accounts to vary, even to a great degree.
And finally, I'd say that the factors I sketched out above go a long way toward answering the question of why -- it sounds awfully like the elevator didn't reach the top floor to begin with, and for whatever reason, the cable holding it up snapped. *shrug* It's supposition, but it's a perspective in which everything fits pretty easily.

Really?! Why not be thankful that 3 men willingly disarmed a man who was firing a 357 at children during school hours. END of Story!


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