Pa. Students Return After Shooting
Students returned to a parochial school Friday to pray for two eighth-grade girls involved in a shooting two days earlier in the crowded cafeteria.
“I’m looking forward to putting everything behind me and just getting back to normal,” said Patrick Buckheit, 15.
Buckheit said he was in the cafeteria Wednesday when 14-year-old Elizabeth Catherine Bush allegedly shot 13-year-old Kimberly Marchese in the shoulder.
The suspect’s father, Gerald Bush, said Friday that he took his daughter to a range several times in the past six months to shoot paper targets with the same .22-caliber revolver allegedly used in the shooting.
His daughter took the gun, which was not locked up, from his collection, he said.
Earlier, he told the Patriot-News of Harrisburg that his daughter “seemed maybe a little depressed” that morning.
Her attorney has said she endured “name-calling and slurs and innuendoes,” some of it by the shooting victim.
Kimberly, who went home from the hospital Thursday, said she and the suspect hadn’t argued or even spoken for at least a week.
“I just want to ask her why she did it, if I was the target or not,” Kimberly told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“She sometimes says stuff and then she’ll regret it, and I think that’s just what happened to her with the shooting.”
The suspect’s attorney said the girl sent Kimberly an e-mail a few weeks ago.
“I think the e-mail to Kim was about, ‘Why can’t we be friends? Let’s get past this and move on,’ ” George Lepley said.
Elizabeth Bush was unaware someone had been shot until her mother told her several hours later, Catherine Bush said Friday.
“I am the one who told her somebody had been shot. She said, ‘I didn’t shoot anybody.’ She said ‘No, I saw Kim running for the door,’ ” Catherine Bush said. “I don’t think she realized what happened.”
She said she briefly spoke to her daughter, being held in a juvenile detention center, by telephone Wednesday night.
Kimberly did not return to Bishop Neumann Junior-Senior High School on Friday, but her father, Michael Marchese, attended the private prayer service.
“She said, ‘I miss my friends, Dad.’ But we’re going to wait until next week,” he said. “I just wanted to go in for a couple minutes to say hello and let them know how she’s doing.”
Bush was to remain in the detention center pending psychological evaluation. She was charged as a juvenile with attempted homicide and aggravated assault.
Her parents said their daughter had transferred to the Catholic school to escape harassment at another school where students had thrown stones at her, but problems persisted.
The parents, speaking at their home Friday, said she had twice tied to cut her wrist, but the wounds were not serious.
“I think she was in a lot of pain and felt pain from things people were saying to her,” her mother said.
Kimberly Marchese described her classmate as a disturbed girl with emotional and family problems.
“She wasn’t in the best health mentally,” Kimberly said. “She told me she used to be able to talk to God, but she told me she doesn’t hear him any more.”
Kimberly said the teen had told people a couple of weeks ago that her sister had a blood disease.
“I know she was going through a really hard time,” she said.