Love means never having to say you’re sorry, according to the popular 1970 film “Love Story.” For Tricia Lammers, love for her son meant contacting police to warn them that the young man was prepared to commit mass murder at a Missouri movie theater showing the latest installment of the “Twilight” saga.
Lammers explained how she had to chose between love for her son, Blaec, and her community. It was love for both that guided her decision to turn her son into authorities.
“First and foremost I am a mother and I love my son very, very much,” Lammers said Tuesday at a televised news conference at the Springfield headquarters of the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
“Second, I am not a hero. I love my community just as much as I love my son. I respect the people who live in my community and I respect their safety and their right to be safe,” she said.
Lammers spoke the same day that her son made his first court appearance and was ordered to undergo a mental health examination. Blaec Lammers, 20, is charged with first-degree assault, making a terrorist threat and armed criminal action. He is being held on $500,000 bail.
Authorities said Blaec Lammers had purchased two assault rifles and about 400 rounds of ammunition and was planning to attack a theater in Bolivar, Mo., then was going to go to a Wal-Mart where he had been arrested in 2009 after following around a clerk while armed with a knife. Tricia Lammers said she had contacted police at the time about that incident as well. No charges were filed in that case. Instead, Blaec Lammers was committed for 96 hours for a mental health examination, she said.
Tricia Lammers said her son has shown signs of Asperger’s syndrome, borderline personality disorder and other mental conditions.
“He didn’t ask to be born different. He grew up his whole life in [his sister] Kristyn’s shadow. He wanted to be successful and be somebody,” Tricia Lammers told KOLR-TV. “Just two weeks ago he asked me — both my kids still call me mommy — he said, ‘Mommy, do you think I’m a failure?’ I said, ‘No, Blaec, I don’t.”’
Blaec Lammers was 17 in 2009 when he went to the Wal-Mart with a knife and a rubber mask, according to documents released this week. He had just watched the horror film “Halloween,” which he told investigators “got him to thinking,” the arrest report said, according to the Associated Press.
Tricia Lammers called police after finding a suicide note from her son and a missing knife in October 2009. An officer was en route when the mother said her son’s vehicle had been found in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart store in Bolivar, a town about 130 miles southeast of Kansas City.
Blaec Lammers was arrested last Thursday. Tricia Lammers said she believed her son had secured the weapons for an attack eerily reminiscent of the July shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where the last installment of the Batman franchise was having its local premiere. Twelve people died in the attack.
Police said Blaec Lammers was questioned Thursday afternoon and he told them he had bought tickets to a Sunday “Twilight” screening in Bolivar. Lammers also said he planned to “just start shooting people at random” at the Wal-Mart store less than a mile away, police have said.
Blaec Lammers said if he ran out of bullets, he could “just break the glass where the ammunition is being stored and get some more and keep shooting until police arrived,” investigators reportedly wrote in a probable cause statement.