Police shot and killed Jakob Wagner after he open fired on young students leaving the prom at Antigo High School. More news is coming out about Jakob, which may give some insight to the reason why he shot at students with a rifle.
According to a fellow classmate, Emily Fisher, who graduated in 2015, the same year as Jakob Wagner, sheds some light as to why Jakob may have taken up his rifle and went after prom-going students.
“He was bullied a lot. Ever since we were younger, he was one of the kids you kind of watched out for. If someone was going to shoot the school, we thought it was going to be him.”
According to Emily Fisher, the other kids ganged up on Jakob Wagner because of his poor hygiene. They called him names and she even believes they may have been violent toward him. The bullying began in middle school and continued through the rest of his school years. Emily said that the teasing became slightly lesser when he entered high school.
Although Emily was not good friends with Jakob, she did give him rides to school when he needed a lift. The only class they had together was art in their senior year. It was during art class that Jakob showed his classmates know how much he loved guns. He allegedly talked about guns and weapons and he would often draw them or make a replica of them in art class.
Not many people thought much about Jakob Wagner’s desire to own guns because Wisconsin is one of the hunting states, but Emily did admit that his fascination with guns made her concerned.
Fast forward to last month, Jakob Wagner suffered through a bad breakup when his girlfriend dumped him. He became depressed and this may have contributed to his desire to get even.
Shots were fired Saturday night around 11 p.m. as the prom-goers were leaving. Luckily, police officers who happened to be in the area at the time heard the gunfire and arrived to investigate. One of Jakob’s bullets grazed a female victim and another bullet hit a male victim in the leg. One officer pulled the trigger and hit the suspected gunman.
The Antigo Police Department identified Jakob Wagner as the gunman. He and the two wounded victims were taken to the hospital for treatment. The female was taken to the Aspirus Langlade Hospital in Antigo where she was treated and released while the male victim had to have surgery on his leg. Doctors at the Wausau hospital tried in vain to save Jakob Wagner but were unable to. They pronounced Jakob Wagner dead at 1:06 a.m. in the intensive care unit.
On the Unified School District of Antigo website, a notice was posted to inform students that school will begin on Monday as usual. They ask that no one parks in the “gravel” parking lot, but can instead park on Tenth Avenue.
“Law enforcement agencies conducted a thorough search of the High School building and the on-site investigation has been completed. The advice of these experts is to resume school on Monday so that students and staff can have access to support from counselors who will be available at all school sites. There will also be heightened police presence around the high school for the next few days to lend support.”
It seems a little drastic or cruel to force students to go back to school when the incident happened over the weekend. However, they did update the notice to let parents and students know that they could stay home if they desire. Their absence will be excused, but parents will have to notify the school of their decision to keep their children home.
Most of the kids attending the prom did not know what happened. Nikita Deep a junior told what happened inside the school building. Police officers arrived and had all the students move to a corner of the building. The students stayed there for approximately three hours, while investigators searched for clues and cleared the area to make sure it was safe.
“We heard there was a situation, but I thought it was some kind of drug bust. Then they flipped the lights and then about 12 officers came in and are armored. We were all frightened.”
Nikita texted her parents, Dr. Noel Deep and Dr. Lakshmi Deep to tell them that something happened at the school prom. Her mother Lakshmi said, “We were texting with other parents, and they were all there or on their way. This was going to be a very fun night, and you never expect something like this to happen.”
Interim district administrator Donald B. Childs believes that Jakob Wagner had planned to enter the building and shoot the students at the dance. Jakob had a high-powered rifle and a large ammunition clip, so he came prepared for whatever it was that he had in mind.
Donald B. Childs went on to say, “We have no reason to believe at this point it was targeting anybody specifically.” Donald added that the shooting outside the school happened “from some distance” away.
It may never be known what pushed Jakob Wagner over the edge but hopefully the people in Antigo, Wisconsin, can find peace admist this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected.
[Image via Instagram]