Omaha School Shooting Suicide Homicide

On Wednesday, the nation got news of a tragedy in my home state of Nebraska.  You’ve most likely heard at least a blip about the school shooting that happened in Omaha Wednesday afternoon.  While a suicide/homicide incident is certainly not the norm among teens who kill themselves, it’s a powerful example of how teen suicide can have an impact on a community.

I’ve read several comments and discussions about this online the last 48 hours.  The reactions are all over the place, ranging from confused to sad to truly angry.  All of those reactions are normal for such an emotionally charged event.

Bad enough that the young man took his own life, but he multiplied the problem by killing another.  There is a lot of hurt to go around in this situation, and a lot of people looking for explanations.

Suicide Can Be Tough To Explain And Understand

As a mental health professional, I have learned that behavioral symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s rarely as simple as A+B=suicide.  Even if it isn’t obvious, people who become suicidal usually have some sort of build up of problems, feelings, and beliefs that makes life seem totally hopeless.

The young man in Omaha had been recently gone through a school transfer, had some amount of trouble at school, and had parents living in two different cities.

How much did all of this influence his decision?  How much did he learn to stuff his feelings when he was younger?  How much may have been from society’s influence?  There is no way to know because he can’t tell us.  All we can do is try to put the puzzle together and learn what we can from it.

My heart goes out to all involved, both for the young man’s family and for the principal that was killed.

Suicide is a complicated thing.

Creative Commons License photo credit: simonsimages



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 4 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


No trackbacks yet to this post.

    Last reviewed: 8 Jan 2011

APA Reference
Krull, E. (2011). Omaha School Shooting – Suicide Homicide Tragedy. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2014, from



Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Kamila: Dear Selena, I am so very sorry that this happened to you. Your dad is a very selfish person. When I was...
  • Crystal: Schizophrenia in children is that low? I did not know that it was a .01% or smaller chance for children to...
  • Bcmyeo: I wish I would of seen this earlier to share as a reminder of the importance of community resources, support,...
  • Michael Hacking: Dear Alexa.I am a daddy who feels exactly the same as you after finally losing my daughter....
  • Michael Hacking: Dear Alexa.I am a daddy who feels exactly the same as you after finally losing my daughter....
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!