Former NCHS student sentenced for shooting incident

By Audrey Williams

March 5, 2013 Updated Mar 5, 2013 at 11:13 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill -- The town of Normal was shaken the morning of September 7, 2012.

Last September, a then 14-year-old boy brought a book bag with three guns, ammunition, a hatchet, kerosene and matches into a classroom at Normal Community High School.

The minor plead guilty but mentally ill to holding nearly 30 students hostage, pointing a gun at several students and discharging several rounds into the ceiling before being tackled by the teacher.

At a sentencing hearing Tuesday, major concerns were raised about the boy's psychological state and the safety of himself and society.

"Obviously we're disappointed, I can't say totally surprised," said Art Feldman, the McLean County Juvenile Assistant Public Defender.

Judge Elizabeth Robb sentenced the now 15 year old to a juvenile detention center with the recommendation he continue to receive appropriate mental health services and medication.

"Obviously it was a very serious incident that effected the whole community. I believe she made her findings on the basis of trying to protect the public," added Feldman.

He will stay in the detention center until the state views fit or until his 21st birthday.

Feldman said, "That's the maximum a juvenile can be sentenced under the law."

At the court hearing the juvenile said, "I want to apologize because I did a terrible thing. I have served a lot of time and I deserve that time. I am very sorry for what I did."

"I think his apology was honest and heartfelt," said Feldman. "He told me that he was very remorseful on many occasions, so I have no doubt as to its sincerity."

Despite his apology Judge Robb said she could not risk an event like this occurring again.

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