U.S. News

Classes cancelled at Nebraska school after shooting

OMAHA (Reuters) - Classes were canceled on Thursday at Millard South High where a suspended student shot and mortally wounded assistant principal Vicki Kaspar before fleeing and killing himself Wednesday.

Robert Butler Jr., a 17-year-old senior who transferred to the Omaha school this fall from Lincoln (Nebraska) Southwest High School, was suspended earlier on Wednesday by Kaspar for driving a car across a Millard South athletic field.

Butler, the son of an Omaha police detective, returned to the school with a handgun during the noon hour and shot Kaspar at her desk. He also shot and wounded principal Curtis Case, 44.

Kaspar died Wednesday night at Creighton University Medical Center. She would have been 59 Thursday. Her son, Ron, teaches science at the school.

It is believed to be the worst school shooting in Nebraska history. The incident is only the second in a Nebraska school in modern times. In 1995, a seventh-grader in Chadron shot and wounded a teacher.

It also was a haunting reminder of a shooting spree by a teenage boy that left eight victims dead at a Von Maur department store in Omaha in December 2007.

The shooting led to a lockdown of all 35 schools in the Millard school district, affecting about 22,000 students. Millard South is the eighth-largest high school in Nebraska, with 1,503 students.

Wednesday was the first day of classes after the Christmas holiday. The district had 24 crisis counselors available Thursday at Millard South for staff, students and parents. The counselors also will be available Friday when classes resume.

Writing by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Jerry Norton