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Robert Gladden Jr. indicted in Perry Hall school shooting

Indictment includes 29 counts

By Alison Knezevich and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

8:26 PM EDT, September 4, 2012

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A Baltimore County grand jury has indicted 15-year-old Robert W. Gladden Jr. on 29 counts in the school shooting that critically injured another Perry Hall High student Aug. 27, the first day of school.

Prosecutors also announced that Gladden's father, Robert Sr., will likely not be charged in the case. Gladden Jr. is accused of firing a gun in the school's cafeteria that he had taken from his father's home.

The charges against Gladden include nine counts each of attempted murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment, as well as two gun charges.

Student Daniel Borowy, 17, was seriously injured in the shooting.

The indictment delivered Tuesday lists eight others as victims in the incident. They include guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer, who authorities say stepped in to protect others during the incident, as well as other adults and students who were in the cafeteria.

Two other names, Richard Rosenthal and Kathleen Watkins, match those of a math teacher and administrator at the high school, according to a faculty list.

Police have said that Borowy was the only person shot, and several others suffered minor injuries in the commotion.

In Maryland, a person can be charged with first-degree assault for pointing a gun at someone.

The indictments released Tuesday offered the first official information on individuals other than Borowy who were put in danger during the incident, and provided hints as to possible witnesses who might be called to testify in the case.

One of the students listed, 15-year-old sophomore Taylor Desaulniers, was sitting at the same table as Borowy when the first shot was fired, said his maternal grandmother and legal guardian Theresa Bare.

Bare said Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney Garret P. Glennon called her Tuesday about the indictments, telling her prosecutors were naming Desaulniers in the case "because he could have been one of the injured people," Bare said.

Desaulniers received counseling at the high school in the days after the shooting, Bare said. He has processed the fact that Borowy, a friend, was shot and that he was also in harm's way, though teenagers don't fully understand death and its finality, Bare said.

If asked by prosecutors, Bare said, she would let her grandson decide on his own whether to testify against Gladden in a trial, though she doesn't like the idea herself.

"I don't think Taylor or any of the other kids in that cafeteria should be in the position where they have to testify against this young man," Bare said.

Gladden has been charged as an adult in the case. He is at Spring Grove State Hospital, according to the court documents. His attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Also Tuesday, State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger's office announced that based on evidence so far, Gladden's father, Robert Sr., will not be charged with any crime.

"While it is alleged that Robert Gladden Jr., a minor, obtained the gun used in this crime from his father's house, Maryland law requires proof that the gun was accessible and loaded at the time the minor had access," a statement from Shellenberger's office says.

Gladden Jr. lived with his stepfather, Andrew Piper, who was charged last week with illegally possessing a weapon. The guns in Piper's home were kept locked in a safe, the prosecutor's office said.

Gladden is likely to be arraigned within the next 30 to 60 days, when a trial date will be set, Shellenberger's office said. A bail hearing has not been scheduled.

Bare said she questions the extent of the charges filed against Gladden, whom she called a "troubled young man," adding that adults in the community should be concerned for him, especially if he faces being locked up with felons.

"He only actually injured one child, and I don't know what his intentions were and nobody else knows what his intentions were," Bare said. "I do think it could be a little extreme to say that he was out there intentionally to hurt everybody there. I don't know if he was or not."

As the legal proceedings of the case play out, Bare said she hopes her grandson and others at the school are given the opportunity to move forward.

"For Daniel, for the other young man who had the gun and for all the other children who were in the school, let's hope to God it was a one-time incident and it will never happen again, and emotionally that everyone can get through it," she said.

alisonk@baltsun.com

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kevin.rector@baltsun.com

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