By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun
4:22 PM EDT, August 28, 2012
The family of Daniel Borowy, who was critically injured in the shooting at Perry Hall High School, thanked school staff, the police and EMS technicians for quickly getting the teen to safety and rushing him to the hospital.
The family's only public comment on the shooting came in a statement issued through the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where Borowy, 17, remains in critical condition after being shot in the school's cafeteria Monday morning.
Earlier Tuesday, police charged alleged shooter Robert Wayne Gladden Jr., 15, with attempted first-degree murder and assault in connection with the shooting.
"On Monday, August 27, 2012, our son, Daniel was critically injured on his first day at school. We would like to personally thank school personnel who quickly responded, getting Daniel to safety," the family's statement reads. "We would also like to thank Baltimore County EMS, Baltimore County Police and the Maryland State Police who quickly transported Daniel to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
"We would like to ask the public, our family and friends to respect our privacy at this time and keep Daniel in your thoughts and prayers."
While the family has made no other comment, students at Perry Hall and friends of the family have been sharing updates on Borowy's condition to Facebook.
Gladden, who lives on the 8500 block of Bradshaw Road, has been charged as an adult, police said.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, police provided a detailed account of the shooting.
Police said Gladden rode the bus to school and brought with him a broken-down shotgun he had taken from his father's house in the 300 block of Grovethorn Road in Hawthorne and 21 shells. Gladden also brought a bottle of vodka to school and had taken a few sips from it, police said, but added they did not believe he was impaired by alcohol at the time of the shooting.
At the school, Gladden stashed the weapon in a bathroom outside the cafeteria, police said.
After attending his first two classes Gladden went to the cafeteria for his scheduled lunch, police said. Some food was thrown around his table, but detectives said they did not believe that was related to the shooting. Around 10:45 a.m. Gladden left the cafeteria and assembled the gun in the bathroom and returned with it stuffed under his T-shirt, police said.
When Gladden pulled the gun, guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer rushed over to disarm him, but Gladden fired randomly into a crowd of students eating lunch, police said. Witnesses said a second shot hit the ceiling as Wasmer tackled Gladden.
Police said they are aware the shooter was the victim of bullying but do not think that was connected to the shooting.
Police have not charged Gladden's father. But police did say they have charged Gladden's stepfather, Andrew Piper, 43, alleging that he owned weapons illegally as a result of prior convictions.
Gladden will have a preliminary hearing on Sept. 7, according to the records.
When reached outside his home Tuesday afternoon, Gladden's father, Robert Gladden, didn't want to talk but said "our condolences go out to the family."
According to Tony Lyle, 15, a Perry Hall junior who said he was close to Gladden, the suspect was a "normal kid," but in recent years had changed. Gladden grew his hair out to below his shoulders, and often kept his head on his desk.
"He didn't talk to no one," Lyle said Monday, noting that they had played rec league football together. Lyle added, "Him and me were cool."
Junior Trent McCallum, who had tech ed class with Gladden last year, said Tuesday he had also noticed Gladden had changed how he dressed, favoring baggy black clothes and dying his hair black. Other students made fun of the way Gladden dressed, McCallum said.
"Something big changed in his life," McCallum said. "He was acting sad and he was lonely, but I think he had good in him."
McCallum added that he thought a teacher had tried to talk to Gladden and help him but he did not know how the efforts turned out.
Monday afternoon, county police searched a house and a shed at the address listed as Gladden's in the court filings for more than an hour and a half, and could be seen removing some guns. A sign near the front door had an image of a gun and the message: We don't call 911.
According to charging documents, police seized a range of items — from school paperwork to shotguns — from the house where Gladden stayed with his mother and stepfather.
The seized items included :
•a Baltimore county report card and school paperwork.
•a Zhongzhou 20 gauge shotgun, Boito 12 gauge shotgun, and Sears Roebuck and Co. Model 100, 30-30 caliber rifle.
•a Ruger P95, 9 mm handgun, homemade black powder pistol and 1851 Model Navy revolver.
Before the start of Tuesday's school day, traffic at the school was backed up at Ebenezer Road to Honeygo Boulevard as parents opted to drive their children to school. There were also several students walking to school with their parents along Ebenezer Road. Parents dropped off their children, telling them to "have a safe day." Many people were visibly upset.
A brief vigil was held at 7:15 a.m. at the school's flag pole where several students prayed for their classmate to get through the day and prayed that "everyone could love each other." Students wore white T-shirts that read "Pray for Daniel" on the front and "Team Wasmer" on the back. Team Wasmer referred to school counselor Jesse Wasmer who tackled the gunman on Monday.
There was a strong police presence at the school Tuesday, as officers circled the grounds and were stationed at major intersections.
Said junior Rowan Abdulrahman, "I feel really safe with all these police around and I know it will be all right today."
Rafael Ryczek, a sophomore, also said he felt safe. "This was just one incident and we will get over it."
However, senior Brittany Melchior, had a different outlook, "Everyone's saying we're lucky, but I don't feel lucky, I just feel grateful that I wasn't hurt and my friends weren't hurt. ... I really wouldn't mind if they put metal detectors in all the schools."
About Borowy, Melchior said, "He's a really sweet kid. There was never a day when he wasn't smiling and saying hi to everybody."
As they left school Tuesday, students said the mood during the day had been somber and the school quiet, a sharp contrast to Monday morning. Coming back to school immediately after the shooting had helped bring students together, some said.
Kim Huesman, a graduate of Perry Hall High School, said she was a neighbor of Borowy's and had known him since he was an infant.
"He's just the sweetest boy," said Huesman."The kids are really joining together and [they] are going to be there for each other."
Melchior's friend, senior Rachel Gruninger, addressed the topic of bullying: "Everyone is picked on at some point in their lives. It's all about how you react. This kid [suspect Gladden] made the wrong decision. Now he'll have to suffer the consequences."
Both Melchior and Gruninger mentioned that they had received comforting phone calls all day Monday and noted that people were being very kind.
Baltimore Sun reporters Scott Dance, Mary Gail Hare, Liz Bowie and Jessica Anderson contributed to this report.
Items seized from home
Police seized a range of items from the home of shooting suspect Robert Wayne Gladden; his stepfather, Andrew Piper, was charged with weapons violations. Seized items include:
— Baltimore county report card and school paperwork, Perry Hall High School letter from file cabinet
— Loaded firearm magazine from top of gun cabinet in master bedroom, loaded handgun magazine from gun in master bedroom
— Zhongzhou 20 gauge shotgun, Boito 12 gauge shotgun, Sears Roebuck and Co. Model 100, 30-30 caliber rifle, Mauser Model 1891 rifle, Marlin Model 36, 30-30 caliber rifle
— Ruger P95, 9 mm handgun, homemade black powder pistol, 1851 Model Navy revolver
Source: Baltimore County court records
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun