Suicide was teen’s intent, attorney says — (The Spokesman-Review)

SSRI Ed note: Teen given antidepressant for "anxiety" has "drastic" behaviour change, meds switched to Prozac, he steals guns and goes to school planning to kill himself.

Original article no longer available

The Spokesman-Review

Erica F. Curless, Staff writer

January 25, 2008

Document: Sheriff’s department burglary report

A “Columbine” shooting was never Brian Edward Gilmore’s intent when he pulled into Lake City High School’s parking lot Wednesday with a loaded shotgun and three stolen, high-powered rifles in his car, his attorney alleged Thursday.

Instead, the depressed teenager, a former Lake City student, intended to park his Pontiac in the school parking lot, walk across the street to his church, take sleeping pills and then shoot himself before he passed out, the attorney said.

“This is absolutely not a Columbine incident,” defense attorney Clark Peterson said. “This is a troubled kid with some medical issues.”

Judge Robert Burton set Gilmore’s bond at $500,300.

Gilmore’s mother, Debbie Gilmore, contacted the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday night after she learned that her son might have stolen guns from an uncle.

In the burglary report, Debbie Gilmore told a deputy she was worried about her son “doing a Columbine,” referring to the deadly 1999 school shooting in a Denver suburb. Gilmore added her son had been acting “very erratic” and spent time on the Internet researching guns and how to make silencers.

She said he’s always been very “military” and that she recently discovered black “stealth” gloves in his room and two locked safes in his car, which he wouldn’t allow her to see.

When Brian Gilmore, 18, left their Third Street home that morning he wore all camouflage and wouldn’t say where he was going.

Gilmore still had on camouflage at 11 a.m. Wednesday when he pulled into Lake City High’s senior parking lot.

Coeur d’Alene police arrested Gilmore without incident.

The burglary report alleges that Gilmore stole a Marlin rifle and two Remington 700 rifles from the relative’s South Gozzer Road home along with ammo, about $300 and several pairs of boy’s underwear belonging to the caretaker’s 10-year-old son.

Peterson and local law enforcement characterize Debbie Gilmore as a hero for notifying the Sheriff’s Office and reporting her son might be headed for either Lake City High or Coeur d’Alene High, where he is currently a senior.

“She was critical,” Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. “At that point we only had a burglary. Guns are pretty commonly taken in a burglary. We wouldn’t have had the information to put two and two together. It’s important people get involved like that.”

In the report, Debbie Gilmore said her son had been expelled from Lake City High and was attending Coeur d’Alene High, yet he planned to transfer to the Bridge Academy next week after semester finals were finished.

She told the deputy that Gilmore was often picked on by students, had no friends and hates what he called “the whole society of the jock thing.” She added that he hadn’t made any specific threats but that he hasn’t been talking to her lately.

For several months, Gilmore has struggled with social anxiety and depression, receiving prescriptions from the family’s physician, Peterson said. Gilmore also was upset that his mother recently had a baby, a concern that Debbie Gilmore mentioned in the sheriff’s report.

The medicine “drastically” changed the teenager’s behavior, and the doctor recently switched Gilmore to Prozac, Peterson said.

Peterson said the family has no criticism of the doctor and that sometimes anti-depressants have odd effects on teenagers.

Gilmore took a polygraph test, and Peterson said it showed that he had no intent to harm anyone at the high school.

Instead, Peterson said Gilmore parked his car at the school because he figured his mom might suspect he would show up at the neighboring Community United Methodist Church where he works a couple hours a week.

From there, Peterson said, Gilmore planned to walk to the church and shoot himself in the attic.

Peterson disagreed with the high bond and said only $300 of the $500,300 bond is because of the misdemeanor charge for allegedly having a gun in a vehicle at a school.

He unsuccessfully argued for a $50,000 bond and that the judge release Gilmore to his mother.

Peterson, who took the case shortly before the 2 p.m. first appearance, said he didn’t know about Gilmore’s past or whether he had any previous problems at school.

Many students said Wednesday that Gilmore is the same student who brought two vials of mercury to Lake City in March 2006, closing the school for two days before spring break and prompting intervention from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. School officials said student privacy laws prevent them from confirming that.

Contact Erica F. Curless at (208) 765-7137 or by e-mail at