BARABOO, Wis. (AP) _ A teenager armed with a shotgun and a handgun went to his school yelling he was there to kill someone before he fatally shot the principal, witnesses testified at the boy's murder trial on Saturday.
Attorneys for Eric Hainstock, 16, acknowledge he killed the Weston Schools principal on Sept. 29, but maintain he didn't mean to do it. They say he was the victim of relentless teasing and abuse at home and only meant to force people to listen to his problems.
Hainstock is charged with one count of first-degree murder. The charge requires prosecutors to prove intent the moment the trigger is pulled.
Custodian Dave Thompson testified he was talking with assistant football coach and social studies teacher Chuck Keller before school when they saw Hainstock walking across the parking lot with a shotgun raised.
Thompson said the teacher asked the 15-year-old freshman what he was doing with a gun in school and Hainstock replied ' ``I'm here to (expletive) kill somebody.'' ' He then pointed the gun barrel to within inches of Keller's face.
Thompson ripped the gun away from him, telling him, ``No, not in my school,'' he recalled. Hainstock then reached into his pocket, Thompson said.
Fearing the boy had another gun, Thompson ran outside with the shotgun, telling Keller to run.
After Thompson had taken the shotgun, Keller said he then tried to corner Hainstock in the entryway, but the boy reached into his pocket and pulled out a .22 revolver.
Thompson called 911 and then unloaded the shotgun, including a shell in the firing chamber.
Keller said he fled into the office, where he got on the public address system and ordered a lockdown. He couldn't find the emergency response book, he added, and used the wrong code words.
Principal John Klang was shot moments later scuffling with Hainstock outside the office.
Keller testified he had Hainstock in class a year earlier. The boy was disruptive, touching other students and heckling him during his lectures, Keller said.
He said Hainstock was equal parts victim and instigator. The shenanigans didn't seem serious, though, he said.
Klang had done his best to help Hainstock, Keller testified, giving him new shoes, deodorant, shampoo and letting him bathe in the school's locker rooms. Hainstock's attorneys have said his parents sometimes did not let him bathe at home and students made fun of the way he smelled.
Defense attorney Jon Helland tried to blunt Thompson's testimony by getting him to admit Hainstock ordered everyone into the office after he made his threat to kill someone.
He also got Thompson to say Hainstock made his remarks in a loud voice, setting up expected testimony from other eyewitness who have said they didn't hear Hainstock make any threats.
While cross-examining Keller, Helland pointed out Keller had signed a specialized education plan for Hainstock which noted that the boy suffers from severe attention deficit disorder and his behavior was very immature and emotional.
Prosecutors also showed a 2003 class roster for a hunting safety course taught by Klang's brother-in-law, which included Hainstock. Dennis Adelman however testified that he did not remember teaching the boy.
Adelman testified his students learn how to use firearms safely, and are taught not to place their fingers on the trigger unless they intend to shoot.
If convicted, Hainstock could face life in prison.