ST. PAUL, Minn. - The teenaged son of Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd
Jourdain Jr. was arrested March 28 and charged the next day with conspiracy
in the March 21 shooting incident at Red Lake High School.
Louis Jourdain, 16, was arrested in conjunction with the school shooting
that left 10 people dead. At first federal authorities would not confirm
the youth's arrest nor give his name in accordance with federal law that
deals with juveniles, but the boy's father made it official with this
"Last week, I spoke on behalf of the Red Lake Nation as its leader and a
saddened member of this community. Today, I speak as a father. As many of
you are aware, my son Louis has been charged in association with the
shootings that occurred here last week.
"My heart is heavy as a result of the tragic events that unfolded here at
our nation. But it is with optimism that I state my son Louis's innocence.
He is a good boy with a good heart, who never harmed anyone in his entire
"I know my son and he is incapable of committing such an act. As events
unfold, it will be proven that the individual who committed this horrible
crime did so of his own choice and that he acted alone.
"I strongly believe that my son will be cleared of these charges. I have
been notified by the federal government that there is a juvenile court
proceeding pending which therefore will not allow me to comment further."
U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger would not comment on the possible role
Jourdain played in the rampage because of his juvenile status.
"The investigation has been active since March 21 and is ongoing and
continued since that date. We [will] continue the active investigation, for
how long I can't say," Heffelfinger said. He would not comment on how broad
the investigation has become.
Heffelfinger could not comment on the possibility of Loise Jourdain being
tried as an adult because of the gravity of the rampage.
The day after the shooting incident, FBI Special Agent Michael Tabman told
the media that it appeared Jeffrey Weise, 16, acted alone.
Weise killed nine people and then himself on March 21. Weise's first
victims were his grandfather, Daryl Lussier, a veteran officer with the Red
Lake police department, and Lussier's girlfriend, Michelle Sigana.
Weise then took Lussier's service weapon, a .40-caliber pistol, and a
shotgun and drove a police car from Lussier's residence to the school. He
killed five students; long-time teacher Neva Rogers; and security guard
Derrick Brun before turning a gun on himself.
Rogers, well-liked according to students and her family, was the only
non-Indian involved in the shooting and the second of Weise's victims at
the school. He began shooting in the hallway where Rogers and her class
were located. She moved the students into a classroom and was pursued by
Weise's wounded five other students. Three were released after a week in
the hospital from North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji, Minn. Two
other students sustained head wounds and are in guarded condition at a
hospital in Fargo, N.D.
It was the nation's deadliest school shooting since Columbine in 1999.
The investigation is still underway by the FBI, the BIA, the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney's office,
Information from Red Lake and the urban area of Minneapolis-St. Paul, where
a large number of Red Lake members reside, claim that other juveniles and
some of Weise's friends are being questioned. No further information has
been released that would confirm that information.
"They're saying that maybe the group he had run with knew something," Chris
Dunshee, principal of Red Lake High School, told The New York Times.
Funeral services were held on March 26 and 27 for some of the victims.
Weise was buried March 28.
Red Lake reservation residents were already staggered by the shooting, but
when the arrest of the tribal chairman's son became known, tribal members
again expressed shock.
According to tribal members, investigators discovered an e-mail on
computers that had passed between Weise and other students, including
Weise's girlfriend, related to the shooting. School computers also revealed
cartoons Weise created that depicted violence and death. Weise had posted
messages on a neo-Nazi Web site revealing the extent to which he admired
Adolf Hitler. He sometimes referred to himself online as Todesengel, a
German word that means "angel of death."
Todesengel had written on an Internet forum that he was upset at too many
non-Indian people infiltrating the reservation and that Nazis were
Red Lake School remains closed and the reservation continues to control the
movement of the media and outsiders.