New Details Released in Amish School Shooting

Nickel Mines, PA (CBS/AP) - A man who laid siege to a one-room Amish schoolhouse, killing five girls, told his wife shortly before opening fire that he had molested two young relatives decades ago and was tormented by "dreams of molesting again," authorities said Tuesday.

Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, appeared to have planned to molest the girls at the school, but police have no evidence that he actually did, State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller said.

He said Roberts had sexual lubricant with him and flex-ties that he had bought seven days earlier, and that he chained the girls together in a line at the blackboard after sending the boys and adults away. Roberts also had weapons and supplies indicating he was prepared for a long stand-off, he said.

"He states in his suicide note that he had dreams about doing what he did 20 years ago again," Miller said.

Miller said police could not confirm the claim about molesting young relatives when Roberts would have been a just a child himself, and he said Roberts' family members knew nothing of molestation in his past.

Roberts left one note for his wife, one for each of his three children and a note and checklist in his truck, Miller said. The note to his wife talked about his anguish over the loss of the couple's newborn daughter, Elise, in 1997, Miller said.

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"The note that he left for his wife talks about the good memories together, the tragedy with Elise, it focuses on his life being changed forever ... over the loss of Elise, his hatred toward himself, his hatred towards God as a result of that event, and he alludes to this other reason for this anger but he can't discuss it with her and it happened 20 years ago," Miller said.

When Roberts spoke with his wife by cell phone from inside the school, more than half an hour after he had walked in, he "told her he had molested two minor relatives 20 years prior and that was how she put all of that together," Miller said.

The girls were shot "execution style" shortly after police arrived, Miller said, and Roberts was dead by the time officers broke windows to get inside. It was the nation's third deadly school shooting in less than a week.

Miller identified the victims, two of whom died on Tuesday, as Naomi Rose Ebersole, 7; Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12; Marian Fisher, 13; Mary Liz Miller, 8; and her sister Lina Miller, 7.

Five other children remained hospitalized, four of them in critical condition.

Miller said ten families had children in the school. Seven families had children who were shot.

State police spokeswoman Linette Quinn said the two girls who died early Tuesday had suffered "very severe injuries, but the other ones are coming along very well."

There won't be any bitterness from the Amish community toward Roberts' widow and children, former Amishman Aaron Meyers said.

"I think there's compassion for his wife, for his children, and great sadness that he did what he did, that he couldn't cope with his own life," Meyers told Early Show's Harry Smith.

Roberts, the father of three, was not Amish, but his route picking up milk from Amish farms probably took him past the school, Miller said.

"I don't believe there was any sort of malice toward the Amish necessarily," Miller said on CBS News' The Early Show. "I think he sought out a target of opportunity where he had female victims that were young in age, between the ages of 6 and 13, and I think that was really the focus, a place he could get into and out of."

Although the shootings resembled an attack last week at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colo., where a man took several girls hostage in a school classroom and then killed one of them and himself, Monday's shooting did not appear to be a copycat crime.

"We have to keep school safety on the front burner and stop this common refrain of, 'we never thought it could happen here,'" Kenneth S. Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services, said on The Early Show. "If it can happen in a one-classroom Amish community, it can and will happen anywhere in the country."

©MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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