Evan Ramsey was sixteen years old when he murdered two people in a school shooting in Alaska. According to court documents Evan Ramsey walked into Bethel Regional High School and opened fire killing one student, he would then fire and injure a fellow student and teacher before murdering the principal. This teen killer would be sentenced to nearly two hundred years in prison and will not be eligible for parole until he is eight five
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A jury convicted Evan Ramsey of two counts of murder in the first degree,1 one count of attempted murder in the first degree,2 and fifteen counts of assault in the third degree.3 Superior Court Judge Mark I. Wood sentenced Ramsey to a composite term of 210 years to serve. Ramsey appeals both his conviction and his sentence. We affirm in part and reverse in part.
On Wednesday morning, February 19, 1997, sixteen-year-old Evan Ramsey entered Bethel High School with a .12 gauge shotgun hidden under his jacket. Ramsey immediately walked toward the student common area where several students were sitting. At the nearest table sat Joshua Palacios, a fellow high school student, talking with several of his friends. Palacios began to turn around and stand up when Ramsey pulled out the shotgun and shot Palacios in the stomach. Palacios later died from his wounds. Two students who were sitting across from Palacios, S.M. and R.L., were also hit by pellets from the shotgun blast.
One of the art teachers at the high school, Reyne Athanas, was in the teacher’s lounge when she heard the first gunshot. She entered the hallway and observed Ramsey shooting into the ceiling. She saw Palacios lying on the floor with another student. During this episode, Ramsey paced up and down the hall several times in a very threatening manner. She and Robert Morris, another school teacher, attempted to convince Ramsey to put the shotgun down and give up. Ramsey then aimed the gun at them, but did not shoot. Ramsey walked away from Athanas and Morris, heading in the direction of the school’s main office where the school’s administrative offices were located.
Meanwhile, Ronald Edwards, the school principal, had been walking through the school looking for Ramsey because he had heard that Ramsey was in the school with a gun. Edwards found Ramsey as he was approaching the main office. Ramsey aimed the shotgun at Edwards, and Edwards turned around to run back into the school’s office. As Edwards was trying to get back into the office, Ramsey shot him in the back and shoulder. Edwards died in his office from the gunshot wounds.
Minutes after the shooting began, Bethel police officers arrived at the high school. Several officers entered the high school and saw Ramsey standing in the common area with the shotgun. Ramsey saw the officers and fired one round in their direction. After a brief exchange of gunfire, Ramsey put the shotgun down and gave up. According to the officers, as he threw the shotgun down, Ramsey yelled “I don’t want to die.” Officers were quickly able to detain Ramsey and take him into custody.
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