Gay groups around the country are
preparing for the second
anniversary of slain gay teen Lawrence King.
King died two years ago in a hospital
on Valentine's Day after he was shot in the head by a classmate
during his 8th grade class in Oxnard, California on
The 15-year-old told friends and family
he was gay and often wore makeup. The entire persona might have been
a way for the troubled teen to get attention, but his killer, Brandon
McInerney, 14, took it seriously.
A 2008 Newsweek cover story left
the impression that King's murder was very much premeditated. Facts
presented during McInerney's pretrial – and the subsequent suicide
of his father – revealed a troubled home life for the teen.
McInerney, a latchkey kid, lived with
his father who divorced his wife in 2000. The McInerney's marriage
was marred with allegations of spousal abuse and drug addiction.
Details of a connection to neo-Nazi propaganda emerged during
McInerney's pretrial. Investigators found a training video among the
boy's possessions titled Shooting in Realistic Environments
and various neo-Nazi books, according to briefs submitted by the
Newsweek's retelling shed new
details surrounding the days leading up to the killing.
One of King's girlfriends is quoted
saying that McInerney had told her to say goodbye to King, because
she would never see him again. At 8:30AM, during Mrs. Boldrin's
English class, McInerney quietly stood up and shot King in the head.
“Brandon, what the hell are you doing!” Boldrin screamed.
McInerney fired a second shot at King, tossed the gun and walked off
the campus. Police arrested him a few blocks from school.
King often used his supposed
homosexuality (he had never even been kissed) to taunt boys. He
would say in the hallways, “You look hot!” or “I know you want
A couple of days before Valentine's
Day, a group of King's girlfriends agreed to a game. They were each
to ask the boy they liked to be their Valentine. King choose
McInerney – whom it seems he genuinely liked. He interrupted
McInerney as he played basketball and asked him to be his Valentine
in front of his teammates, who naturally teased him about it.
A day after being shot, King died after
being pronounced brain-dead. Mourners erected a makeshift memorial
out of candles and teddy bears outside King's school, E.O. Green
Junior High School.
A coalition of gay groups – led by
Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GSLEN) and the Gay
& Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) – from across
the country have joined together to remember King on Friday.
“King's tragic story highlights the
need for strong laws, policies and programs to keep our young people
safe,” GLAAD said in a statement. “His death is not an isolated
incident and it underscores a broader problem of bullying and
harassment in our schools based on actual or perceived sexual
orientation and gender expression.”
Candlelight vigils in memory of the
slain teen are being organized throughout the country, including
Minnesota, Texas and