Suspected Carlsbad school shooter faces arraignment

court_gavelBy City News Service

A man accused of opening fire at a crowded Carlsbad elementary school playground last week, wounding two second-grade girls, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at the Vista Courthouse.

Brendan Liam O’Rourke, 41, was arrested Friday afternoon after the shooting at Kelly Elementary School.

Witnesses said the suspect walked onto school grounds and began shooting with a .357 Magnum revolver shortly after noon.

The gunman’s pistol apparently ran out of ammunition before several construction workers who happened to be in the area gave chase on foot and in a pickup truck. One of them used the vehicle to knock down the attacker, allowing the good Samaritans to catch him and hold him for police, who arrived momentarily.

Two pupils, ages 6 and 7, were grazed by bullets in their arms, suffering minor injuries. One of the girls reportedly has gone home from the hospital.

Authorities said a propane tank was found next to O’Rourke’s car parked near the school. The suspect also allegedly took a gas can onto the campus.

O’Rourke’s neighbors in Oceanside described him as a loner who would scream obscenities out his window at night.

Police said O’Rourke is licensed to work as a security guard in California, but wasn’t currently doing so. According to state records, the suspect was not licensed to carry a gun while working as a guard.


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