Man pleads insanity in shooting that injured 2 kids at school - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Insanity plea for man accused in school shooting that injured two children

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VISTA (CNS) - A man accused of opening fire on a Carlsbad elementary school playground last fall during lunch recess, wounding two second-grade girls, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Thursday.

Brendan Liam O'Rourke, 41, is charged with seven counts each of premeditated attempted murder and assault with a firearm in the shooting last Oct. 8 at Kelly Elementary School.

Trial is set for Oct. 3.

Two doctors will be appointed to evaluate O'Rourke, who faces up to 103 years to life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan.

O'Rourke is accused of jumping a fence at the school just after noon, carrying a .357 Ruger six-shot revolver, a speed re-loader, extra ammunition, a propane tank, gas can and matches.

The defendant fired at least six shots in the direction of children and entered the campus with a plan to kill as many children as he could, Stephan alleged.

A construction worker who pursued O'Rourke and ultimately helped capture him testified during a hearing in March that the gunman appeared "crazy' and had a "disconnected" look on his face during the rampage.

Carlos Partida, one of three construction workers who had a hand in stopping the gunman, said O'Rourke was saying something about President Barack Obama as he was shooting.

One of the second-graders shot by the gunman testified that she saw him with a gun and heard him yelling just before she was wounded.

The now-8-year-old girl, who was shot in the right arm near the elbow, said she saw the gunman during the lunch recess and heard him yelling something she couldn't make out before she started walking away and heard a loud noise like an earthquake.

Suddenly, her arm felt weird and kind of "squiggly."

"I wasn't looking at him because I ran away," the composed youngster said. "I remember I saw in his hand ... a gun."

The girl said she was a few feet from the gunman on a grassy field play area when she was shot -- she was 7 at the time. She said she ran to a classroom where a nurse calmed her down, before being airlifted to Rady Children's Hospital.

The girl said she couldn't draw, get dressed by herself, shower, take martial arts classes or play soccer for a number of weeks because of her injury.

The other girl, now 7, testified that she was playing with friends when she was shot in the left arm.

"I saw the guy with the gun," she said, telling the prosecutor that the man was pointing the gun right at her arm.

The girl -- who was 6 at the time -- said she ran to the classroom after she was shot, and was unable to do gymnastics or jump on a trampoline after being wounded.

An 8-year-old boy testified that he was eating lunch in the school cafeteria when he saw man with an orange tool box run by and shoot his gun. The boy said he heard "two pops," then a few more.

"I just saw him shoot at my friend," the boy said.

He said he saw a gun with "six holes" when the man stopped to reload.

O'Rourke was confronted by an aide who asked him what he was doing, and the defendant pointed the gun at her, as well, but it didn't fire because a casing was stuck in the chamber, the prosecutor said.

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