Authorities say the man who shot ten young girls in an Amish school yesterday was apparently more troubled than anyone had suspected.
Two more of his victims, ages seven and nine, died today raising the death toll to five. Five more remain in the hospital.
The police commissioner painted a picture of a deeply disturbed man, who calmly walked into this little Amish schoolhouse with an arsenal of weapons and supplies he’d been hoarding for a week.
Before he took his own life, Charles told his wife he was tormented by the memories of his molestation of two family members 20 years ago. He also wrote in a suicide note that he was haunted by memories of his dead daughter.
Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner, Col. Jeffrey Miller says, “Nine years ago, Roberts and wife had a baby, Elise born premature, died 20 minutes after.” Roberts also wrote in the letter that his dreams had been tormenting him. He told his wife the children he molested were ages three and four. Roberts himself would only have been 12 at that time.
Col. Miller explains, “[He'd] been having dreams about doing what he did 20 years ago, and in the dreams, he wanted to do the things again.” Investigators suspect Roberts may have been planning to sexually abuse the little girls he tied up in the schoolhouse, but when the police arrived he panicked and starting shooting.
“It’s very possible he intended to victimize the children, prior to executing them and killing himself,” Col. Miller explains. After letting the boys and adults leave, Roberts barricaded himself and all the girl students, except for one who had escaped, in the schoolhouse. He tied them up so they couldn’t escape. Investigators admit they may never know the precise reason why Roberts targeted the girls. Roberts shot himself in the head once he had shot each and every one of them.
He was a father of three and had walked his own children to their school bus stop that morning. Paula Derby, Roberts’ neighbor saw him doing just this. “Just remember how much your daddy loves you,” Derby reported him saying.