Thursday was just another week day like any other week day. Families got up and prepared to begin their day just like all the other weekdays that came before. Parents to work and kids to the 5th grade. Just routine. Maybe the kids liked school, maybe they didn’t. Maybe they liked their teacher, or maybe they didn’t. Just routine for 5th grade kids. They had no way of knowing that today would be no where near normal or routine.
Traditionally teachers don’t discuss any problems with their private life with their students, so the kids may or may not have known the teacher Christi Layne, 53, had separated from her husband. She filed for divorce on Jan. 25. Police had reportedly been involved in a domestic dispute around that time. Most likely they weren’t aware that she had also obtained a restraining order on Jan. 15. In the restraining order that was requested on Jan. 15 Christi Layne stated that her husband Michael Layne had threatened her and her son and that:
“He said I better enjoy myself because it will be soon,” she wrote in a restraining order request. “I am afraid that he will hurt me or my son when he is mad.”
Reports now indicate that at some point Christi Layne moved out of the home she shared with her husband and had a security system installed in the home she moved to.
Most likely neither the kids nor their teacher were aware of a stabbing that happened not far from the school about 9:12 am. Stephanie Loop, 22, was reportedly outside her home when a man came out of nowhere and began stabbing her. Her cousin was also there and indicates that the man was Michael Layne.
Not long after school began and shortly after the knife attack on Stephanie Loop word got out that there was a shooting at the school. Police were notified at 9:16 am. They report they were at the scene by 9:18 am. Parents began to gather near the school. Unable to get into the school because it was in lockdown for the children’s safety and it was a crime scene. The parents unable to get to the children and not knowing exactly what happened or whether their children were safe. Cell phones ringing and rumors flying. Most likely each parent was eager for any bit of news, but how do you know which rumor was true? Were the kids ok, what had they seen or heard, were they safe, had any of the kids been hurt, how are the kids, what is happening, are the kids ok?
Finally after what must have seemed like an eternity, the kids were escorted out of the school. Some were probably crying, some were probably in shock. But all were physically ok. Some had seen a man enter the school and approach the teacher. Some fled the room others headed for a nearby closet. They heard a gunshot. Some saw their teacher lying on the floor bleeding as they were escorted from the room by police officers.
Michael Layne was found at his home. During the three hour standoff at his home, several shots were heard. Layne fired several, police did shoot out a security system camera at the home. When attempts to make contact with Layne failed police did enter the home and found Michael Layne dead from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Much of this is still being investigated today, a lot of what was happening or why is still not known. Early media reports said that Stephanie Loop who was stabbed near her home was possibly the mother or sister to Christi Layne. Today’s reports say that Michael Layne considered Stephanie Loop his girlfriend. At least one report indicates that Stephanie Loop had been at Michael Layne’s home the night before and requested someone to come and get her. Stephanie Loop was taken to a hospital and her condition is is reported as critical but stable. Her exact relationship to Michael Layne is not known, but police have said she was not related to Christi Layne. It is unknown what the motivation for her stabbing was. There were witnesses to her stabbing.
Christi Layne was taken to the hospital and remains in critical condition. Early reports indicated that she had been shot. Some children reported hearing a shot. Today’s reports indicate that she had been stabbed and maybe shot.
I began watching media reports on this one soon after it had occurred. And what stuck in my mind was those parents standing in the cold not knowing. I know I am a parent that will not be satisfied that my child is ok until I actually set eyes on them. But for the child’s own safety the children couldn’t be brought out until police were satisfied there was no further danger to them. Standing and waiting, not sure…. it had to have been terribly difficult.
Much of the information about what happened is still unknown. If you follow media reports about a crime you will find that sometimes the information will change and evolve. Police usually can not and will not give out the results of their investigation until they are satisfied they have all the information they can get and can reasonably prove what they know. Media gets their info in pieces from what they see, what little they can get from police and from witnesses, relatives, neighbors and friends that they can get to talk to them. They will also check background records such as court records. So often media reports will seem to change and evolve as more info becomes known.
I will be blogging another case today that sharply contrasts with this case so stay tuned or check back later.
Reports indicate that Stephanie Loop has been released from the hospital.