CHARLOTTE, N.C. After a seventh grade student took seven classmates and a school bus driver hostage on the school bus Monday, many may wonder what would make a child do such a thing. In this case, it could be the loss of a parent.
This is a fairly strong cry for help, or in this case, scream or yell for help, said Dr. Vivian Lord, professor of criminal justice at UNC Charlotte.
The teen's father was a small businessman. He operated an auto repair shop on Albemarle Road. On April 11, 2008 he was killed while his family was on vacation at Disney World.
Things that happen early can influence, but they don't determine, they don't make anything inevitable, said Dr. Daniel Biber, a clinical psychologist and professor at Queens University.
Sources say the teen received counseling following his father s murder. The actions he took on Monday do not mean the therapy failed.
The fact that no one was hurt might be testimony that the therapy was helpful, Biber said. We can't say all the things that might have happened, that didn't.
Police say the gun was loaded and working and the teen could have hurt, or killed, everyone on the bus. Lord hopes police don t lock up the teen and throw away the key.
I would hope our system wouldn't do that, she said. That's what the juvenile justice is for -- to try and identify individuals who have a problem and try to do something to help them.
Police arrested two suspects in the father s murder.