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Kip Kinkel - Thurston High School

time gun spent father

Kip's fascination with firearms continued, however, and he begged his father to buy him a gun. Recently, Kip had secretly bought a .22-caliber pistol from a friend and kept it hidden from his parents. Bill Kinkel did not own any weapons but after resisting for some time decided on a new tactic. He reasoned that buying Kip a legally registered gun and teaching him how to properly use and care for it might decrease his son's fascination.

Father and son reached an agreement that Kip would do the research on the model he wanted and would pay for it with his own money. He was not to use the gun without his father and it would only become his when he turned twenty-one. The gun they purchased was a 9 mm Glock, just like the ones carried by many police officers.

Kip entered Thurston High School the fall of 1997. Things looked like they were going very well for the young freshman when the football coach invited him to tryout for the team. His sense of humor earned him attention as the class clown, and his social time was spent with a group of friends who called themselves "the good guys." Because he wanted to distance himself from more problems, Kip spent most of his time with this new group but maintained some contact with his old friends. Kip's parents believed things might be turning around for their troubled son.

The Kinkel home was in a rural area along the McKenzie River several miles from town. Kinkel's friends lived in town, closer to the school. He spent time with them there whenever possible. When alone at home, he spent hours walking up and down the road shooting birds and rodents with his shotgun and pistol. He boasted of his hunting exploits at school but no one paid much attention since most of the boys did the same.

When Kip gave a presentation in speech class titled "How to Make a Bomb," it seemed ordinary compared with many of the other topics presented. Likewise, Kip's continued talk of shooting things and blowing up the school seemed like more evidence of male bravado (trying to impress by acting tougher) and Kip's weird sense of humor.

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