CLEVELAND – The 14-year-old who opened fire at his high school had been upset with teachers, saying they wouldn't listen to his side of the story regarding a recent after-school scuffle that got him suspended, the teenager's uncle said Friday.
Larry Looney, who lived upstairs from Asa Coon in a west side duplex, said the two were lifting weights Tuesday when he told him about Monday's fight with another student and his three-day suspension.
"He really didn't want to talk about it," Looney said. "He said he really didn't do anything to start it. He said the teachers wouldn't listen to his side of the story.
"I just can't believe he would do anything like that."
Coon shot two teachers and two students Wednesday at SuccessTech Academy then committed suicide. All shooting victims survived. One teacher remained hospitalized Friday in good condition.
Looney, 48, said that his nephew was bullied and picked on his entire life and was thrilled that he got accepted into SuccessTech, viewing it as his only chance to escape the daily beatings he took. Coon told him recently that he was having problems with some students at SuccessTech, an alternative high school in the public school district that stresses technology and entrepreneurship for high-achieving students.
Looney wondered whether his nephew grew despondent that things weren't working out at the school.
"He really had high hopes because he knew ... this was his best chance, this was the safest type of environment," Looney said.
He never heard Coon make any threats against the school and never saw any warning signs.
"If things aren't going right, he probably in his mind thought ... that's the only thing I can think of that would go through his mind that would make him ... " Looney said.