More Details Come Out on Larry King’s Killer
February 12th, 2009
A year ago this week, 14 year old Brandon McInerney calmly walked up and shot two bullets into the back of 15 year old Larry King’s head. The students who knew both children said that King was killed because he was gay.
Almost immediately, McInerney’s lawyer started an image campaign designed to present King as the aggressor and McInerney as the victim. The pinacle of his efforts came in July of last year when Newsweek’s gossip writer Ramin Setoodeh ran a hit piece on King, claiming that he “flaunted his sexuality” and engaged in “inappropriate, sometimes harmful, behavior” and insinuating that King was a sexual predator who pushed McInerney beyond his breaking point.
Many in the gay community, being kind of heart and sympathetic to those who are hurting, joined the voices of those who called for leniency for McInerney.
And unless you’re heartless, one can feel badly for a kid who was raised economically disadvantaged in a family without structure and perhaps subjected to teasing. It is easy to think that this is just an otherwise good kid that snapped and in a brief moment acted impulsively. Maybe compassion would be a better response than incarceration in a cold penal system.
But in October, the LA Times revealed some information that suggested that perhaps Brandon McInerney wasn’t the all American good kid that his defense team would have us believe. We learned that he had a fascination with Adolf Hitler and like to doodle swaztikas. And the prosecution’s insistance on trying the child as an adult – with hate crimes enchancements – seemed less callous.
Until now the district attorney has not told the prosecution’s side of the story. But now the LA Times has reviewed court documents which tell of a very different Brandon McInerney and a very different Larry King.
Lawrence “Larry” King wasn’t sexually harassing fellow eighth-grade student Brandon McInerney in the weeks leading up to King’s shooting death, prosecutors contend in court documents.
McInerney was the aggressor, teasing the effeminate King for weeks and vowing to “get a gun and shoot” him, according to a prosecution brief.
The additional charges of the prosecution include:
- McInerney looked for other to join in a gang beating of King in the days before the shooting. Unable to find others interested he decided to kill King.
- McInerney was familiar with the gun with which he killed King, having used it for target practice.
- It wasn’t until King had suffered months of being called “faggot” by McInerney and others that he began to retort by making sexual taunts to McInerney.
- Other students heard McInerney threaten to shoot King in the days before he did so.
- In addition to the skinhead and neo-Nazi materials, McInerney also had a training video called “Shooting in Realistic Environments”.
It is difficult to know the appropriate response when a very young kid commits a premeditated act of murder, especially when the motivation appears to be bias based. But as more of this story comes out, it seems less like a mystery of children behaving impulsively and more of a cautionary tale about cauldrons of hate and the tragedies they brew.
This is, for all, a tragic story and a time for introspection. I truly wish all of those who are called to serve justice on this case much wisdom, compassion, and the ability to look to what is best for society.