“I accepted the fact that I was going to die.” Teachers testify in Luke Andrews trial

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Teachers and students inside the classroom, where the prosecution said Luke Andrews pulled a gun and tried to fire, take the stand.

The 13-year-old is facing attempted murder charges and being tried in adult court as a youthful offender.

The teachers told the jury their main focus was protecting their students at North Scott Junior High, even if it meant their own life.

Witness Kaitryn MacDonald said, “Had a moment where I accepted the fact that I was going to die, so I thought about how I was never going to have my own classroom.”

She added, ” I was just thinking I was never going to be a wife, be a mom. I was trying to think of the last things I said to my family. “

Just beginning her stint as a student teacher, Kaitryn MacDonald said at the start of class August 31, 2018, Luke Andrews came in late and pulled out a gun.

MacDonald said, “He pointed it directly at me, and he had said, ‘I need everybody to get down.’”

At the time, MacDonald said social studies teacher Dawn Spring had her back to the situation, and so MacDonald started to call out Spring’s name.

MacDonald said, “In my head, I figured if he were to start and we were to protect the students, I wanted her to be facing it. I didn’t want her to get shot behind and not had known what had happened.”

Witness Dawn Spring said, “I remember walking towards and saying something to the effect of ‘oh man, it looks like you’re having a really bad day.”

When they were just feet apart, that’s when Spring said Andrews pointed the gun at her head.

Spring said, “Thought I heard an audible ‘click’ from the gun, and then he kind of turned the gun and looked at it.”

She said he pointed it at her again and started to swat it away.

Spring said, “In my mind said, oh my gosh, he just tried to shoot me and I better not let that happen again.”

After that, Spring told the jury she started talking to him and eventually got him out of the classroom and into the hall.

There, asking why he was doing this.

Spring said, “He said ‘home, home’s bad. Home is really, really bad.”

MacDonald said after they left, she tried to support the students.

MacDonald said, “I had students crying. I had students having anxiety attacks and shacking. I had one young male student in the corner that had kind of grounded me because he was just doing the sign of the cross over and over.”

Spring went on to testify about what happened after taking Andrews to counselor Holly Leinhauser’s office, where after a brief struggle and a few attempts, they were able to get the gun away from Andrews.

At one point, she said Andrews told them not to hold the gun like that because it might go off.

During cross, a defense attorney asked if that might show Andrews had knowledge of how firearms work.

Spring said she didn’t believe so.

From there, Spring said she took the gun to the office and removed the magazine. She was then instructed to put it into a freezer where police found it.

Spring said she returned to her class a short time later to show her students she was okay.

Both Spring and MacDonald also testified about what they saw Andrews doing in the days leading up to the incident.

They said they saw Andrews using his school-issued laptop to search for what they describe as political posts and guns.

The day before, Spring, Andrews and another staff members had a meeting at the school about the appropriate use of the laptop.
Spring said she thought they reached a positive result from that meeting.

Three students in the class also testified Friday. One recalled hearing the gun click twice as it was pointed at Spring.

Another student took the stand talking about riding the bus with Andrews that morning, where he opened his backpack and showed the teen the gun.

Wayne said, “I was like ‘don’t do nothing stupid with the gun and he was like ‘I won’t do anything with the gun. I swear.’ And I was like ‘Okay, just keep it in your bookbag, and nothing will happen.'”

In the afternoon, a North Scott School District computer technician also testified about what was found when they searched his computer.

The tech said Andrews sent messages to other students as part of a chain, although some of them went unanswered by the fellow students.

Witness Joshua Tipsword said, “The graphic nature of some of the images as well as statements like “I’m on the FBI watch list. Just different things like that seem out of place, I guess.”

He said there were also messages about having a gun and that there would be a surprise at school. Those messages were posted the day before.

The trial will continue Monday.

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