ELDRIDGE, Iowa — For many people in Eldridge, the verdict in the Luke Andrews trial did not bring closure.
“I’m sad. I’m sad that it even had to happen. I feel sorry for that teacher. I feel sorry for the poor kid. I feel sorry for the students. I feel sorry for the jury,” said Eldridge resident Kris Thomsen. “I just can’t imagine what that young man was going through when this all took place and even during this trial.”
Sam Thompson, who works in Eldridge, worries dropping the attempted murder charge to assault with intent to commit serious injury sets a bad precedent.
“It’s not being taken serious and it’s going to happen again if that’s the case,” Thompson said.
Others say the focus shouldn’t be on punishing Andrews, but helping him.
Testimonies during the trial revealed the 13-year-old spoke about trouble at home after he pulled the gun.
“He does not need to be in prison,” said Lissa Madsen. “He’s a kid. He needs mental health and there’s not enough help for kids that need mental health in this area.”
While the community weighs the outcome of the trial, many say the morning Andrews walked into school with a .22 caliber hand gun changed the community forever.
“Nobody wins here,” Thomsen said.