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April 8, 2010

Shooting leaves residents dismayed


Another CCS student who was in Cooper Park after the shooting said he was in shock about the incident because he had had lunch with Pacherille before it happened. The boy, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Pacherille seemed fine and that he did not suspect a thing.

Both boys were taken to Bassett Medical Center. Lippitt was released later that day. Pacherille is still recovering in the hospital and has not been charged. According to Otsego County District Attorney John M. Muehl, Pacherille is likely to be arraigned on charges later this week. He could face a count of second-degree attempted murder.

When students returned to school on Monday attendance was normal, according to CCS Superintendent Mary Jo McPhail. She said the school activated its crisis team with the goal of supplying all the necessary support students may need as they make a transition back to school. McPhail said there had not been any reports of any arguments or fighting before the shooting and the incident was as much of a shock to her as anybody else.

``As a school district our goal is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students and we will continue to work towards that,’’ she said.

Cooperstown Secondary Principal Michael Cring said the primary focus right now is on the emotional and mental well-being of district students.

``We feel terrible for both boys and their families. We care about them both very much,’’ he said.

``We’re shocked and dismayed that this happened,’’ added Cring.

Former CCS Middle School Principal and Cooperstown resident David Pearlman said he has worked with teens for almost 40 years, and believes any tragedy like this is amplified by their age and presumption of innocence.

``This tragedy, of course, extends way beyond the wounds to both boys, and the emotional havoc on their families and friends,’’ said Pearlman. ``It also serves as a warning that, yes, it can happen here.’’

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