The gunman who opened fire inside of Perry Hall High School is just 15 years old, and on Monday a Baltimore County judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison.
Robert Gladden, Jr. pled guilty to a charge of attempted murder in connection with the shooting of 17-year-old Daniel Borowy, which happened back in August on the first day of school at Perry Hall.
Baltimore County prosecutors also released the tape of a 50-minute interview that Gladden gave to county police detectives.
“I walked into the cafeteria and I didn't really have any one person that I was trying to kill. I just turned to the side and shot and then before I could even get the second shot off a teacher came over and like pushed me up against a vending machine, so then I was stuck there and just gave up,” he told the detectives.
Prosecutors also released surveillance photos from the scene -- showing Gladden walking into the cafeteria. The second photo is from five seconds later, as staff members try to subdue him after the shooting.
And the third shows him pinned against the vending machine.
Borowy was the only person injured, but Gladden told police he planned to do much more.
“How many bullets did you take with you today?” the detective asked him. Gladden’s response: “Twenty-one.”
The detective said, “Why so many?" And Gladded said, “I figured if I'm going to do it I might as well do it a lot.”
He had told two friends to leave the cafeteria. The 15-year-old told police he'd been having suicidal thoughts for at least six years.
“Why do you think this was necessary? Explain to me,” the detective said.
“To make a point,” was Gladden’s response.
“What's your point?" said the detective.
“To show people that the world is a (expletive)-up place,” Gladden said.
After the sentencing, Daniel Borowy's mother said she calls Perry Hall High School every day to check on Daniel.
“I just call the school every day and make sure he's ok. That's all,” Rosemary Borowy said. “They know I'm calling. They're ready for me. They understand."
His father, Milton Borowy, said in his view, preventing the next school shooting will require much more than gun control.
“We need to get society back in order and we're seeing it in our young kids today. Society is out of order, it's amuck and it's got to get changed,” he said.
After his interview with police, Gladden talked with mental health experts -- even showing them his left arm, which he had been cutting himself from time to time before the shooting.
“I don't want to kill myself because I'm sad or depressed,” he told them. “It's because I don't like people. I don't see a point in life, like you're just going to die and there's nothing after that, I think, so what's the point?”
Daniel Borowy's parents say medically, he's doing alright.
Before his sentencing, Gladden read a letter to the Borowy family apologizing for the attack. Borowy's mother said she prays that he meant it.
Gladden's defense attorney had argued, that the case should have been tried in juvenile court, and then after his guilty plea they argued for a lesser sentence.
But Judge Robert Cahill handed down the 35-year sentence, which is just five years under the maximum for attempted murder in Maryland.
Baltimore County prosecutors pushed to keep the case in adult court; and now with the sentencing, Gladden, at 15 years old, will become one of the youngest inmates in Maryland's correction system.
“He's a 15 year old who chose to do an adult act,” prosecutor John Cox said. “He endangered the lives of countless people and significantly one in particular. He needs to be held accounted for.”
“The evidence is overwhelming but we don't penalize people with mental illness and now what we're doing is we're penalizing people with mental illness, and that's the reality of the sentence here today,” said Gladden’s attorney, George Psoras .
The judge referred Gladden to Patuxent Institution in Jessup to begin serving his sentence.
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