Montana News

Feb 25, 2013 5:12 PM by Jamie Leary

Man who killed Lewistown teacher talks about school shooting

BOZEMAN - The Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy is causing many communities to focus on school security. MTN News reporter Jamie Leary talked with Kristofor Hans, who carried out a school shooting in Lewistown in 1986, and asked him why, and what could be done differently today.

It happened on December 4th, 1986, when then-14 year old Hans shot and killed substitute teacher Henrietta Smith.

Hans recalled, "I remember there was a point where I was walking home and I truly questioned, did any of that happen."

Now, 27 years later, Hans knows many factors contributed to that moment.

Hans said, "I had read a book called 'The Rage' by Stephen King and I thought the same thing would happen to me that happened to the character in the book, which was that he gained respect from his peers."

Mike Smith is the husband of the teacher killed by Hans. While he did not want to be on camera, Smith said that he forgives Hans and says "it's an unfortunate thing that had to happen but the big issue is what can we learn from it."

Hans said, "I think the only way to have stopped me was something in the prevention phase. All the positive role models had failed me. Violence was the only answer."

Hans is serving two 100-year sentences; he is currently a resident at the work and re-entry center at Montana State Prison.

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