GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Family members of those students who were shot by Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood are upset with Thursday’s sentencing.
Eastwood was sentenced to the maximum 18 months in prison in Jefferson County court on Thursday, but because he has already spent more time than that in jail he was given credit for time spent.
He did offer a short statement during the sentencing.
“Words can’t express how remorseful I am about my reactions to my mental illness. I’m sorry to all the world around me,” Eastwood said in court.
Eastwood was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting at Deer Creek Middle School.
Eastwood will remain in a state mental health hospital and will get 1 year of parole when — or if — he is deemed ready for release.
Eastwood had faced 15 charges after he brought a gun to the school in February 2010 and shot and injured two students. He was found guilty in October only on an unlawful possession of weapon on school grounds charge.
After shooting eighth graders Reagan Webber and Matt Thieu, teachers tackled Eastwood and held him down until police arrived at the school.
Parents of Webber and Thieu attended Eastwood’s sentencing hearing Thursday morning and read emotional letters about the damage that Eastwood did to their children.
“After the surgery I saw Matt with the neck collar and a tube in his throat… and…” said Thieu’s mother Patricia Nelson as she broke down in court.
“I watched and listened to him describe how he looked Reagan in the eyes and aimed his rifle at her and pulled the trigger,” said Webber’s mother Debra Webber. “All I could think about was a man breaking down the door and shooting us one by one.”
Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey continued to be mystified by the jury’s verdict handed down last month.
“What fact or set of facts do you say that at the moment he pulled that trigger on the gun he did not know the difference between right and wrong. When two hours before he did and two hours after he obviously did in my mind,” said Storey.
Eastwood’s attorney said the verdict is not an easy sentence. She said it is possible that he will spend the rest of his life in a mental health hospital.