School Employee Shoots Student With Aspergers

By Amber Gristak

A recent photo of Trevor Varinecz

A recent photo of Trevor Varinecz

On the morning of Friday October 16th, 2009, Trevor Varinecz, a student with Aspergers, at Carolina Forest High School in South Carolina, died at Conway Medical Center after being shot multiple times by a school employee.

Varinecz was only 16 years of age and suffered five gunshot wounds, according Horry County Coroner Robert Edge. The shot that hit the student’s chest was the one, which was fatal. Mr. Edge also stated, to News Channel 15, that the teen was actually shot by school’s Resource Officer Marcus Rhodes.

According to local police, the dispute began when Varinecz stabbing the school’s Resource Officer. However, at this time, there is no official report on why the initial stabbing occurred. Regardless, police say that Officer Rhodes shot the student with Aspergers, five-times in response.

Varinecz’s mother, Karen, spoke with News Channel 15 on Saturday. The mother in mourning said, “he was a wonderful boy. We can’t understand what happened… He was not violent- he was never violent. We just don’t know what he was thinking.”

The scene outside of the school

The scene outside of the school

While speaking with reporters, she confirmed that her son had the high-functioning type of autism known as Asperser’s Syndrome. This neurological disorder effects the emotional and social skills of those afflicted by it. Those who fall into this particular type of autism category tend to repeat behaviors. Primarily, they tend to have difficulty connecting on a social level to peers and others.

According to a news report, released on Friday, State Education Department spokesman Jim Foster stated that incident was the first time a school police officer has killed a student on campus in South Carolina. And, let me say that I personally hope it will be the last.

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