CFHS student killed suffered from Autism
Sun, 18 Oct 2009 04:23:53 GMT —
NewsChannel is learning more about the shooting that left a 16-year-old student dead at Carolina Forest High School Friday morning.
Horry County Coroner Robert Edge tells us that Trevor Varinecz was shot five times by School Resource Officer Marcus Rhodes.
One of those gunshot wounds was through the chest and that proved to be fatal.
Police say Varinecz stabbed Officer Rhodes in Rhodes' office at the school Friday morning. The officer responded by shooting Varinecz, who died about an hour later at Conway Medical Center.
Officer Rhodes was treated for stab wounds and released from the hospital around 12:30pm.
NewsChannel 15 did speak with Varinecz's mother, Karen, Saturday.
She told us about her son, saying, "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."
She did confirm that her son suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism that can effect a person's emotional and social skills.
Asperger's Syndrome is often considered a high functioning form of autism.
People with this syndrome have difficulty interacting socially, repeat behaviors, and often are clumsy. Motor milestones may be delayed. The main symptom is severe trouble with social situations.
Karen Varinecz noted how Trevor found it challenging to make friends.
Trevor's former cognitive behavioral therapist described to us how Asperger's Syndrome can effect a school-aged child.
James Garvey, high-functioning Autism specialist, noted how young children and teens "try to interact but it's just that they fail to interact appropriately. By the time -- when they get to middle school where the social demands are really heightened to be socially involved, they fail even more. So, they get picked on, they become victims and scapegoats and bullied."
State Education Department spokesman Jim Foster says Friday's incident was the first time a school police officer has killed a student on campus in South Carolina.