A closer look at Antigo prom shooter's possible bullied past - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

A closer look at Antigo prom shooter's possible bullied past


From the moment 18-year-old Jakob Wagner was identified as the shooter people in the community began talking about his bullied past.

Several people who knew Wagner said he was picked on.

“It also sounds like he never really got past being ostracized when he was younger,” said Carol Wesley, a therapist at the Achieve Center in Wausau.

Wagner's mom said she hoped his death "shines light on bullying and how deeply it affects people."

“It has a huge effect. It's demoralizing. It takes away a person's self confidence,” Wesley said.

Antigo school officials said there was no evidence of bullying going on in the school.

“I think most of the research shows that most suffer in silence because they're afraid of retribution. They also want to fit in. They want these people to like them,” Wesley said.

One student who was friends with Wagner when they were younger said bullying wasn't something they discussed.

“We didn't talk about it because you know you don't really want to bring up that kind of stuff but I would say just from observing everything, he was bullied,” said Will Minish.

This story has the Facebook community sounding off.

"Bullying is one of if not the worst things a person can endure during their school years. Stricter rules and punishments have to be made to help these poor kids,” Wanda commented.

However, it's important to keep in mind that Wagner's reason to open fire at Antigo High School prom remains unknown.

“Everything about him is based on hearsay,” said Wesley. “We don't know anything about his current life today. We know information about his past up to a year ago, but we know nothing about him today. He was distressed about something. The fact that he went back to his high school would highly suggest that it has something to do with that.”

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