Student Gunman Given A Second Chance By The Principal He Shot

Every year in the United States alone, at least 200,000 young delinquents are detained and sentenced to punishments that does not befit there underage status.

Most of these troubled youth get imprisoned in facilities designed to hold hardened adult criminals, robbing them the chance of changing themselves for the better while their minds are still young and moldable. Because they get tried as adults, they cannot get the help that they need.  The real kicker is that most of these convicted young juveniles only commit crimes due to some sort of mental illness. This was especially the case of the 2015 high school shooting that happened in Harrisburg, South Dakota

On the 30th of September, the principal of the newly inaugurated high school received multiple gunshot wounds from 16-year-old Mason Buhl. He allegedly tried to shoot him in the head, but the gun misfired and instead landed two shots at the principal's arm and chest. Both wounds were non-fatal and the young gunman was stopped by the office staff as the principal was taken to a nearby hospital to get his injuries fixed.

Mason was charged for attempted murder, a punishment only applicable to adult offenders. If proven guilty. his sentence would be 25 years in prison amongst other more hardened criminals.

After waiting for two years in a detention cell, Mason admitted to the court that he was guilty of the crime he committed. He stated during his hearing that he intend to show with his actions that he was regretful, and that he was sorry to the community, Lincoln County and to everyone else.

But because of the one person who he would have never thought would forgive him, he was saved from a 25 year prison sentence and instead given a 15 year probation and sent to a mental-health rehabilitation institute. This person was none other than the principal that he had purposefully shot.

Principal Lein strongly believes in rehabilitation over incarceration. When it was found out that his shooter had been diagnosed with a mental illness, he pleaded to the court to give the troubled youth a chance to be treated for his disorder.

"The fact that Mason was put in a detention cell for two years without getting the help he needed seemed like a crime in and of itself." the principal shared with the court.

Mason's attorney was awed by Mr. Lein's kindness and empathy. He states Mr. Lein saw what most people failed to see in Mason Buhl. That he is a troubled child, who has had problems coping with his own inner demons, and needs the love and support of his family and friends. Mr. Lein saved someone from a future filled with despair.

Mr. Lein holds no grudges towards Mason. He even plans on paying him a visit at the rehabilitation center he is currently confined in, to help him through the rehabilitation process. Mr. Lein that forgiveness is the key to saving anyone from a dark and troubled path.

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