On June 25, 2010, Lothar Schafer thought it would be a good idea to buy a 0.45 carbine with 100 rounds of ammunition for his son Konrad. He even let his son pick out the weapon at a local pawn shop. In his mind, he was enabling his son to protect himself within their home. In reality, before the day was up, that weapon would be used in a shooting rampage that would last for two weeks. Their home of Poinciana, Florida, just 20 miles south of Walt Disney World, would be gripped in fear until Konrad and his friends were caught, too late for Eric Roopnarine, 22, and David Guerrero, 17, who met their fate at the business end of the weapon.
As reported in court, Konrad stole the family vehicle so he and his friends, Victoria Rios, Juan Sebastian Muriel, and David Damus, could commit their crime wave. They shot at people on their porches, at children’s bedroom windows, at other cars, before moving to the murders. Before he was caught, Konrad Schafer was apparently planning on killing police officers for fun. Konrad is currently set for trial in April.
In his defense, Lothar Schafer claimed ignorance at the weapon’s use, and his son’s nightly activities. He claimed to have no idea how his son got the weapon, despite buying it for him. He claimed to have no idea why his son used it to shoot at people, when it has no other practical purpose. For buying the gun for his son, and the role he played which led up to the deaths of two men, he now is under probation, thanks to a plea deal which Circuit Judge Jon B. accepted, agreeing to withhold adjudication. If he serves out his probation and has no further violations, he will not face conviction.
This was a tragedy that was completely avoidable. Guns are not toys. Children, even teenagers, do not have the ability to handle life and death situations which gun ownership brings. That Mr. Schafer bought this gun for his son has cost two people their lives. This was a bad decision, the wrong decision, a tragic decision.