The former Central High School student who fatally shot himself outside the school on Tuesday had three handguns and dozens of rounds of ammunition, according to reports compiled by Evansville police investigators. School officials said Roman Kellough, 15, withdrew from the school near the end of the fall semester before committing suicide outside the school on the day students returned from winter break. According to some of Kellough’s family and classmates, the teen’s withdrawal and subsequent suicide is tied to ‘crippling’ bullying.
According to a police incident report, officers discovered two nine millimeter handguns, a .38 caliber handgun, two magazines and dozens of rounds of ammunition at the scene Tuesday.
According to an Evansville Police Department report, officers discovered two 9 mm handguns and a .38-caliber handgun along with 46 9-mm bullets, two magazines and 13 38-caliber bullets, a backpack, cell phone and wallet. Police are still treating the case as an ‘active investigation’ as detectives still try to determine how Kellough managed to obtain the weapons and ammunition, according to Sgt. Jason Cullum. Detectives have also interviewed some of Kellough’s friends and classmates in addition to his family members, Cullum said.
According to a GoFundMe page posted by a woman who identifies herself as Kellough’s aunt, the teen was bullied.
“Roman Matthew Kellough left this world due to the senseless crippling effect of high school bullying,” Chasidy Todd said. “Our family is completely devastated.”
Central High School junior Cameron Awtry, who is good friends with Kellough’s older sister, described the mood at the school on Tuesday as beyond somber.
“It just felt like school was a big funeral. It was a big funeral here at the bear den,” Awtry said.
Awtry decided to put his emotions into music, putting together an anti-bullying rap and posting a vide of him performing it on Facebook. As of early Thursday evening, the video has been liked more than one thousand times and has been viewed by tens of thousands of people.
“My sister has been bullied. With Roman [committing suicide] and me seeing the crime scene going into school, it made me really want to use my voice to make a change and try to get the word out that bullying needs to stop,” Awtry said. “I think people are relating to it because they know people going through bullying. They may have been bullying. They’re feeling it because they have the same input too and they don’t like it either.”
Matt Hart of the organization ‘React to Bullying’ has made 90 anti-bullying presentations at area schools so far this school year. He frequently speaks at EVSC schools. Hart said bullying, especially cyber bullying, is far worse than what some people may think.
“Studies show that one in three students — and that’s a large swath all the way from kindergartners to seniors in high school — will experience bullying in just this school year. To say that it is a big problem I think is underselling it,” Hart said. “I don’t think it could be overstated that we all deal with at some point. If we can, let’s get out there and do something about it.
Hart said some of the obvious signs of bullying include: ripped or torn clothing, missing items, eating and sleeping patterns thrown off and withdrawn behavior. For parents concerned that their child is being bullied, try to find ‘natural ways’ to bring up the issue in conversation, Hart said.
“Experts say that if someone does talk to you about being bullied, one of the first things that someone being bullied needs to hear is that they’re not the cause of this,” Hart said.