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Former Student Charged with Killing Associate Principal in School

December 4, 1993

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (AP) _ Students, parents and others used carnations and the glow of candlelight in a memorial tribute Friday night to the slain administrator at a suburban Milwaukee high school.

Carrying white carnations in their right hands and lit candles in their left, they marched around the outdoor running track before the service for Associate Principal Dale Breitlow.

They snuffed out the candles as they filed into the gymnasium at Wauwatosa West High School, where speakers, often breaking into tears, said they would never forget Breitlow’s caring attitude toward students and colleagues.

The event attracted some 1,400 people.

Breitlow, 46, was shot to death in a hallway at the school Wednesday. A 21- year-old former student was charged with the slaying Friday.

Bail was set at $500,000 for 21-year-old Leonard D. McDowell, who faces a first-degree intentional homicide court in Wednesday’s killing of Dale Breitlow.

At the candlelight memorial service, student Melissa Verrier said Breitlow was fair and while he disciplined students, he also protected them.

″Mr. Breitlow taught me that I am special, even though I did get into some trouble,″ she said.

″I spent more time in his office than he did,″ said Ben Jarvis, a senior who credited Breitlow for convincing him not to drop out of school.

″I’m not graduating for me anymore. I’m doing it for Mr. Breitlow,″ he said.

In front of the school, students had draped three banners with the message: ″Tosa W. Will Always Remember Associate Principal Dale Breitlow. Pray for Peace.″

McDowell, a Wauwatosa graduate with a record of past run-ins with police and Breitlow, was identified by a teacher at the school Friday as the man she saw in the hallway just before the shooting, the criminal complaint said.

It said that McDowell, found hiding in shrubbery in a manhunt of the area, told the arresting officer, ″I am sorry, I apologize.″ He later told investigators he had misplaced his weapon.

According to the complaint, the manager of a restaurant where McDowell worked as a dishwasher quoted McDowell as saying Wednesday morning that he had been drinking Jamaican rum and had a gun in his pocket, and if anyone bothered him he was going to shoot them.

A medical examiner’s report released Friday said that students in classrooms near the hallway reported hearing a confrontation just before the gunfire.

The report said Breitlow turned a corner in the second-floor hallway and saw someone who did not appear to be a student. When Breitlow asked why he was there, three shots rang out.

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