Family of slain Vallejo student speaks out

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- Police arrested a suspect Friday accused of fatally shooting a high school student.

Max Rusk, 17, was a sophomore at Jesse M. Bethel High School. The shooting took place just off campus.

The family spoke during a news conference, criticizing the Vallejo Unified School District.

Police identified the suspect as Zachary kroll, 19, a Vallejo resident who was arrested early Friday morning.

His history with Max remains a mystery. "All we can say is they were known to each other, but we cannot go into further details what that relationship is," Vallejo Police Department Lt. Kenny Park said.

The killing took place just off the campus of Jesse M. Bethel High School along a canal near Ascot Parkway.

School district superintendent, Ramona Bishop, M.D., was among those who attended Friday's press conference. Max's mother interrupted her to say that her son had asked for a transfer. "I wanted my son out of that school and they would not let me take my son out of that school," Jamie Rusk said.

Bishop defended charges that Jesse M. Bethel High School is unsafe and said she and the rest of the staff view it as a very safe campus.

After police left, the family held a press conference of its own about Max and school safety. "He didn't feel safe there and he told me several times, but he just didn't feel safe," Jamie said.

As to what their son was doing off campus during school hours is unknown, that's on the district, his father implied. "How the hell could they not know where somebody was that close to the school. Why were they not down there asking what he was doing?" James Busch, Sr. said.

There are a lot questions, but not many answers at this time.

On Thursday night, the family called for 14 days of vigils for peace. Their sentiments include the family of suspect Kroll. "I prayed for the family of Zach and I want God to come down with my family and Zach's family and all of our families, the whole city and just bless us and make sure that no more harm comes to any more kids. I'm tired of this," Jamie said.

Anyone with information on the shooting should call police at 707-648-4524.
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