People, Places & Events
Kinne Takes Stand, Recounts Being Shot
Robertson Didn't Say a Word, Just Opened Fire
By Dan Eakin
Monitor Staff Writer
CANTON-Former Canton Athletic Director Gary Joe Kinne Jr. took the witness stand Thursday afternoon to relate his memory of being shot by Jeff Robertson.
Robertson is being tried for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a public servant, in connection with a shooting April 7, 2005.
District Attorney Leslie Poynter Dixon questioned Kinne, who is now an assistant coach at Baylor University, for more than an hour.
Although disoriented, dazed and part of the time thinking he was dreaming, Kinne was able to corroborate much of the earlier testimony to what happened that morning.
An athletics class concluded minutes earlier. Kinne was in his office doing some paperwork when Mike Overton, with whom he had coached in Mesquite, called him, he said.
He was on the phone when heard someone at the door.
"I have a parent here. I'm going to put you on hold and see what he wants," he told Overton.
At first, he said he saw Robertson, and then Robertson walked away, returning immediately.
He leaned casually against the wall in the doorway, Kinne said.
" 'Just a second, Jeff'. I said." Then, "Hey, what's going on," Kinne said to Robertson.
Robertson did not respond, Kinne told the court.
Instead, he pulled out a handgun and shot Kinne, in the lower chest or upper abdomen, Kinne testified.
Kinne said the blast from the handgun knocked him back against the wall.
He was able to keep standing for a moment, then lost his balance and fell, he said, and remembered yelling, "Why did you do this?"
But there was no response. Robertson had left.
"What did you see in his face?", Dixon asked.
Kinne: "Kinda lifeless. Sort of evil."
Dixon: "Do you remember what kind of gun it was?"
Kinne: "A big gun."
Dixon: "Did he say anything?"
Kinne: "No. He kinda smirked."
"At first I thought it was a pellet gun. Then I thought I was dreaming. I got up and went back into my office. I knew I had been shot and needed help," Kinne said, so he got back on the phone to Overton.
"I told him, 'I've been shot. Call 911'."
He also got on the intercom and called the school secretary, Jana Casey.
Kinne testified that he didn't think he was bleeding very much at first. Dixon showed him a picture of the blood in his office and he replied, "That looks like a lot."
"I was disoriented, maybe from the noise," Kinne said. "You can't imagine how loud that gun was."
He said he briefly sat back in his chair behind his desk in his office.
"I was sitting there, praying," he said, adding he then got up and locked the door to the field house.
"Why?" Dixon asked.
"I was afraid he would come back."
Do you remember seeing Jason Vansyckle while you were laying there?"
"No, I don't remember."
He recognized the voice of high school principal Max Callahan, who was knocking on the door, he said and got up and opened the door, then collapsed.
He also remembered Truman Oakley, the assistant superintendent, being there.
Dixon: "What was he saying to you?"
Kinne: "He was praying in my ear. I told him I didn't want to die."
And Kinne began to tear up.
He said a police officer came and asked him who did this.
"I told him, Jeff Robertson. Then they brought a stretcher in. That's when it really started hurting."
"I remember seeing my wife and my son," Kinne said. "I told my wife I loved her and to take care of the kids. I told my son, 'I'm fine. Don't worry about me'."
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