A 30-hour manhunt for a custodian accused of killing a fellow custodian at Leestown Middle School ended nearly 600 miles away with a call from a truck stop pay phone.
Brian Allen McGuire, 27, called the Grain Valley Police Department on Wednesday afternoon and said something "to the effect of 'I think I'm wanted,'" said Sgt. Steve Leone of the Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff's office.
Police had been searching for McGuire since the shooting, which occurred shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday inside the school.
McGuire's surrender gave his parents, Janet and William McGuire, a sense of relief — he was not dead, and he surrendered peacefully.
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But it also created a new set of worries about what their son will face when he returns to Lexington.
McGuire faces a murder charge in the death of José Daniel Donato, who died of gunshot wounds Tuesday morning.
Janet and William McGuire had spent Wednesday morning and early afternoon in limbo.
"You don't eat, you don't sleep," Janet McGuire said. "You just wonder if he's alive or dead."
Brian McGuire hadn't talked to his parents since Monday night, when he stopped by their home on Cameron Court visibly shaken after a confrontation with Donato, the McGuires said Wednesday.
Donato and McGuire had a history of conflict but had been able to work through their differences, school officials have said.
William and Janet McGuire say the problems had gone on for months. Brian McGuire told his parents that Donato tried to boss him around even though he wasn't McGuire's supervisor, they said Wednesday.
Brian McGuire asked the school system to transfer him out of Leestown, but the request was denied, Janet McGuire said.
"We told him to go through the school system, and the system failed him," she said.
Fayette County schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said Wednesday that the district was aware that McGuire had talked to Leestown's principal about a transfer. He had also talked to other principals about vacancies, but Deffendall did not say whether he had any leads.
Confrontations between Brian McGuire and Donato peaked Friday, when Donato allegedly displayed a knife to McGuire and asked him if he was afraid, according to Fayette schools Superintendent Stu Silberman.
Donato's wife, Carrie, has said she was not aware of any trouble between her husband and McGuire. She disputed reports that her husband threatened McGuire.
"It was a pocketknife," Carrie Donato said Wednesday. "He was a Christian and not like that, not violent at all. He used the knife at school to scrape gum off of the bottom of desks. It was just a tool for scraping, that's all. It wasn't like it was ever a weapon."
She declined to comment further.
Friends also didn't find Donato to be a violent man. Christy Cromer, a lifelong friend, said she "never had a cruel encounter nor a selfish moment with Danny as he was always willing to give, give, give, not worried about receiving."
"He was the most gentleman-like person I have ever met," Cromer said. "I saw him at church a few weekends ago, and like always, he rose to greet me, complimented me, then either made room for me or requested that he sit next to me for the service. He was a genuinely nice man, and there are not too many of those left in this world."
McGuire reported the confrontation to the Fayette County schools' central office Monday afternoon, Silberman said. The superintendent said McGuire never indicated that he felt threatened.
McGuire told the human resources representative that he was going to the police department to request a restraining order, but there is no record that a police report was completed, Lexington police Lt. Ron Compton said Wednesday.
Monday night, McGuire showed up at his childhood home after his night class at ITT Tech.
McGuire, who his parents said typically keeps his emotions to himself, vented about the alleged knife encounter to his parents, who urged him to rely on the school system to take action.
"It takes a lot to rattle him," Janet McGuire said.
The McGuires spent the next 30 hours before their son's arrest second-guessing the advice they had given him.
"Maybe we should have told him something else," Janet McGuire said. "Maybe we should have told him to just quit ... If he'd given us some clue that he would do something like this, we would have told him to quit."
The couple sat on their quilt-covered couch Wednesday afternoon surrounded by reminders of their son. Toys that belong to Brian McGuire's 3-year-old son litter the floor near the front door. A picture of Brian McGuire cooking is displayed with family wedding photos near the couch.
"What Brian did is totally heinous and wrong," William McGuire said. "Deadly force is never the answer. You work through the system, no matter how flawed it is."
About 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Janet McGuire peered over the caller ID in the unlit living room as her phone rang and a long name she didn't recognize appeared on the display.
William McGuire had barely picked up the receiver when his wife's cell phone buzzed in the kitchen.
Constant phone calls from media, relatives and friends had become the norm for the McGuires.
William McGuire talked on the phone to the person with the long name. It was Lexington police Det. Chris Schoonover.
Tears filled William McGuire's eyes.
"Thank God," he said. He turned to his wife. "He turned himself in."