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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001

Date: May 21, 1998

Location: Thurston High School, Springfield, Oregon

Alleged Shooter: Kip Kinkel

People Killed: Four

People Injured: 25

Firearm(s): Glock 9mm pistol, Ruger .22 rifle, and a Ruger .22 pistol


Kinkel allegedly killed his parents, then drove to his high school in their SUV. He then entered the crowded cafeteria and allegedly opened fire, killing two and wounding 25 others. Kinkel had been suspended from school on May 20th after a loaded .32 pistol was found in his locker. Police found five bombs and 15 inactive explosives at his house. Kinkel, who was known to be fascinated by bombs and guns, also had an "anger management" problem and had been treated by a psychologist.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

The firearms were legal. The Glock and the .22 rifle were purchased for Kinkel by his father. Police believe Kinkel took the .22 pistol from his father.


  1. Jeff Barnard, "US: Parents Knew of Son's Facination With Bombs," Associated Press, 25 May 1998.
  2. Jeff Barnard, "Arms Cache Found in Home of Oregon Teen Shooter," The Bergen Record, 23 May 1998, sec. A, p. 1.
  3. Joseph B. Frazier, "Before Kinkel Killed, His Psychologist Said He Should Not Have Guns," Associated Press, 18 January 2000.
  4. Joshua Hammer, "�Kip is Out of Control,'" Newsweek, 8 June 1998, p. 32. 5. "The Killer at Thurston High," PBS Frontline, 18 January 2000.

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 All contents � 2001 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.