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Recruitment of Kids to the Gun Culture

Section Three: School Shootings in America

  • April 20, 1999, Littleton, Colorado

    Eric Harris, age 18, and Dylan Klebold, age 17, open fire in suburban Columbine High School, killing a teacher and 14 students�including themselves�and injuring 28 others. In addition to some 30 home-made bombs found in and around the school, police report that there were two shotguns, a 9mm semi-automatic rifle, and a pistol used in the shooting.

  • June 15, 1998, Richmond, Virginia

    A male teacher and a female volunteer are shot in a hallway by 14-year-old Quinshawn Booker, who was trying to settle an argument with another student at Armstrong High School. The man suffers an injury to the abdomen that was not life threatening; the woman is reportedly grazed. Firearm used: .32 pistol.

  • May 21, 1998, Springfield, Oregon

    Fifteen-year-old freshman Kip Kinkel, expelled the day before for bringing a gun to school, allegedly opens fire in the school cafeteria. Two students are killed. The suspect's parents are later found shot dead in their home. According to Springfield police, all three guns Kinkel used in the shooting came from his home. He owned the rifle himself, and both handguns belonged to his father. Firearms used: .22 Ruger rifle, 9mm Glock pistol, and .22 Ruger pistol.

  • May 19, 1998, Fayetteville, Tennessee

    Three days before his graduation, an 18-year-old honor student, Jacob Lee Davis, allegedly opens fire in a parking lot at Lincoln County High School, killing a classmate who was dating his ex-girlfriend. The firearm used in the shooting belonged to Davis' father. Police report that the gun was stored openly against the bedroom wall when it was taken. Firearm used: .22 Marlin bolt-action rifle with seven-round capacity.

  • April 28, 1998, Pomona, California

    Two teenage boys are shot to death and a third is wounded at Philadelphia Elementary School after classes had ended. The boys went to the school grounds with the intention of two people fighting. Fourteen year-old Joseph Martinez is convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 17 years in prison. The shooting is blamed on rivalry between two groups of youths. Although the gun was never retrieved, police report 9mm casings at the scene.

  • April 24, 1998, Edinboro, Pennsylvania

    A 48- year-old science teacher at James W. Parker Middle School is shot to death in front of students at a graduation dance by 14-year-old student Andrew Wurst. Wurst also wounds two other students; one is shot in the back and another in the foot. Pennsylvania State Police report that the firearm used in the shooting came from Wurst's home and was normally stored unlocked in his father's dresser. Police also report that several weeks before the shooting, Wurst had taken the gun out and fired it. Firearm used: .25 Raven pistol.

  • March 24, 1998, Jonesboro, Arkansas

    Four girls and a teacher are shot to death and 10 others are wounded during a false fire alarm at Westside Middle School when two boys, Mitchell Johnson, age13, and Andrew Golden, age 11, open fire from the woods. Both are convicted in juvenile court of murder and can be held in custody up to age 21. The guns used in the shooting were stolen from the home of Doug Golden, grandfather of Andrew Golden. Doug Golden is a gun collector who owns hundreds of firearms and is also a licensed gun dealer. Police report that there was no forced entry into Doug Golden's gun storage room at the time of the burglary, and it is unclear if the room was locked at the time. Firearms used: .30-06 Remington rifle, Universal .30 carbine, and Ruger .44 magnum rifle.

  • December 1, 1997, West Paducah, Kentucky

    Three students are killed and five others wounded while they take part in a prayer circle in a hallway at Heath High School. Fourteen-year-old student Michael Carneal pleads guilty but mentally ill to murder and is serving life in prison. One of the wounded girls is left paralyzed. Police report that the stolen gun used in the shooting held at least a 10-round magazine. Firearm used: .22 Ruger pistol.

  • October 1, 1997, Pearl, Mississippi

    Sixteen year-old Luke Woodham is accused of killing his mother, then going to Pearl High School and shooting nine students. Two of them die, including the suspect's ex-girlfriend. The student is sentenced to two life sentences plus 144 years in prison, including 25 years in solitary confinement. According to police, the gun involved in the shooting belonged to Woodham's brother and was taken from an unlocked closet prior to the shooting. One other person, a friend of Woodham, awaits trial on accessory charges. Firearm used: Marlin .30-30 lever-action rifle.

  • February 19, 1997, Bethel, Alaska

    Sixteen year-old Evan Ramsey opens fire with a shotgun in a common area at Bethel Regional High School, killing the principal and a student. Two students are wounded. Authorities later accuse two other students of knowing the shootings would take place. Police report that the firearm used in the shooting belonged to Ramsey's foster sibling and was stored openly in the home when it was taken by Ramsey. Evan Ramsey was sentenced to two 99-year terms. Firearm used: Mossberg 12-gauge pump shotgun.

Go to next section: Section Four: Statistics

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All contents � 1999 Violence Policy Center