Andrew Douglas GOLDEN
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Juvenile (11)
- School shooting
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders:
Date of arrest:
Date of birth:
Victims profile: Natalie
Paige Ann Herring,
and a teacher)
Method of murder:
Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA
Released on May 25, 2007
The Westside Middle School massacre was a
school shooting that occurred on March 24, 1998 in Westside Middle
School in unincorporated Craighead County, Arkansas, United States, near
Jonesboro. A total of five people, four female students and a teacher,
were killed. Ten people, nine students and one teacher, were injured.
The perpetrators of the shooting were two students,
13-year-old Mitchell Johnson, and 11-year-old Andrew Golden, who were
shooting in an ambush style from the woods in camouflaged clothes.
Mitchell Scott Johnson (born August 11, 1984)
and Andrew Douglas Golden (born May 25, 1986) were middle school
students who committed the Westside Middle School massacre, killing four
students and one teacher, and wounding ten others.
Mitchell Scott Johnson lived in Jonesboro with his mother,
stepfather, and his brother. His parents divorced when he was seven, and
his mother remarried to Terry Woodward, an inmate at the prison where
she was a guard. Johnson had a good relationship with his stepfather,
and adults who remember him described him as being quiet and respectful.
However, his fellow students at Westside Middle School described him as
being a bully, who talked of wanting to belong to street gangs and smoke
marijuana. He also spoke of "having a lot of killing to do" and holding
a bitter grudge against Shannon Wright, his English teacher. His
classmates also commented that he had a fascination with firearms.
Following the shooting, Johnson's attorney claimed that he had been
sexually abused when he was 6 and 7 years old by a "family member of the
day care where he was placed." One year prior to the shooting, 12-year-old
Mitchell was charged with molesting a 3-year-old girl while visiting
Minnesota with his family. However, the record of the case was expunged
because of Mitchell's age.
Andrew Douglas Golden lived in the Jonesboro area with his
parents. By all acounts, he came from a stable and loving household,
having a good relationship with both his parents, and visiting his
grandparents after school. He was raised to be familiar with guns and
their use at an early age; he was given his first firearm by his father
when he was six years old. Golden's schoolmates described him as a bully,
and faced troublesome behavior. He would often engage fist fights with
other students, and would often use profane language. A classmate once
accused him of killing her cat with a BB gun.
On the night of
March 23, 1998
Golden helped Johnson load his mother's 1991 Dodge Caravan with weapons,
snack foods, and camping supplies.
The next day, Johnson stole his mother's keys and drove to the school
with Golden. Johnson parked the van in the middle of the woods outside
of the backyard of the school, planning to return there once the
massacre was over. Johnson sat on a hill in the backyard of the school,
while Golden went inside and pulled the fire alarm. Golden ran back and
rejoined him at the hill with his weapon. As the students and teachers
filed out of the building, thinking it was a routine fire drill, Johnson
and Golden opened fire on them.
After they fired for four minutes, four students and a teacher were
killed, and ten more were wounded. As the police arrived on the scene,
Johnson and Golden ran into the woods back to the van. However, they
failed to outrun the officers that were pursuing them, and were both
arrested by the police officers.
During the trial, Mitchell hung his head and read a letter of apology
he had written to victims' families. Mitchell said he wasn't targeting
anyone. "We were not going to shoot at anyone in particular," he said.
"I really thought we would scare them. I am sorry. I hope anyone who
listens to these word knows how truly sorry I am."
While in detention awaiting trial, Mitchell wrote a letter that
stated: Hi. My name is Mitchell. My thoughts and prayers are with those
people who were killed, or shot, and their families. I am really sad
inside about everything. My thoughts and prayers are with those kids
that I go to school with. I really want people to know the real Mitchell
someday. Sincerely, Mitchell Johnson."
Due to their age, they were tried as juveniles, and were found guilty
of 5 counts of murder. Following their convictions, Johnson and Golden
were taken by National Guard helicopter to Alexander, Arkansas, the
location of the Youth Services Division's juvenile facility and the
state's most secure juvenile facility.
While incarcerated, Mitchell reunited with Colby Brooks (no relation
to victim Natalie Brooks). The two had been good friends before the
Johnson was released on
August 11, 2005,
on his 21st birthday due to federal gun crimes. Originally he was to
only be held until he turned 18 years old. He spent less than 2 years in
jail for each murder that he committed. He is allowed to buy and own
In interviews with Johnson's mother, she has said that he plans to
leave Jonesboro and become a Baptist minister. However in a deposition
taken for the civil case, he stated that he wanted to become a Seventh
Day Adventist Minister, but hasn't found a Seventh Day Adventist church
that he liked.
Golden was released on
May 25, 2007,
also his 21st birthday. Golden's exact whereabouts were unknown until he
applied for a concealed weapon permit in Arkansas on October 7, 2008,
under the name he now uses, Drew Douglas Grant. His application
was denied by Arkansas state police, who noted that Golden had lied on
the application about his previous residences and claimed it would be
illegal for Golden to own or possess a firearm, though the reason for
this is unclear. The assumed name that Golden was using had been unknown
up until this point due to a gag order, but police were able to tie
Andrew Golden to Grant through fingerprint records during the background
check for the permit
Golden completed his civil case deposition on
May 6, 2008.
2007-2008 legal trouble
January 1, 2007,
Johnson was arrested after a traffic stop in Fayetteville, Arkansas on
misdemeanor charges of carrying a weapon — a loaded 9 mm pistol — and
possession of 21.2 grams of marijuana. Though the van Johnson was riding
in was registered to him, the driver was 22-year-old Justin Trammell.
Trammell and Johnson reportedly met at Alexander Youth Services
Correctional Facility in Alexander, Arkansas, where Trammell was
incarcerated after pleading guilty to the 1999 crossbow murder of his
father, a crime committed when Trammell was 15. The pair are roommates
and provided officers with the same Fayetteville address. Trammel was
cited for careless driving and released. Johnson was arrested for
possession of marijuana and a loaded weapon and later released on a
$1,000 bond. He had a court appearance on
January 26, 2007
at the Washington County, Arkansas courthouse.
Johnson was indicted by a federal grand jury on
October 24, 2007
for possession of a firearm while either using or addicted to a
controlled substance. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western
District of Arkansas reported that Johnson pleaded not guilty and was
released on a $5,000 bond. Johnson's trial began on
January 28, 2008.
After two days of testimony from the prosecution and the defense
witnesses, Johnson was found guilty on a charge of possessing a weapon
while being a drug user.
In February 2008, just days after his conviction, Johnson was
arrested again, this time for possession of marijuana at the convenience
store he worked at and on suspicision of using a stolen credit card.
On September 2008, US District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren sentenced
Mitchell Johnson to four years in prison on the weapon and drug charges.
In his sentencing, the Judge expressed dismay that Johnson had not taken
advantage of the chance he had to go straight. He told him "No matter
your sentence, you still have a life, those killed in 1998 do not". On
October 7, 2008, Johnson plead guilty a felony theft charge and
misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Johnson admitted that he stole a
debit card left by a disabled man at the Bentonville gas station where
he worked and subsequently used it to purchase a meal at a local Burger
King. He also admitted that, at the time he was arrested, he was in
possession of marijuana.
On November 14, 2008, Johnson, now 24 years old, was
sentenced to 12 years in prison for the theft charge and misdemeanor
possession charges. Although Johnson could have faced up to 30 years,
the sentence of 12 years was chosen because Johnson technically had no
criminal record from the Jonesboro shooting.
On January 23, 2009, Johnson was sentenced to six
additional years in prison for an additional charge of theft by
receiving and financial identity fraud for using the stolen card to
purchase a meal from a local Burger King. Circuit Judge William Storey
told Johnson "You continue to run afoul of the law. I am hopeful this is
the last time." This brought Johnson's combined state sentences to 18
Johnson will have to complete his federal sentence of
four years before serving his 18-year state sentence. He will likely
remain incarcerated well into his 30s.
5 slain at school, 2
One teacher, four
students die, 10 are wounded after a false fire alarm lured students out
of the building
Contra Costa Times
March 25, 1998
A 13-year-old boy, who reportedly vowed to kill all
the girls who had broken up with him, and his 11-year-old cousin opened
fire on students outside a middle school here Tuesday, killing four
girls and one teacher and wounding 10 other people, authorities said.
officers said the two boys, dressed in camouflage clothing, apparently
lay in wait in a wooded area near the school after someone, perhaps a
third person, set off a fire alarm, forcing students and faculty members
'A lot of killing to
March 25, 1998
JONESBORO, Ark. A 13-year-old boy warned friends he had a lot of killing
to do after he was jilted by a girl. A day later, police said, he and
his 11-year-old cousin lured classmates out of school with a false fire
alarm, then mowed them down with gunfire.
Four girls and
an English teacher who shielded a student from the attack were killed in
the ambush Tuesday. Eleven others 10 students and a teacher were wounded.
Six people remained hospitalized today, one in critical condition.
5 killed at Arkansas
Students and teachers
were ambushed after false fire alarm
2 classmates caught fleeing area with guns
March 25, 1998
Two boys in camouflage lay in wait in the woods behind their school,
then opened fire with rifles on classmates and teachers when they came
out during a false fire alarm yesterday. Four girls and a teacher were
killed, and 11 people were wounded.
and a 13-year-old boy were caught trying to run away shortly after the
midday ambush at Westside Middle School, police said. A third boy who is
believed to have pulled the fire alarm is being sought.
Boy & his gun
Philadelphia Daily News
March 26, 1998
Doug Golden drove frantically from hospital to hospital, terrified that
his grandson Andrew might have been one of the victims of the carnage at
his middle school. Finally, the cops directed him to the sheriff's
discovered the awful truth. His 11-year-old grandson was one of two boys
charged in the methodical slaughter of four children and a teacher
outside the Westside Middle School on Tuesday.
Arkansas boys showed
a taste for violence
The Boston Globe
March 26, 1998
JONESBORO, Ark. -- Before the bloodletting, Andrew Golden and Mitchell
Johnson were like so many other boys who traipse around these dusty
rural roads in camouflage, waiting for those days when they get free
from school to go deer hunting with their fathers.
But they were
also different, standing out for their trouble-making in school, and,
recently, a fascination with violence.
Choir boy, 'evil'
friends baffled by deadly ambush
One stands out as a troublemaker, a slight kid one neighbor describes as
''evil-acting,'' at age 11 already well-tutored by his dad in shooting
rifles, shotguns and pistols.
The older one
was literally a choir boy who went to church when his parents didn't and
held chairs politely for girls. But recently, he'd donned red clothing
or camouflage outfits, boasted of gang membership and cropped his dark
brown hair boot-camp short. Two weeks ago, he stopped going to church.
random, suspect's grandad says
The Arizona Republic
March 26, 1998
One ''beet red'' and appearing upset, the other
stoic and unflinching, the two boys accused of executing four
classmates and a teacher sat in silence Wednesday as a judge ordered
them detained while authorities decide how to prosecute them.
The boys, clad
in orange jail jumpers, said nothing at the brief hearing and replied
only ''yes'' when asked if their names were Mitchell Johnson, 13, and
Andrew Golden, 11.
Injured pride is said
to be boys' motive
San Jose Mercury News
March 26, 1998
The two boys used to tease 12-year-old Erica Swindle about her glasses.
She thought they were mean.
those same boys, one 11 and one 13, were being held in juvenile
detention at the Craighead County, Ark., jail, facing murder charges
after bullets fired outside a middle school Tuesday killed four girls
and one teacher, wounded 10 other people and plunged this small city
Hero teacher 'saw that
March 26, 1998
JONESBORO, Ark. Unfazed by the bloodbath around her as screaming
schoolchildren fell to the ground in a spray of gunfire, English teacher
Shannon Wright stepped in front of little Emma Pittman and took a bullet
for the sixth-grader.
unharmed, but the shooting rampage cost four little girls and the
Westside Middle School teacher their lives. Emma lived.
Teachers 'nothing but heroes'
One killed, another hurt as
they shielded Arkansas students from hail of gunfire
March 28, 1998
JONESBORO, Ark. -- One teacher
took a bullet for a student and lost her life. Another was wounded
shielding her pupils from the gunfire. A third held a student's hand
until an ambulance came.
Even the volleyball coach made a
makeshift tourniquet out of a flannel shirt to help stem the bleeding
for a boy shot twice in the arm.
There were numerous heroes in
the school yard ambush at Westside Middle School that left five dead and
"We don't think about our
teachers, principals and school board members as heroes, but I was there
and I saw nothing but heroes," said Loyce Lowgill, the high school's
special education teacher.
Teacher Shannon Wright, 32,
threw herself in front of sixth-grader Emma Pittman and was shot twice.
Wright died in surgery. Emma was unharmed.
The other teacher who was shot,
Sara Lynette Thetford, was visited at the hospital Thursday -- where she
was listed in stable condition -- by the mother of one of the children
The mother hugged Thetford's
husband, Carroll, and thanked the social studies teacher for saving her
"How are the kids?" Thetford
asked, according to her son, Greg, who witnessed the exchange.
Two boys who went to the school
are being held on murder and battery charges. Police say Mitchell
Johnson, 13, and Drew Golden, 11, ambushed students and teachers who had
left the school because of a false fire alarm. Drew's grandfather said
Drew admitted pulling the alarm.
Tristian McGowan, Drew's cousin,
said volleyball coach Susie Adams gave him a white flannel shirt to stop
the bleeding from his right arm, which had been hit twice.
Pam Dunivan, the school's arts
and crafts teacher, stayed with him in the ambulance, reassuring him
that he would be all right.
"I think a lot of them,"
The bullet that lodged in
Whitney Irving's abdomen apparently killed her friend, Brittany Varner.
Sixth-grade math teacher Cathy
Holman held Whitney's hand while they waited for an ambulance.
Holman was crying, but stayed
calm. "She said it was going to be OK," Whitney said. Whitney was
treated and released.
Bullets struck the rear cinder
block wall of the gymnasium as panicked students ran screaming back into
the school. Teachers stood in front of them so they would feel safe,
said Debbie Brooks, whose son, Colby, attends Westside.
Kelly Dunivan, a senior at
Westside High School next door, said she could hear her mother on the
two-way radio yelling that there was gunfire.
"Luckily, my mother was able to
step back inside the door, pulling several students with her," she said.
The Rev. Jerry Jolly, a chaplain
for the Arkansas State Police, said he arrived at the school within 20
minutes of the shooting and found the children still screaming in the
He told the students: "The
shooters have been apprehended and your parents are on their way. You're
The news calmed the students. "It
seemed to bring peace," Jolly said.
2 boys ordered held in
The Arizona Republic
March 29, 1998
Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden,, 11, the two boys accused of
shooting to death four classmates and a teacher in Jonesboro, Ark., sit
in silence as a judge ordered them detained while authorities decide how
to prosecute them. Doug Golden, Andrew Golden's grandfather, says his
grandson stole a number of guns from him and that the victims were ''selected
because of their sex or who they were.''
Arkansas boy faces
March 31, 1998
MINNEAPOLIS - The older of two boys held in the Arkansas schoolyard
ambush is accused of molesting a little girl while he visited Minnesota
last summer, according to an aunt and a former neighbor.
Mitchell Johnson's aunt, Linda Koelsch of Spring Valley, told the Saint
Paul Pioneer Press. "He did it."
Boys held in school
shooting are punished for jail pranks
San Jose Mercury News
May 9, 1998
The two boys accused of using a fire alarm to lure classmates and
teachers into a hail of gunfire, killing five, have set off the jail
fire-sprinkler system and gotten into a food fight with other inmates,
The boys, who
are being held in the juvenile wing at the Craighead County jail, were
temporarily denied privileges, such as watching television and making
telephone calls, Sheriff Dale Haas said Thursday.
New jail proposed for
The Buffalo News
August 10, 1998
If two boys are convicted of killing four fellow students and a teacher,
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he's willing to build a jail to hold
them until they are 21.
The boys face a
juvenile hearing Tuesday at which they will be found either innocent or
guilty of being delinquent. If guilty, they can be jailed until age 21
under Arkansas law -- but the state has no facility to hold them past
2 guilty in school
detainment may go to age 21
The Arizona Republic
August 12, 1998
A juvenile court judge on Tuesday found two boys guilty of carrying out
one of the most notorious schoolyard massacres in U.S. history, but all
he could do was sentence them to a juvenile prison, perhaps until they
Judge Ralph W.
Wilson Jr. took only minutes to declare Mitchell Johnson, 14, and Andrew
Golden, 12, delinquent for the ambush killings of four classmates and a
teacher at Westside Middle School near Jonesboro. Nine students and a
teacher also were wounded by the gunfire.
Shootings at Arkansas school
JONESBORO, Ark. -- An 11-year-old
boy accused with his 13-year-old cousin of shooting five people to death
outside a school had been trained in target shooting, a family friend
Four girls and an English
teacher who shielded a student from the attack were killed in the ambush
Tuesday outside Westside Elementary School. Eleven others -- 10 students
and a teacher -- were wounded. Six people remained hospitalized today,
one in critical condition.
Authorities didn't release the
boys' names, but The Jonesboro Sun identified them as Mitchell Johnson,
13, and his 11-year-old cousin Andrew Golden. Detention hearings for the
boys were scheduled for this afternoon.
Authorities continued to search
for answers to how the boys got their weapons and why they attacked.
Police said Mitchell, who had been jilted by a girl and made threats,
and Andrew lured classmates out of school with a false fire alarm, then
mowed them down with gunfire.
Andrew's father, Dennis, is a
leader of a local gun club, the Jonesboro Practical Pistol Shooters.
Both he and his wife are postmasters at towns near here.
Terry Crider, a family friend
and fellow shooting club member, said today that Dennis Golden began
taking his son hunting as a young child and had recently begun training
him in "practical shooting," a handgun competition with moving and
pop-up targets. He said the boy was a pretty good shot, although fairly
"Dennis and Pat both have tried
as hard as any parents to raise their child right, teach him respect for
life, teach him what firearms can do and how to handle them safely,"
Crider said. "So that's one of the things that kind of alarms me.
"They're trying seriously to get
their heads together and figure out what happened themselves," Crider
added. He had talked to the father earlier in the day.
Law officers also were trying to
understand. Authorities said up to 27 shots were fired. Youngsters
scrambled as some of their bloodied classmates fell and cried as they
awaited emergency workers.
"There's no explanation in my
opinion why an 11-year-old or 13-year-old would do something like this,"
Craighead County Sheriff Dale Haas said. "It breaks my heart."
This morning, one big wreath,
two bouquets and a candle were on the sidewalk in front of the school.
Classes were canceled.
Killed were Natalie Brooks,
Paige Ann Herring and Stephanie Johnson, all 12, and Brittany R. Varner,
11. Shannon Wright, 32, died Tuesday night after surgery for wounds to
her chest and abdomen. Students said she stepped in front of a sixth-grader
as the shots rang out. The student was not hurt.
Mrs. Wright, the mother of a
2-1/2-year-old son, was kind and loving, said Lula Belle Jones, the
school's cafeteria manager.
Asked about stepping in front of
the bullet, Ms. Jones said: "She would do that without a doubt."
Under state law, children under
age 14 are charged only in Juvenile Court. They may be held until they
are 21, but usually are turned out of the system by 18 because of a lack
Prosecutor Brent Davis said
today his office would charge the boys with five counts of capital
murder in Juvenile Court. However, state Attorney General Winston Bryant
said earlier that a defendant must be 14 to be eligible for the death
In Little Rock, U.S. Attorney
Paula Casey said her office was looking into whether it could charge the
13-year-old with federal firearms violations, though it was likely the
11-year-old would be off-limits.
Students described Mitchell as a
troubled boy who had recently begun bragging about involvement with a
gang and was upset over a breakup with a girlfriend, who was among the
wounded. Students said he made numerous threats Monday.
"He told us that tomorrow you
will find out if you live or die," seventh-grader Melinda Henson, who
described herself as a good friend of the boy, told the Sun.
"He told me yesterday that all
the people who broke up with him, you know, he's going to come to school
tomorrow and shoot them," said 12-year-old Charles Vanoven, another
seventh-grader. "I thought he was just kidding around."
Charles said the 13-year-old
also pulled a knife on another student Monday, but he was afraid to
report him. Other students said the boy was specifically targeting one
of the girls wounded.
"He said he was definitely going
to shoot Candace because she had broken up with him," sixth-grader Kara
Tate, 11, told the Sun.
Kim Candace Porter, identified
by several students as the former girlfriend, was listed in stable
condition at St. Bernards Regional Medical Center.
The school has 250 students in
sixth and seventh grades. grades. Jonesboro is a university town of
52,000 about 130 miles northeast of Little Rock.
The two boys, wearing camouflage
shirts, pants and hats, were caught near the school with handguns and
rifles. Investigators said the boys were running in the direction of a
white van found about a half-mile away from the school with more guns
and ammunition in it. The van was impounded by police.
Classmate Erica Swindle, 12,
said the younger boy owned a gun and went deer hunting often.
"He'll sit there and say, 'Man,
he's making me so mad I should just take my gun and start blasting him
in the butt for it,"' Erica said. "You know he don't act like he's mad,
but you really don't know about him. He's 11."
Her mother, Lisa Bearden, said
it's simply part of the Southern culture to hunt, but added that youths
aren't learning respect for the weapons.
Arkansas has no law prohibiting
minors from possessing shotguns or rifles, although people younger than
21 are barred from having handguns. Other laws prohibit possessing guns
on public property or for criminal intent.
President Clinton, on a visit to
Uganda, said he was "profoundly sad and ... disturbed" by the shootings
in his home state.
The rampage was at least the
third fatal shooting in a school in the past five months. As in the
Jonesboro case, all the dead were girls. On Dec. 1, a boy opened fire on
a student prayer circle at a high school in West Paducah, Ky., killing
three students and wounding five. Two months earlier, two students were
fatally shot in Pearl, Miss.
Two students also were wounded
in Arkansas in December when a student sniper opened fire in the
southwestern Arkansas town of Stamps.
Golden & Johnson
In a disquieting trend
that is turning rural schools into the postal office of the 90s, on
March 24, 1998, two heavily armed kids dressed in camouflage opened fire
on classmates and teachers in the Westside Middle School in Jonesboro,
Arkansas, killing five and wounding 10.
The snipers -- cousins
Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11 -- lay hiding in the woods
behind their school and started taking students down as they exited
during a fake fire drill.
The kids were caught
heading towards a white van where they had more guns and ammunition.
Giving a psycho-sexual tone to the bloodshed, ten of the wounded -- as
well as the five dead -- were female. Apparently Mitchell was recently
dumped by his girlfriend.
A day before the
massacre, the jilted 13-year-old boy warned friends, "he had a lot of
killing to do." The girlfriend, Kim Candace Porter, was wounded in the
Jonesboro, a small
rural community in Noreastern Arkansas, was been in a state of panic
following the deadly ambush. Hordes of horrified parents rushed the
school looking for their children. From Uganda President Clinton called
the shooting "horrifying." In a written statement he said: "Like all
Americans, Hillary and I are deeply shocked and heartbroken by this
afternoon's horrifying events." Bob Trout, editor of the Jonesboro Star,
said: "It's chaos here. It was a sniper kind of attack. This is the
least likely place in the world where I thought it would happen. This is
a usually quiet community."
"We thought it was just
firecrackers," said one student. "I saw one of my teachers get shot. I
started running towards the gym." Paramedic Charles Jones told reporters:
"We had children lying everywhere. They had all been shot." Authorities
identified the dead students as Natalie Brooks, Paige Ann Herring,
Stephanie Johnson, all 12, and Brittany R. Varner, who was 11. English
teacher Shannon Wright, 32 -- who was pregnant -- died after surgery for
wounds to her chest and abdomen.
When the smoke cleared
the two boys were charged with the massacre. During the arraignment in a
juvenile detention building in Joneboro, Mitchell -- with tears in his
eyes -- held his mother's hand as she cried uncontrollably. Andrew was
much more unemotional and even mustered a smiled. Under state law,
children under age 14 can only be charged in Juvenile Court and can held
in custody until they turn 18.
Friends and neighbors
described "Drew" Golden as evil, demented, "a troublemaker," and "always
threatening people." Although only 11, he was well-tutored by his dad --
the registered representative for a local gun club -- in shooting
rifles, shotguns and pistols. Drew's grandfather, Doug Golden,said that
the boy admitted pulling the fire alarm and that he fired some shots,
but said he couldn't recall anything else.
His older cousin
Mitchell was literally a choirboy who went to church when his parents
didn't and held chairs politely for girls. Recently, he'd donned red
clothing or camouflage outfits and boasted of being a member of a gang
called The Bloods. (Curiously, The Bloods are a known South Central L.A.
gang whose members tend to be black and/or Latino.) The day of the
massacre the kids skipped school, stole a bunch of weapons from Andy's
grandfather's shed, and took Michell's stepfather's van without
"He told me yesterday
that all the people who broke up with him, you know, he's going to come
to school tomorrow and shoot them," said 12-year-old Charles Vanoven,
another seventh-grader. "I thought he was just kidding around." Charles
said Mitchell also had pulled a knife on another student, but he was
afraid to report him. "He told us that tomorrow you will find out if you
live or die," said seventh-grader Melinda Henson, who described herself
as a good friend of Mitchell. As for his younger cousin, a classmate
said: "He'll sit there and say, 'Man, he's making me so mad I should
just take my gun and start blasting him in the butt for it.' You know he
don't act like he's mad, but you really don't know about him. He's 11."
Attempting to explain
the rise of school violence in the nation, Kevin Dwyer, assistant
executive director of the National Assn. of School Psychologists, laid
the blame squarely on the "availability of guns and the misdiagnosis of
depression... It makes me cry. People don't take these kids seriously...
They tell friends they're going to do something. They tell adults wait
until you see what's going to happen. They send a lot of signals."
In another misguided
attempt to blame rap music for society's ills, Debbie Pelley, an English
teacher at the Jonesboro middle school, pointed at the music of Tupac
Shakur and Bone Thugs 'N Harmony as inciting factors in Mitchell
Johnson's shooting rampage. Pelley told a Senate Commerce Science and
Transportation Committee, "Mitchell brought this music to school with
him, listened to it on the bus, tried listening to it in classes, sang
the lyrics over and over at school."
Several U.S. Senators,
in their election year best, expressed concern that label warnings are
failing to tell parents enough information about such music, which they
said sends strong messages of violence and sex. Here at the Archives we
think the government should start putting labels on weapons considering
that regardless how much gansta-rap Mitchell listened to, without his
hunting rifle he would have not killed anyone.
Mitchell Johnson and
March 27, 1999
JONESBORO -- Convicted
Westside Middle School shooter Mitchell Johnson told police moments
after his arrest on March 24, 1998, that Andrew Golden was upset at a
teacher and "was tired of their crap," investigative reports released by
Mitchell, then 13, and
Andrew, then 11, were found delinquent on Aug. 11 of killing four
students and a teacher in an ambush at the middle school. The gunfire
wounded 10 other people.
Craighead County deputy
prosecutor Mike Walden this week released part of the case file, which
for the first time showed a possible motive.
sheriff's Deputy Terry McNatt said in his report that heCraighead County
investigators John Varner and Jon Moore handcuff Mitchell and Andrew
near a county road behind the school moments after the shootings. McNatt
said he heard an officer ask, "Why?"
"The suspect [Mitchell]
said, 'Andrew was mad at a teacher,' " McNatt said. "He went on and
freely stated, 'He was tired of their crap.' "
McNatt said he
remembered Andrew from a Drug Abuse Resistance Education class that
McNatt taught at the school. "The best I can recall, Andrew was a very
good student and never caused myself any problems," McNatt said.
McNatt did not indicate
which teacher Andrew may have been mad at.
Mitchell killed sixth-grade
English teacher Shannon Wright, 32, with a .30-06 rifle, the reports
indicated. Andrew wounded sixth-grade world history teacher Lynette
Thetford, 42, with a .30-caliber carbine.
Andrew was a student in
McNatt said Mitchell
appeared quiet and "nervous" as officers searched him before
transporting him to Craighead County jail.
McNatt said Mitchell
told officers that the shootings were Andrew's idea.
Arkansas State Police
investigator Rick Dickinson said in his report that he also heard an
officer ask "Why?" when the two boys were arrested. Dickinson said he
heard Mitchell reply, "Anger, I guess."
Mitchell later said,
"He [Andrew] asked me if I would help him do it, and I said 'Yes.' " The
released documents contain more than 300 pages and include transcripts
of the March 25, 1998, probable cause hearing and an April 2 hearing to
determine whether the youth adjudication should be open to the public.
They also feature ballistic reports, crime scene diagrams and several
officers' arrest reports.
Circuit-Chancery Judge Ralph Wilson Jr. ordered the reports' release on
Tuesday. Walden said he did not give the media the reports until
Thursday because of a memorial service for the five victims Wednesday in
The documents also
confirm which boy shot which victim. According to ballistic reports,
Andrew shot a .30-caliber semiautomatic carbine. He killed Paige Herring,
12; Natalie Brooks, 11; and Britthney Varner, 11, the report said.
Andrew also wounded
Thetford and student Whitney Irving.
Mitchell killed Wright
and wounded Crystal Barnes, Candace Porter and Ashley Betts with a
.30-06 semiautomatic rifle with a scope, the report said.
A state Crime
Laboratory report indicated that bullet fragments from the body of
Stephanie Johnson, 12, could not be used to determine which rifle fired
the bullet. Basing its findings on the bullet's trajectory, a police
report said Mitchell likely fired the bullet.
The reports did not
show which of the two injured the five other students.
The documents included
information released by police after the shootings and during the
adjudication hearing and revealed that three handguns found on the boys
were taken from beneath a mattress in the home of Doug Golden, Andrew's
The two rifles used in
the shootings and a .44-caliber handgun were taken from a gun rack in
Golden's living room.
Police also itemized
food found in a gray 1991 Dodge Caravan owned by Terry and Gretchen
Woodard, Mitchell's stepfather and mother. Several cans of beans, soup
and fruit, 11 packages of dried beef strips, tuna and crackers, snacks,
and a package of candy were found in a toolbox in the van. The pair
stole the van and drove it to the school.
Gretchen Woodard said
last month that Mitchell told her he intended to drive Andrew to
Ravenden in Lawrence County, drop him off and return the van after the
shootings. Woodard said her son told her that Andrew hoped to camp in
the woods and live off the food.
Mitchell and Andrew
tested negative on urine and blood drug tests, the report said.
Woodard told the
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that five hours before the shootings, Mitchell
told his family a funny story about how an elderly lady grabbed his ear
while he sang at a Jonesboro nursing home.
Mitchell's tale ran
long, and he missed the school bus that morning. He told his mother that
Terry Woodard would drive him to school.
Instead, Mitchell drove
the family's van and picked up classmate Andrew. The two stopped at
three gas stations before one let the boys fill up.
They drove to the home
of Doug Golden, an area technician for the Arkansas Game and Fish
Commission, broke in and stole the weapons and about 3,000 rounds of
Then they headed to the
The two boys are
incarcerated in the Alexander Youth Services Center. They could be
released by their 18th birthdays because the state does not have a
center for youth offenders 18 to 21.
Had they been charged
as adults, they could have been sentenced to terms in the state
Department of Correction.
27 bullets, 15
bodies. When the
fire alarm went off shortly after 12:30 p.m. last Tuesday, teachers and
students at Westside Middle School marched dutifully outside. Four
minutes and 27 bullets later, 15 bodies lay bleeding on the pavement.
Police quickly apprehended Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11,
dressed head to toe in camouflage, carrying 13 loaded firearms.
Earlier that morning, police say,
Johnson had feigned a stomachache to persuade his mother not to send him
to school. When she went to work he told her to leave the keys to the
family van behind, so his stepfather could take it to the shop for
repairs. Then Johnson--several years away from being old enough for a
learner's permit--drove the van over to Golden's house, where his friend
When police recovered the Dodge
minivan that afternoon, it was loaded with backwoods gear: field rations,
sleeping bags, forest netting, and hunting knives. The vehicle also
contained a diaper bag, various dolls, and a stuffed pink bunny rabbit.
The 11-year-old Golden owned a
personal arsenal, including two rifles, a shotgun, and a crossbow. (In
Arkansas, children are not permitted to own handguns, but they are
legally free to possess as many long guns as they wish.) But Golden's
parents were safety conscious: They kept the weapons in a steel vault
and did not give their son the combination. The two boys tried to break
the safe open with a hammer and blowtorch but grew frustrated before
they could force the door. The pair snatched three handguns and some
ammunition that hadn't been locked up, then continued to search for more
They apparently broke into the
basement of Golden's grandfather, where they took three semiautomatic
rifles from a gun rack and an assortment of pistols from various hiding
places throughout the house. Doug Golden, the grandfather, says the
stolen weapons included a 30-.06 deer rifle, a .44-caliber Ruger Magnum
rifle, and a World War II-vintage carbine with two 30-round clips, as
well as 1,000 rounds of ammo.
Remorseful. Doug Golden
says his grandson has confessed much of what happened next: The boys
drove to a gravel road near the school, set up an ambush, and "Drew"
Golden sneaked in to set off the fire alarm. Their quarry flushed out,
the marksmen took aim and started firing. Neither boy has specifically
admitted to targeting classmates: Drew told his grandfather he only
remembers shooting at a car. Scott Johnson, Mitchell's father, a long-haul
trucker who was on the road when he heard the news, did not deny the
elder boy's involvement: "My son was remorseful," he said.
Johnson, described by classmates
as a swaggering bully, and Golden, a gun enthusiast, might each have
been harmless on his own, but together they formed a combustible duo.
Johnson, the elder, was by all accounts the leader. He moved to
Jonesboro with his mother only two years ago, shortly after his parents'
divorce. Friends in his hometown of Spring Valley, Minn., say that after
years of being teased about his weight, Johnson had started to cultivate
a tough, aggressive attitude when he came back to spend summer vacations
with his father. In Arkansas, classmates say Johnson picked on younger
kids, got into fistfights, and even issued death threats. One person on
his list of enemies was sixth-grade teacher Shannon Wright, who would
die while sheltering a student from the hail of bullets. "He would say,
'I'm going to kill her,' " Micah Angel, 10, says. "He said she was mean
and gave him too much work, and was nice to everyone but him."
Johnson's menace was not limited
to schoolmates and teachers. Tim Bonham, a neighbor of Johnson's, told
of past incidents of recklessness: "I had to run him off the property
twice last year," he says. "He had a shotgun and was shooting towards
the house." Bonham said Johnson had a companion, another boy about the
same age, but he couldn't tell who the child was.
What seems to have tipped
Johnson over the line, however, was romantic rejection by an 11-year-old
girl. Candace Porter, who is in stable condition after being wounded in
the attack, told Johnson she didn't want to date him, and the boy took
the rebuff very hard. According to Kara Tate, a sixth grader, "Mitchell
said he was going to shoot Candace, then kill everybody else in the
Family members paint a different
picture of the teen. "Mitchell knew right from wrong," his mother,
Gretchen Woodard, told ABC's 20/20. She said a few days earlier
he had gone with a church group to sing at a nursing home. "He went from
that to a massacre. I don't have no answers. . . . Mitchell will pay for
the rest of his life."
Friends in Jonesboro recall him
singing in the church choir and holding doors open for girls. Perhaps
the contradictions were best captured by a classmate the day of the
shooting: "He was real polite," said Lacey Hawkins, 12, "but yesterday
he said he was going to kill a bunch of people."
Drew Golden, by contrast, looks
less like a bully than like a bully's victim. His grandfather recalls
urging him to stand up to Johnson in the past. Small, slight, appearing
even younger than his 11 years, in custody he seemed lost in an orange
prison jumpsuit many sizes too large. But firearms are a great equalizer:
Golden comes from a family of avid shooters and has been surrounded by
guns his entire life. His father, Dennis, is a cofounder of a local gun
club devoted to "practical pistol shooting," a sport in which
participants fire at mobile or pop-up targets to better approximate
Although Drew competed in target
shooting, it was without great success. A fellow gun club member says,
"He was not very accurate and he wasn't very fast." For the schoolyard
ambush, however, the shooter had help: The rifle's scope had an accuracy
range of 200 yards, and the targets were less than 100 yards away.
The boys behind the
One is 13; the
other 11. raised around guns, they're accused of opening fire on their
schoolmates on an Arkansas afternoon. Why do kids kill ?
They Didn't Go To
School Tuesday morning, not that anyone took any particular notice of
their absence. The day before, 11-year-old Andrew Golden had driven with
his father, Dennis, to his grand-parents' farm in little Bono, Ark., to
pick up his dog, Curly.
Back home Tuesday
morning, sometime after bis parents left for their jobs as postmasters,
he was joined by big 13-year-old friend Mitchell Johnson. Johnson had
his parents' van.
In the back was a
variety of survival gear: a tent and sleeping bag, various tools, a box
full of food and enormous quantities of ammunition. With a hammer and a
propane torch they tried, according to law-enforcement officials and
family members, to break open a gun safe m Golden's home, but failed,
and took three handguns instead.
They drove a few
miles to the farm, broke into the house through a basement door and
emerged with four handguns and three high-powered rifles. Dressed in
camouflage, they headed for a gravel road that led to a little woods
behind their school.
Apart from the
bloodshed itself, what the world found shocking about the ambush at
Westside Middle School last week was how carefully it was planned, the
quantity of weapons assembled by two boys not yet old enough to drive
legally and their cleverness in pulling a fire alarm to empty the school
right into their field of fire. Golden, if convicted, would almost
certainly be the youngest multiple murderer ever. Johnson would be close
So determined were
the suspected shooters, so ruthlessly efficient-scoring 15 hits in less
than a minute, five of them fatal-that it was doubly shocking a day
later when they turned back into frightened little boys, crying in their
cells for their mothers and requesting, under a childish misapprehension
of the meaning of jail, to exchange their chicken dinner for a pizza.
So much innocence,
so much evil, bound up together in what is already one of nature's
greatest enigmas, the adolescent boy.
The killings had
an impenetrable senselessness that hung like a cloud over Jonesboro, a
blue-collar, Bible-belt city of 51,000 in the northeast corner of the
state. If the tornado that briefly touched down there Friday evening had
carried off five lives, no one would have needed, or expected, to find a
deeper meaning in the event. But the specter of death at the hands of
sixth and seventh graders cries out for answers.
The closest anyone
came to an explanation last week-that Johnson was unhappy about a girl
who either refused to go out with him or had broken up with him-explained
nothing; if every 13-year-old reacted this way to rejection, killings
like these would happen every week. Among the busiest people in
Jonesboro last week were the pastors of its hundred or so churches,
working on the sermons that would help their bewildered congregations
make sense of the loss of four young girls and a teacher with a 2-year-old
son at home.
The very busiest
were the law-enforcement officials, forced to admit, after a frantic
search through the lawbooks and consultations with federal prosecutors (who
declined, at this time, to step into the case) that no matter what they
may be convicted of, both boys would be freed no later than their 18th
birthdays-five and seven years off, respectively. (Reached by
NEWSWEEK, Golden's lawyer, Val Price, would not comment, saying, "In
Arkansas, juvenile proceedings are closed." Johnson's lawyer, Bill
Howard, said, "Neither boy has made a statement to the authorities.")
Of course, the
Arkansas lawmakers who set 14 as the minimum age for an adult felony
conviction had no way of anticipating that the 1990s would be marked by
a peculiarly gruesome trend of youngsters massacring their schoolmates.
"A decade ago, the idea of shooting up a schoolyard wouldn't cross
anyone's mind," says James Fox, dean of criminal justice at Northeastern
University. "Now young people have prior examples.
probably couldn't spell Paducah"-the Kentucky city where a 14-year-old
allegedly opened fire on a school prayer group last December, killing
three-"but they'd heard of it." That incident-one of four school
shootings last year, in which a total of nine people died- was also
described as "senseless." (The small number of murders committed by
children under 14 has barely budged in 20 years, Fox points out, but
among older teens it's double the rate it was just a dozen years ago.)
created a vacuum that both experts and people on the street were happy
to fill with theories. Among the root causes of last week's tragedy, it
was confidently asserted, were videogames, violent TV shows and
inadequate male role models.
disseminated photo of a 6-year-old Andrew Golden squinting down the
barrel of a very businesslike-looking pistol gave rise to much derisive
speculation about the rural Southern culture of guns and hunting. (The
New York Daily News, published in a region where the most common use of
handguns is in sticking up grocery stores, ran the picture under a front-page
headline reading BORN TO KILL.)
predictably, rejected the idea that the familiar pastime of shooting
could have contributed to the tragedy. "It's a sport, like fishing,"
said Jonesboro Mayor Hubert Brodell. "[Hunting] is done by husband and
wife, by father and son and daughter. This is family."
It certainly was a
part of Golden's family. Andrew's father was an active member of the
Practical Pistol Shooters club and had introduced the boy to "practical
shooting," a competition to hit moving or pop-up targets. His
grandfather Doug Golden, who works at a fish and game reserve, had
helped introduce Andrew to hunting. He recently built a duck blind for
the boy, who, he said proudly, "killed his first duck this year." To
outsiders unfamiliar with hunting weapons, it may have seemed that
hitting 15 people at 100 yards, using what authorities said appeared to
be only around two dozen rounds, was an extraordinary feat of
But among the
hunting cognoscenti in Arkansas, it wasn't that surprising: with the
powerful scope on- one of the rifles used in the ambush, almost anyone
could have done it.
But nothing about
Andrew's interest in guns would have set him apart in Jonesboro. He had
other interests: Go-Kart racing, baseball, trumpet in the school band.
He enjoyed playing with computers and even sent an e-mail to the White
House. "He wrote that his grandfather was a big fan of the president,"
Doug Golden says proudly. "He got a reply hack from the White House
that one of the surest signs of an incipient sociopath is a child who
likes to tease or torture animals. Andrew was, according to his
grandmother Jackie, exactly the opposite; when he wasn't hunting them,
he was busy saving them. "Birds, squirrels, anything like that he loved,
and wanted to catch and keep and love them."
saw a different side of Golden. "He's just one of those mean-spirited
kids," says a neighbor, Lloyd Brooks, who describes Andrew's walking
around the neighborhood with a hunting knife strapped to his leg. "We
knew the kid was evil, but never that evil."
is understandable: his brother's daughter, 11-year-old Natalie Brooks,
was shot to death on Tuesday, and his own daughter, Jenna, was grazed by
a bullet. Another neighbor, Pearl Grove, describes Golden as "a
perfectly normal kid" from "a typical, happy American family."
One person who
believes she can be objective about Andrew was his science teacher,
Debbie Spencer. She recalls him as a quiet kid whose grades had recently
improved from C's to B's, a kid with "big bright eyes" and a quick grin.
She can still easily picture him sitting at the desk he shared with one
of the girls he liked to tease, Britthney Varner. Varner, shot in the
abdomen, was buried on Saturday.
also grew up with guns in his house, although not in the South; with his
brother, Monte, two years younger, he spent his childhood in Grand
Meadow and nearby Spring Valley, small towns in southeast Minnesota. His
father, Scott, is a truck-driver; his mother, Gretchen, was a guard at
the federal prison medical center in Rochester, Minn.
A former Grand
Meadow police chief, Tom Hinze, described Johnson as a "troubled" child
whose parents occasionally lost track of his whereabouts and called
Hinze to help find him. On one of those occasions, Hinze said, he saw a
.357' pistol on a table in Johnson's house, and warned Gretchen Johnson
that the gun should be secured. "She assured me her kids wouldn't mess
with it," Hinze told Newsweek. Mitchell was 8 or 9 years old at the
time. "When he came to my house to play with my kids, I didn't allow it,"
Hinze said. "When parents come to me on more than one occasion looking
for their kid, I think there's a problem."
There were some
minor scrapes with the law. In 1993, the year the couple separated,
Scott Johnson was fired for stealing meat from the grocery where he
worked. In 1995, Gretchen Johnson, now divorced, moved to Jonesboro to
join Terry Woodard. Woodard, convicted on drug and fire-arms charges,
had been an inmate at Rochester at the same time Gretchen worked there.
They married in 1997.
Minnesota- where Mitchell frequently visited his father and grandparents
after moving south with his mother-paint a picture of a friendly,
boisterous youth who seemed to have changed radically in the last year.
"Our kids are the same age as Mitch and Monte, and they played together
all the time," said Geri Braun, who owns a local bowling alley. "Then
last summer, they said he'd changed.
bragging that he smoked heroin and weed, that he'd joined a gang." A 13-year-old
self-described "best friend" told NEWSWEEK a melodramatic tale of
talking Mitchell out of shooting or hanging himself last summer, after a
girlfriend rejected him. "He went into the bathroom and started crying,"
the friend said. "He told me, 'I just got dumped and I'm going to commit
account-which is either suspiciously or persuasively similar to media
reports that Mitchell was angry over a girl's rejection last week-was
never reported to authorities.
Back in Arkansas,
some of Mitchell's classmates also noticed a change in him. "He'd been
acting strange, making gang signs and stuff," said Colby Brooks, a sixth
grader who knows him. He at various times seemed to claim loyalty to
both the Crips and the Bloods, equally improbable alliances for a white
seventh grader in rural Arkansas. Whether fueled by romantic desperation
or something else, his anger seemed to boil over on Monday. "He said to
me and to Jamie Clevenger, 'I got a lot of killing to do'," said one
said, 'Am I going to get killed?' and he said, 'You'll find out'."
Spencer, the teacher, thinks that Mitchell had a tendency to "exaggerate
... he was full of hot air." She heard no talk of gangs, and tends to
doubt that he was really driven over the edge by lovesickness. "For the
most part, these kids are sheltered and innocent," she says. "They start
kissing in the seventh grade." She wonders if some of the accounts that
surfaced after the shooting might have something to do with the well-known
human desire to see one's name in print, and muses, "Part of me wonders
if students knew more and didn't tell me.
When the fire-alarm
bell sounded at 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, only one person took it as a
sign of trouble-the principal, Karen Curtner, who knew that no fire
drill was scheduled. Listlessly, children and teachers began heading for
the exits and out into the breezy, sunny afternoon.
Later, there would
be much speculation about why only one boy was among the 15 victims.
Police officials said there is no evidence the shooters were targeting
specffic individuals. But Spencer suspects the reason is that most of
the boys were in the gym at that time, which has a different fire exit
from the sixth-grade classroom wing. Golden and Johnson, she adds, would
have known that from their vantage point in the woods, they would have
mostly girls in their sights.
Spencer walked out
behind a music class, got a few feet down the path, then heard the bangs
and in the same instant saw Stephanie Johnson fall to the ground. Then,
chaos: Tristan McGowan, the only boy hit, held up his right arm to her.
"Ms. Spencer, I'm bleeding!" he said. They ran back toward the doors,
which had now locked behind them, and pounded until someone came to open
them from inside.
Spencer found a
girl, Brittney Lambie, shot in the leg and losing blood rapidly; she ran
for a first-aid kit and began fashioning a tourniquet. Just on the other
side of the wall, teacher Shannon Wright, 32, lay bleeding on the ground;
she had pushed a girl down, out of the way of the bullets, and,
shielding the girl's body with her own, taken a bullet in the chest and
Police later found
shell casings in two spots in the trees, roughly 20 feet apart. Johnson,
they believe, was firing a heavy .30-06, a big-game and military rifle
with a five-round clip; Golden apparently used a lighter .30-caliber
carbine. The boys themselves, who had been spotted by workers building a
new wing of the school, were apprehended in the woods-mercifully,
without incident. Johnson's father heard the news on the radio in Texas.
He dropped his
trailer and racedinhis cabtobewithhis son. Mitchell, he told reporters,
"kept saying he was sorry. He was sorry, and he wishes he could take it
back." Golden, who seemed almost insouciant in his court appearance, is
said to be sobbing in his cell and wants to sit on his grandmother's lap
when she visits. And everyone says the same thing in Jonesboro now, the
relatives of the suspects, of the victims, townspeople and teachers.
They're sorry it happened, and it was so very, very senseless.
was a chatty, 11-year old before she died Wednesday from gunshot wounds.
She and victim Brittany Varner, 11, played softball together. But
Natalie planned to try out for the cheerleading squad. The New York
Times reports she liked the things most girls her age like: Hanson, the
Spice Girls and Leonardo DiCaprio. Her funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Friday at Emerson Funeral Home's Memorial Chapel in Jonesboro.
11, was both the smallest and the youngest of the four girls shot dead
Tuesday in their schoolyard. Friends said the cheerful, friendly girl
sometimes lost track of her softball games while talking in the outfield
with her friend Natalie, also killed in the shooting. Varner was shot in
the back. Funeral services will be held Saturday.
Paige Ann Herring,
12, the tallest of the four slain girls, played basketball and
volleyball. Her little sister, who attends the elementary school next
door, would watch her play basketball. Her funeral is scheduled Friday.
By most accounts, 12-year-old
Stephanie Johnson was a shy girl. She had moved into the area
only recently and students said she kept to herself, except when she
feared that she had offended somebody. 'She never did really get mad at
anybody,' said student Erica Swindle. Johnson's funeral is set for
died a hero. Survivors of the deadly shooting spree said the 32-year old
English teacher jumped in front of one of her homeroom students,
sacrificing her life to save that of sixth-grader Emma Pittman. Wright
took two bullets and Emma was unharmed. Wright's husband and son will
remember her at funeral services set for Saturday at noon.