Violence in Our Schools

August 1, 1986 through July 31, 1987

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To report a threat of school violence before the instigator has a chance to act on his/her intentions, please contact Speak Up at 1-866-SPEAKUP (that is 1-866-773-2587)

I would like to thank all of the Survivors and others who have contacted me with information about school violence.  I do appreciate the help, for, without their help, several of these occurrences would not be here.

One other thing I would like to ask of those who read over this list of tragedies is this: If you can provide me with any more details of any of these incidents, I would greatly appreciate the information. Or, if you know of another violent act at a school that is not on this list, please forward that information to me as well.  The link to my e-mail is above.

Coastal Training Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana

Monday, September 8, 1986

On New Year's Day 1985, Shamette Allen and Cindy Marie Piccot got into a very heated argument.  It ended when Shamette poured gasoline over Cindy and set her afire.  Shamette was arrested but was not prosecuted due to insufficient evidence.  Cindy was scarred from the burns and sought revenge.  She found it this evening at the Coastal Training Institute, a school that is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Cindy, 21, burst into the crowded classroom, pointed a .38-caliber pistol at Shamette and fired three shots at the 20-year-old woman.  Shamette died from her injuries.  Cindy then turned the gun on herself and committed suicide.  There were about 50 students in the typing class when Cindy entered the room.

Source: Los Angeles Times - Scarred Woman Kills Student She Blamed for Disfigurement

Fairfax High School, Los Angeles, California

Friday, September 12, 1986

Antoine (Tony) Thompson graduated from Fairfax High School in June.  He has dyslexia, a common learning impairment, and is black.  This afternoon, the 18-year-old alumni returned to Fairfax to thank teacher Linda Brooks who had helped him overcome the stigma and to tell her that he had been accepted into the West Los Angeles College.  He had been attending classes there all week and wanted to discuss some of them with her.  Antoine checked in with Principal Warren Steinberg, visited with Linda in her classroom and was on his way to a telephone booth to call home.  As he was walking down the hallway, at about 2:15, a group of students was also present.  An argument broke out in the group of students.  The argument climaxed when one student pulled out a gun and fired a shot.  The bullet struck Antoine, who wasn't involved in the fight, in the back and pierced his heart.  He collapsed to the floor, and a doctor, and a school nurse began CPR.  He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he died.  The West Bureau Community Resources Against Hoodlums (CRASH) unit began looking for two teenagers who are involved in gangs of Los Angeles.  Police arrested two black male students, ages 16 and 17, and arraigned them five days later on murder charges.

Source: Los Angeles Times - Graduate Returns to Campus, Killed; Los Angeles Times - All Student Wanted Was to Say 'Thanks,' and He Dies; Los Angeles Times - Healing the Wounds - Fairfax High Strives to Restore Normalcy After Shooting

Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Saturday, September 13, 1986

Pablo Lopez is a 6-foot-4, 281-pound 21-year-old starting offensive tackle for the Seminoles.  Friday evening he watched Miami Vice with teammates Herb Gainer, Pat Carter, and Gaylon White.  After watching the show, Pablo and Edward Clark, a 20-year-old football player from Miami, got into Edward's car and began driving around the campus.  Edward was driving, and Pablo was sitting in the front passenger's seat.  Also tonight, a dance was being held at Montgomery Gym.  During the dance, someone pulled the fire alarm and all the students exited the gym.  One of those dancers who had to leave the gym was 20-year-old Byron Johnson.  Byron does not attend classes at FSU.  Edward drove his car through the crowd at a high rate of speed, but he didn't hit anyone.  Byron was able to kick the car as it sped past him.  Edward stopped his car and Pablo and Byron exchanged words.  Edward pulled out a pistol and flashed it at Byron before driving off.  Byron then left FSU with Chevelle Bennett, a 21-year-old Tallahassee Community College student.  They went to a friend's apartment where Chevelle thought Byron was changing his clothes, but actually, he was picking up a shotgun.  At 1:30 this morning Pablo and Byron were back at the gym, resuming their argument with other students nearby.  During the argument, Byron retrieved the 12-guage shotgun from Chevelle's vehicle and shot Pablo in the stomach.  George Barber, a campus police officer, was nearby, disarmed Byron and handcuffed him.  Edward then pulled out his pistol and fired it toward Byron and George, but his aim was way off, and nobody was hit.  He then fled the scene but was later caught and charged with aggravated assault and discharging an firearm in a public place.  Pablo was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Regional Medical Center but was pronounced dead on arrival.  Byron admitted to shooting Pablo, even stating that he knew the football player wasn't armed.  He was charged with first-degree murder. Police speculated about charging Chevelle with accessory to murder.

Source: Los Angeles Times - Florida State Tackle is Killed in an Argument

Benicia High School, Benicia, California

Thursday, September 18, 1986

18-year-old Leonard Rubio rode his bicycle to his girlfriend's high school this afternoon and waited for her school day to finish.  Leonard graduated earlier this year and his summertime girlfriend; 15-year-old Heather Dunn is a sophomore.  When school was over, the two met up, and she told him she wanted to break up with him.  They argued quietly for a time and then it all went south.  Leonard pulled out a .38-caliber pistol from his jacket and shot Heather in the chest at point-blank range.  She fell to the ground, and several of her classmates saw her fall.  Leonard cradled her in his arms and cried as she died.  He was arrested and charged with murder the following Monday.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle - Girl Slain in Love Quarrel at School; Los Angeles Times - Ex-boyfriend Held in Slaying of Student; San Francisco Chronicle - Not Guilty Plea in Benicia School Death

Monrovia High School, Monrovia, California

Friday, October 3, 1986

This evening Monrovia High hosted Pasadena High in a game of football.  Rival gang members from Pasadena's Devil's Lane Bloods and Monrovia's Du-Rock Crips attend the game, wearing their gang colors.  Police warned them before the game that violence would not be tolerated.   That warning was disregarded six minutes into the third quarter when the gang members began fighting.  The melee took place at a concession stand behind the stands.  Three school security guards broke up the fight, but that wasn't the end of it.  Two of the gang members fired their guns at the ground.  The bullets ricocheted and injured two innocent bystanders.  14-year-old Miriam Foreman was shot in the hip, and an unnamed 25-year-old man was shot in the leg.  Six others were wounded in the stampede that followed.  Miriam and the man were taken to an Arcadia hospital where they were treated and released.  Police arrested 19-year-old Douglas Hooper outside the stadium and booked him on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.  Douglas had thrown his .22-caliber revolver into some bushes, but police were able to retrieve the weapon.   Police also arrested 18-year-old Duv Cornelius Cooper as he ran from the scene.  On Tuesday, October 7, 1986, police arrested a 17-year-old boy on charges of suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.  He was released to the custody of his parents.  Pasadena was leading Monrovia 13-6 when the shooting started and halted the game around 9 p.m.

Source: Los Angeles Times - Gunfire at Football Game Wounds 2; Fans Stampede; Los Angeles Times - High School's Image Hurt by Shooting

South Oak Cliff High School, Dallas, Texas

Wednesday, October 8, 1986

With classes done for the day, students loaded up on school buses and waited for them to take them home.  About 50 students were on one of the buses when a heated exchange of words began between two boys in the back of the bus.  One of them was a 16-year-old sophomore named Cody Cobbins.  The other was an unnamed 17-year-old boy.  The two boys began to argue at 4:00 over one of the bus seats. Before either boy could throw a punch at the other, the driver of the bus intervened and sent Cody to the front of the bus.  As Cody made his way up the aisle, the older brother of his opponent, 19-year-old Kenneth Lee Jackson, pulled out a .22-caliber pistol and shot him in the lower back.  Cody was transported to Methodist Medical Center where he was pronounced dead an hour later.  In the confusion after the shooting, the shooter was able to get off the bus and flee the scene.   The student witnesses were kept on the bus for 30 minutes before being transferred to another bus and taken home.  Later in the day Kenneth, a freshman at the school, turned himself into juvenile authorities.  He was later convicted of murder.

Source: Dallas Morning News - Student Shot to Death in Argument on Bus; Dallas Morning News - School Violence Up, Officials Say

Valley High School, La Puente, California

Thursday, October 30, 1986

Principal Ward Nickles tried to talk one of his male students out of committing suicide in the school's parking lot today.  He was talking with the boy when he raised his semiautomatic pistol to his head and fired a shot.  Fortunately, the boy was only wounded.  He was rushed to a West Covina hospital and listed in critical condition.

Source: Los Angeles Times - Teen Critical After Suicide Try at School

Several High Schools in Los Angeles, California,

Monday, November 10, 1986

Students had the day off today for Veterans Day, even though it is tomorrow.  With the day off, the China Club, a group high school and college students from across the country, held a picnic at Laguna Niguel Regional Park.  There were about 100 students in attendance.  During the picnic, students observed a gun in the hands of a man around 2:30 p.m.   They began to flee the area when the gunman opened fire.  A 15-year-old boy from Santa Ana was shot in the back of his right leg, near the calf.  He was treated at Mission Community Hospital in Mission Viejo.  A 20-year-old man had a superficial wound to his buttocks.  He took himself to the hospital for treatment.  The gunman fled the scene and police began looking for him.  For statistical purposes, I am only counting this as one high school since only one student was injured.

Source: Los Angeles Times - Students Flee Picnic in Panic as Youth is Shot; Los Angeles Times - Another Person Was Hit by Shots at Picnic

High Point High School, Beltsville, Maryland

Wednesday, November 12, 1986

Michael Andre Brown, 18, and an unnamed 15-year-old male student were fighting this afternoon.  The fight climaxed when Michael stabbed his opponent in the arm with a knife.  The unnamed boy was treated at Washington Adventist Hospital.  Michael was arrested on Friday and charged with assault with intent to maim. 

Source: Washington Post - Youth Held in Stabbing

Birzeit University, Birzeit, West Bank, Israel

Thursday, December 4, 1986

400 student demonstrators held a sit-in at Birzeit University today.  They were protesting against the Israeli Army roadblocks posted outside the campus for the fourth time in a week.  The students blocked traffic for 30 minutes.  The Israeli Army mustered to disperse the crowd.  When the students began throwing stones at the soldiers, they responded by firing their guns into the air, and then at the student's feet.  The soldiers then used teargas to try and disperse the crowd.  Finally, they opened fired on the students, killing two students and wounding 20 others.  One demonstrator, a professor, was arrested for inciting the violence.  Jawad Abu Salmieh and Mustafa Attari were killed by the soldiers, with Jawad being shot in the head and chest.  Birzeit University is 12.5 miles north of Jerusalem and 4.5 miles north of Ramallah. The campus, established in 1924, is approximately 200 acres situated upon a hilltop that provides a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.  

Source: Los Angeles Times - Israelis Kill 2 Palestinians at Protest - Soldiers Wound Several Students in Clash at University

Fergus High School, Lewistown, Montana

Thursday, December 4, 1986

14-year-old Kristofor Hans was extremely angry that French teacher LaVonne Simonfy gave him an F.  He told several of his friends that he was going to kill her.  Today, the freshman arrived at school with a gun planning to execute his plan.  He knocked on the classroom door and 40-year-old substitute teacher Henrietta Smith answered it.  Kristofor killed her with a gunshot wound to her face.  As to when, of even if, he realized he shot the wrong teacher, the news story doesn't say.  He turned to leave, and as he walked down the hallway, he encountered Vice Principal John Moffatt, who was responding to the sound of gunfire in the school.  Kristofor shot John in the abdomen.  Two students were also injured, albeit slightly, from ricocheting bullets.  The instigator ran over a mile to his home where police surrounded him.  They called his parents inside, and Kristofor surrendered to them.  His parents handed him over to the police.  John was taken to Central Montana Hospital for treatment. Kristofor was arrested and charged with being a delinquent for reasons of deliberate homicide and attempted deliberate homicide.  Lewistown is midway between Billings and Great Falls.

Source: Dallas Morning News - School Shooting Probed; Los Angeles Times - Student, 14, Slays Teacher; Three Shot at School

Orme School, A Private Secondary School, Mayer, Arizona

Friday, February 13, 1987

This evening, 17-year-old Jarrett Huskey was found drinking beer.  He knew he would be seriously disciplined by his father and suspended from school for a week.  Not wanting that, he decided to make matters worse.  He went to the home of the school's shooting range supervisor, Richard Kinney, and told him he had forgotten to unload a .45-caliber pistol earlier in the day.  Richard handed over the gun to Jarrett.  At about 8:30 this evening, Jarrett rang the doorbell to the school's director of admissions and marketing, Jack Thayer, 40.  Jack lives on campus in a bungalow.  When Jack answered the door, Jarrett put the pistol to his stomach and fired twice.  Jarrett then ran through the campus, firing shots into the air for about 15 minutes before heading toward a barn.  He pulled out a shotgun and fired off several shots.  The shotgun pellets struck Gary Winfield, a 43-year-old computer teacher, and Laurie Smith, 25, another teacher.  The sheriff's department was called, and deputies responded promptly.  When they confronted Jarrett, he fired one more shot from the shotgun.  The deputies returned fire and killed him.  Jack was taken to a Phoenix hospital, 75 miles to the south, in critical condition.  He had lost a kidney but was expected to survive.  Gary received treatment at a hospital in Prescott for his injuries.  Police do not know where Jarrett obtained the shotgun.

Source: Los Angeles Times - Student Killed at Private School After Shooting 3

DeKalb High School, DeKalb, Missouri

Monday, March 2, 1987

12-year-old Nathan D. Faris was routinely teased about being chubby and a walking dictionary.  He vowed on Friday to bring a gun to school on Monday to put an end to the ridicule.  His classmates didn't believe him. On Monday, he fulfilled his promise, and just after the tardy bell to his history class; he pulled a .45-caliber pistol from his duffle bag. His classmates still taunted him for bringing a toy gun to school.  He killed classmate Timothy Perrin.  Nathan then turned the pistol to himself and committed suicide.

Mr. Walton was standing outside the door chatting with the teacher from the next room and greeting his students as they came into his room. When it started, he came into focus from my left and yelled, “Gayle get the f*** into the green room!”  I then snapped out of it and ran into the small equipment closest with him and about 30 others. We spent the next moments in total terror as it is the not knowing that really kills you as you could hear the kids screaming in fear still coming from the hall way. The next thing I knew was a cop finding us. The time was after 6pm we had spent the entire day in the equipment closet. No one was really talking we were all in shock. They let us go and I walked home alone. It was not done back then like you see now, parents did not gather at the school anxiously waiting for their child to come out of the building. What I wish is for all those that have gone through a tragedy such as this to not make the actual incident the defining moment.  Life is not that which we have gone through as much as it is about giving of yourself to help others out. That is what I have learned through my experience.


killer Nathan Faris, 12

Timothy Perrin, 13

Source: A Survivor of DeKalb High School

Panorama Elementary School, Orange, California

Monday, March 30, 1987

44-year-old Mary Jo Jansen walked into a fifth-grade classroom and told the 28 students that no one loved her.  She then pulled out a handgun and shot herself to death.

Source: The Orange County Register - Armed Boy Holds Class Captive - Anaheim Drama Student Shot in Face Before 'Suicidal" 15-Year-Old Gives Up (published October 6, 1989)

Grant High School, Portland, Oregon

Thursday, April 30, 1987

Today, sophomore Jerry B. Sandles shot and killed Gilbert Myles for an undisclosed reason.  Gilbert was not a student at Grant High, and there were "undercurrents" of gang activity in his murder.  Jerry was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Source: The Oregonian - Schools Chief Unveils Tough Steps to Curb Gangs (published 2-5-88)

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