Violence in Our Schools
August 1, 1989 through July 31, 1990
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.
Jackson County High School, McKee, Kentucky
Monday, September 18, 1989
Dustin Pierce, 17, walked into his second-period history class, fired two shotgun blasts and took his 11 classmates hostage. Dustin, a quiet and bright student, demanded to see his father whom he had not seen since he was 4-years-old. He peacefully surrendered to the police.
Loara High School, Anaheim, California
Thursday, October 5, 1989
15-year-old Cordell "Cory" Robb's father committed suicide. His stepfather, who wanted to move the family to San Mateo, took custody of the young boy. Cory did not want leave southern California. He dropped hints to his friends in the last few weeks that he was planning a violent act to kill his stepfather at school. He told his friends he would take the second-period drama class hostage until his stepfather arrived, at which point he would kill the man. He showed one his neighbors a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol he obtained and even gave some of his personal items to his friends. Around 9:30 this morning, Cory entered classroom 77, where for the past 20 minutes the drama students focused on overacting. He pulled out his pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun and ordered the teacher, Ken Tuttle, to leave. Ken told his students to grab their things and leave, however, Cory pointed one of his guns directly at Ken and said, "I don't think so." Ken then left the room. Many of the students thought Cory was part of the lesson. He sat down on a piano bench, laid out five bullets and unlocked the safety on the shotgun. He made small talk and even offered his captives sips from his can of Coca-Cola. One of the students in the room, Anthony Lopez, also 15, and still believing this to be part of the overacting lesson asked Cory if he could see his gun. Cory said, "No." and pointed his pistol at Anthony and told him to sit down. A few minutes later, after Cory moved to the back of the room, Anthony, and another student went to the front of the classroom where Cory left the shotgun unattended. Anthony said, "If that is a real pistol then why don't you shoot me?" Cory replied, "If you want me to shoot, then I will." The two boys exchanged curse words for about ten minutes before Cory shot Anthony and wounded him in the jaw. Anthony left the room as the girls were going hysterical from the gunfire. Cory's best friend Mike Berault, 14, convinced him to let the girls leave the room. Cory agreed, and the girls left the room. Over the next half hour, Cory talked to his mother and stepfather, and police negotiator Steve Stempniak over the phone to bring the hostage situation to a peaceful end. Steve was able to get Cory to surrender without firing another shot. The police took him into custody at 10:10 in the morning. Cory was sentenced to nine years in prison and released when he was 25-years-old.
Source: The Orange County Register - Armed Boy Holds Class Captive- Anaheim Drama Student Shot in Face Before 'Suicidal' 15-Year-Old Gives Up; The Orange County Register - Shooting Victim Thought it Was an Act
Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School, Dallas, Texas
Tuesday, October 31, 1989
Students and teachers dressed up for the Halloween holiday today. Teacher James Wilson Jr. came as G. I. Joe, complete with a BB gun. Willie Ware and his friends were walking in a crowded hallway this morning when they noticed James in his soldier outfit. For an unknown reason, James raised the gun. When Willie, 14, saw this, he was bothered by the image and turned around to walk away from the scene. The gun went off then, and Willie felt a striking pain in his lower back. He lost feeling in his legs and stumbled backward. James, seeing that he had accidentally injured one of his students, apologized to Willie and took the gun to the nurse's office. The bullet entered Willie's right hip after it went through his heavy coat and two shirts. School officials called Willie's grandmother, who picked him up from school. He was later taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital by his family where he was treated for his wounds. School officials didn't call the police until seven hours later, as school was ending for the day. The BB gun was a pump-style air gun.
Source: Dallas Morning News - Teacher Holding BB Gun Shoots Youth at School
Alfred E. Smith High School, New York City, New York
Monday, November 13, 1989
This afternoon as the students changed classes, two boys were standing by a stairwell at the cafeteria's back door. One of the boys, an unnamed 15-year-old, pulled out a .22-caliber revolver and showed it to his friend, 17-year-old Alexander Stephens. As the boys handled the gun, it went off, and the bullet pierced Alexander's chest. He died while being transported to Lincoln Hospital. Police arrested the 15-year-old and charged him as a juvenile with manslaughter and criminal possession and use of a deadly weapon.
Source: New York Times - Bronx Youth is Shot Dead in School Hall
Workman Junior High School, Arlington, Texas
Wednesday, November 15, 1989
This afternoon when the final bell rang, the student body rushed out the main doors to the school buses and waiting parents as they usually do. A loud bang resonated through the crowd of students. Its source was from a teacher with a bunch of balloons, and one of them popped. Assistant Principal Andy Chambers patrolled the school's crowded parking, keeping the students civil as they waited for the buses. Another loud bang resonated through the crowd of students, but this time, the bang came from a .22-caliber handgun. The students looked around and saw that Andy laid on his back, barely moving. Students gathered around him to see what had happened while a school administrator rushed over to help Andy to his feet. Andy took off his jacket, and a large, expanding red circle was easily spotted. He was moved inside the school and transported to Arlington Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released. A 13-year-old male seventh-grader used his stepfather's gun to shoot Andy in the back, just below his spine. The boy earlier had bragged to friends he was going to shoot a teacher to get attention.
Source: Survivor of Workman Junior High School
Channel Islands High School, Oxnard, California
Wednesday, November 22, 1989
Around 3:00 this afternoon, Arnell Salagubang, 19 and Manuel Rodriguez, 20, were arguing in front of Channel Islands High School. The heated exchange of words turned deadly when Arnell pulled out a small caliber handgun and shot Manuel to death. Arnell fled the scene, but a witness was able to get his license plate number. The witness turned the information over to the police who arrested Arnell the next day. It was later discovered that Arnell is a member of a Filipino gang and Manuel was a member of a rival Latino gang.
Source: Daily News of Los Angeles - Simi Valley: Briefly - Suspect in Slaying Pleads Not Guilty (published 12-8-89)
W. W. Samuell High School, Dallas, Texas
Tuesday, December 5, 1989
Gang violence played a pivotal role in today's act of school violence. Rogelio Cavazos, 18, of the Lowdown Posse gang, was all alone when seven members of the AV Boyz gang approached him in the hallway at 8:20 this morning. (AV stands for Always Violent.) The AV Boyz were planning to jump Rogelio when two other Lowdown Posse gang members, both 16, arrived. The gangs exchanged words until Rogelio pulled a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol from his jacket and pointed it at the AV Boyz. One of Rogelio's friends tried to push his arm down to lower the gun, but it went off. The bullet ricocheted off the floor and into the upper left arm of Reva Mae Kelley, a 50-year-old special education teacher's aide. The Lowdown Posse gang members quickly dispersed as medical attention was given to Reva. She was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital where she was treated for the gunshot wound. Police were able to apprehend the Lowdown Posse gang members, including Rogelio, in the 8600 block of Bruton Road later in the day. Rogelio was charged with two counts of aggravated assault.
Source: Dallas Morning News - Teacher's Aide Shot; Samuell Student Held
University of Montreal École Polytechnique, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Wednesday, December 6, 1989
Just after 5:00 p.m. on this bitterly cold day, Marc Lepine walked through one of the seven lightly controlled entrances. On his belt, he wore a hunting knife and in his hand he carried a bin-liner. He slowly entered Room 230 of the second floor of the yellow-brick building that sprawls across the northern slope of the Mount Royal where students were preparing for finals, which began the next day. In unaccented French, he demanded that "everyone stop everything." Marc lifted a .223 caliber Sturm Ruger semiautomatic rifle from the bin-liner and fired two quick shots into the ceiling. He ordered the women to move to the left side of the room and the men to the right side. Nobody moved as the class laughed at him. He repeated his command with more force, and the students began to move. Once the students were separated, he told the men to leave the room. After the men left, he turned to the nine women and asked if they knew why he was there. "No," replied Nathalie Provost. "I'm here to fight against feminism," said Marc. Nathalie tried to reason with him, saying, "Look, we are just women studying engineering, just students intent on leading a normal life." "You're all a bunch of feminists!" Marc yelled back and opened fire, emptying most of the bullets in the thirty-shot magazine into their bodies. Nathalie was wounded in her lower leg, and a bullet grazed her left eye. Six of her classmates were killed. Marc left the room to stalk the corridors of the second floor, and upon turning a corner, saw a group of people milling around a block of photocopies just 30 meters away. He raised the rifle and opened fire. Three people of the group fell wounded. As calls went out to 911, Marc continued his deadly assault on those inside the school. In the finance department, Maryse Laganiere was hurrying to lock the office door. Marc came stalking up the hallway and a window unfortunately framed Maryse for Marc. He fired twice and killed her when one of the shots shattered her skull. Maryse was recently married and worked in the finance department. Marc then took an escalator down to the ground floor. Witold Widajewicz and his wife Barbara Klueznik were at the cafeteria's cashier when people came running into the kitchen pushing past the couple and slamming shut the door. As Witold lay on the floor with the others trying to figure out what was going on, Barbara felt a bullet enter her lower back. It lacerated her left kidney, pancreas, spleen, diaphragm, liver, heart and left lung, fractured her sixth and seventh ribs and exited from her left breast. The force of the shot contorted her body so that another bullet entered her left breast and made an equally devastating reverse path through her body, exiting her back. Witold was just now registering that they were in the middle of a holdup. "I believe it was only the cashier that was endangered," he said to his wife. Barbara never heard him for the two bullets had taken deadly paths through her body. Marc continued shooting at random at those in the cafeteria. He killed Anne-Marie Edward, another woman and injured a third before continuing his hunt for feminist on to the third floor. Three police units arrived and began to cordon off the building while Marc appeared on the third-floor foyer, where he shot and wounded three more students. Marc entered Room 311 where students were delivering end-of-semester oral presentations. At first, nobody did anything, and then Marc raised his rifle and yelled, "Get out, get out!" He opened fire, wounding Maryse Leclair and sending two professors and the other 25 students scrambling. Marc aimed for the first two rows of students and then swiveled again to target Maud Haviernick and Michéle Richard as they tried to flee. Both were killed. Marc started walking up and down the room's side aisle, firing between the rows of desks. Four more students were hit, including Roger Thiffault, who was wounded, and Annie Turcotte, who died from two gunshot wounds in her chest. The magazine ran out of bullets, and as Marc reloaded the Ruger rifle, two students fled the room. Marc began stomping across the tops of desks, moving toward Maryse. She was moaning and crying for help. Marc jumped next to her, drew his knife and with three blows, silenced Maryse moans, and cries. Marc drew a deep breath and set the knife on the professor's desk, along with the two boxes of cartridges and his baseball cap. He sat down and took off his jacket and wrapped it around the barrel of the gun, put it to the side of his and fired the last shot into his skull, thus ending Canada's worst school shooting. It was not yet 5:30 p.m. In 20 minutes, Marc brought death and mayhem to 41 people. Outside it was drizzling, and the police count raised to seventeen vehicles and nearly thirty officers. As news came in that Marc had committed suicide, at 5:35 p.m., the district commander arrived to take charge of the situation. One minute later, the police entered the building.
THOSE WHO DIED:
Genevieve Bergeron, 21
Helene Colgan, 23
Nathalie Croteau, 23
Barbara Daigneault, 22
Anne-Marie Edward, 21
Maud Haviernick, 29
Barbara Klueznick-Widajewicz, 31
Maryse Laganiere, 25
Maryse Leclair, 23
Anne-Marie Lemay, 27
killer Marc Lepine, 25
Sonia Pelletier, 28
Michéle Richard, 21
Annie St-Arneault, 23
Annie Turcotte, 21
Source: Maclean's Magazine (December 18, 1989) - Montreal Massacre: Railing Against Feminists and a visitor to this site; Wikipedia - École Polytechnique Massacre
Taft High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
Tuesday, February 20, 1990
Honor student Derrick Turnbow followed his classmates outside to watch a fight this afternoon. During the fight, a man opened fired on the students. Derrick was struck by the bullets and rushed to the hospital. It was here that he found out he would be paralyzed for the rest of his life. Several local celebrities and professional sport players came to visit Derrick, even President George Bush. On October 19, 1991, Derrick died from his injuries. Police arrested Edwin Orlando Swan for this shooting.
Source: Columbus Dispatch - Man Faces New Charge in Slaying of Student; Columbus Dispatch - Paralyzed Shooting Victim, Visited by Bush, Dies
Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, Maryland
Sunday, February 25, 1990
Before dawn on Saturday morning (2-24-90), Jason Wesley Knight and Stephen L. Bonner illegally entered their high school through a door that wasn't locked. They made their way to a chemistry laboratory and turned on five natural gas valves. The duo then moved to school's main offices, about 100 feet away, and set fire to files before fleeing. The fire was discovered by maintenance workers who called the fire department. The firefighters were able to put out the fire before enough gas accumulated to create an explosion. Jason, 18, and Stephen, 17, returned to the school late Sunday night to wreck more havoc. The entered through the same door as yesterday, except this time they had to pry it open. The duo made their way to the school's television studio and destroyed three cameras, smashed all the monitor screens, the control panel, the stereo equipment and the editing equipment. Every single piece of audiovisual equipment used by the TV station was destroyed. Even the clocks were torn down and broken on the floor. Jason and Stephen smashed an electronic message board mounted on a wall outside the cafeteria. They entered the library and destroyed the card catalog computers, picked books at random and tore them in pieces. Other books they piled up and set them on fire in the middle of the floor. They also smashed display cases and overturned furniture. The duo didn't stop there as they moved to the first-floor hallway where they left anti-Semitic graffiti and demonic symbols on the walls. Jason and Stephen also wrote a bomb threat on the wall, prompting the school to shut down on Monday as bomb-sniffing dogs searched for the bomb. None were found. The duo spent about six hours in the school. The student body of 1,400 rallied to overcome the vandalism. School officials estimated the damage to be $600,000, but that figure was lowered to $250,000 by insurance adjustors. On March 7, 1990, police arrested Jason and Stephen. Jason was charged with multiple offenses, including attempting to cause an explosion. Stephen was charged with burglary, destruction of property, attempted arson and reckless endangerment. On Monday, October 1, 1990, Jason pleaded guilty to two counts of malicious destruction of property, one count of attempted arson and one count of breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony. Two weeks later, Stephen pleaded guilty to two counts of malicious destruction of property, one count of attempted arson and one count of breaking and entering. On Monday, December 11, 1990, Jason was sentenced to 18 months in the county jail followed by two years supervised probation. Three days later, Stephen was sentenced to a year in jail.
Source: Washington Post - Vandals Ravage School in Rockville; Washington Post - Two Charged in Vandalism at MD. School; Washington Post - Teen Indicted as Adult in Ransacking; Washington Post - 2nd Student Pleads Guilty to Vandalism; Washington Post - MD. School Vandal Gets 18 Months in Jail; Washington Post - 2nd School Vandal Gets a Year in Richard Montgomery Case
General Brock High School, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Monday, February 26, 1990
A bad breakup between a 17-year-old boy and his girlfriend leads to the boy shooting his three of his classmates, including his ex-girlfriend. The unnamed boy used a stolen handgun in this shooting. All three students survive the shooting.
Source: Visitor to this site
Skyline High School, Dallas, Texas
Tuesday, April 3, 1990
Two unnamed boys who attend Skyline High School argued this morning at their apartment complex on John West Road. The boys, one is 16-years-old, and the other is 17-years-old, were separated and went to school. This afternoon, the younger boy was called to the attendance office from his seventh-period class. Once that matter had been settled, he began walking back to his classroom when he came across the older boy in the school's first-floor student center. This is an atrium-like area near cafeteria. The older boy quickly renewed the argument by pulling out a .25-caliber pistol and firing it at his younger opponent. The bullet struck the boy in the side, and the shooter fled the school. The younger boy was treated at Baylor University Medical Center for the wound. At the time of publication of the source news story, police had not caught the shooter.
Source: Dallas Morning News - Gunshot Hurts Student at Skyline High School
Mount Pleasant High School, East San Jose, California
Friday, May 4, 1990
Cang Binh Troung, 17, attends Yerba Buena High School and is of Vietnamese heritage. Yesterday, some of his Vietnamese friends who attended Mount Pleasant were taunted by white students from the school who made anti-Vietnamese slurs against them. Today, Cang went to Mount Pleasant to help them out. A group of Vietnamese students, led by Cang, approached a group of Mount Pleasant students. The Mount Pleasant students overheard them saying, "Is that him?" "Yeah, he's the one." Cang then pulled out a gun and fired four shots at the white students. Unfortunately, Cang's friends misidentified the student and his friends in question, so Cang was actually shooting a students who had no idea what had happened the previous day. One of the bullets slammed into 15-year-old Larry Brown's head and killed him. Another one ricocheted and grazed Treva Scott in the head. Larry is white, and Treva is black. Cang was arrested by the police. He pleaded guilty to assault with a firearm and first-degree murder. Because he is a minor, he was put in the California Youth Authority until he turns 25.
Source: San Jose Mercury News - Group Wants Hate-Crime Charge Against Teen (published June 16, 1992); Survivor of this school attack
Sunrise Elementary School, Fort Worth, Texas
Thursday, May 31, 1990
Fourth graders at Sunrise Elementary were at recess around 10:30 this morning when three teenagers in a car shot at them. The flying bullets struck two of the young students as they were jogging around the playground. The teens, two are 16-years-old, and the third is 15, laughed as they drove away. Elton Lawrence Evans, 10, had a bullet pass through his upper right leg while 9-year-old Crystal Dillon was struck in the right buttock. They were transported to Fort Worth’s Cook Children's Medical Center and expected to recover fully. The teenagers weren't laughing for long as an east side patrol supervisor pulled them over shortly after the shooting. He arrested them and took into police possession a .22-caliber handgun. They were taken to police headquarters for questioning. Two other drive-by shootings had been reported earlier in the day, and the three teens were charged with all three offenses. Two of the unnamed teens, one of the 16-year-olds and the 15-year-old, attended Dunbar High School. The remaining 16-year-old attends classes at Trimble Tech High School. One of the three had taken the gun from his grandmother's belongings. They told police they were "just having fun" as they cut class and drove around most of the morning shooting at cars, garbage bins and other targets. The two 16-year-olds handled the gun, and it was the Trimble Tech student who fired on the students at Sunrise Elementary. The other 16-year-old was driving the car. His father said he couldn't wait to get his son home so he could administer his own punishment: branding him with a number "2" to remind him of the two children's lives that could have been lost.
Source: Dallas Morning News - 2 Pupils in Good Condition After Shooting at Fort Worth School; Dallas Morning News - Teens Say They Were Joy Riding
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