If you can think back as far as 1998, you may remember the story of 11-year-old Andrew Golden, who in part shot and killed four students plus a teacher in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
At the time, Andrew and his accomplice — 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson — committed the second deadliest school shooting (along with two others, the first being the University of Texas tower massacre) in recent American history. As of 2018, according to NPR, it remained the worst mass shooting at a U.S. middle school.
Here’s a bit of a recap:
Their ambush was carefully planned. Golden and Johnson stole nine weapons and 2,000 rounds of ammunition from their parents’ and grandparents’ homes, took Johnson’s stepfather’s minivan and the next morning headed to Westside.
After lunch, Golden ran inside and pulled the fire alarm and then ran back to the edge of a field where Johnson was hiding. As the children and teachers spilled out, the two boys began to shoot, using deer rifles, from 100 yards away.
As the students began to fall there was panic and confusion, and one student shouted, “It’s all fake.” One girl was shot and killed trying to drag her wounded friends to safety. English teacher Shannon Wright saw that a student named Emma Pittman was being shot at and stepped in front of her. Wright was herself shot and died later that evening at the hospital.
The student victims: 12 year-olds Paige Herring and Stephanie Johnson; 11-year-olds Brittney Varner and Natalie Brooks.
Both boys were tried as juveniles and were expected to remain in custody until they turned 21; Andrew left prison in 2007, two years after his accomplice’s release.
And on Saturday night — July 27th, 2019 — Andrew Golden’s road came to a permanent end.
Heading north on Missouri’s Highway 167 in a Honda CR-V, he was struck head-on by 59-year-old Daniel Petty’s Chevy Tahoe.
Andrew — who’d changed his name to Drew Grant — died at the scene. The other driver passed away as well.
Though having only led a short life, Andrew impacted many people. For the worse. He left a long-lasting legacy of death and anguish in his wake, doled out before he’d reached his teenage years.
In 2017, victims’ families won a $150 million settlement.
As reported by Memphis’s WREG:
The families’ attorney, Bobby McDaniel, said they probably won’t ever see the money, but hopes the Monday ruling will prevent Golden, also known as Drew Grant, and Johnson from profiting from the shooting.
“If either of them tries to sell their story for a book or a movie deal, or wins the lottery, this judgment means they can’t get rich without paying these families first,” McDaniel said.
Each of the families was awarded $20 million in damages against Johnson, and $10 million in damages against Golden.
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