Release Date for Westside Shooter at Hand

AUGUST 10, 2005 - Posted at 7:56 a.m. CDT, updated at 4:49 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Seven years after taking part in a Jonesboro schoolyard ambush where four students and a teacher were killed, Mitchell Johnson is to be freed Thursday from a federal prison.

Johnson and Andrew Golden were sentenced under juvenile laws and can only be held until they turn 21, which Johnson is to do on August 11.

Mitchell Wright, whose wife, Shannon, was killed in the attack, said he has tried to explain Johnson's release to his son, who was two years old when his mother died.  Wright says he hopes Johnson moves away from Jonesboro to build a new life.  That's what Johnson's mother says her son plans to do.

On March 24, 1998, Johnson, then 13, and Andrew Golden, then 11, stole high-powered rifles from Golden's grandfather.  They dressed in camoflage and waited in the woods behind the Westside Middle School until the lunch hour, when Golden ran into a hallway to trigger a fire alarm.

As classmates and teachers filed out of the buildings, Johnson and Golden opened fire.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)