Westside Observes 10th Anniversary of Middle School Shootings Today - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR

Westside Observes 10th Anniversary of Middle School Shootings Today

JONESBORO, AR - It was ten years ago today that four students and a teacher were fatally wounded in an ambush by two other students at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro.

On March 24, 1998, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden pulled a fire alarm inside the school and then opened fire when students and teachers exited.  Johnson was 13 and Golden was 11.

The boys killed English teacher Shannon Wright and students Natalie Brooks, Paige Herring, Stephanie Johnson, and Brittney Varner.  They wounded ten others.

Johnson and Golden were freed from prison when they turned 21.  Johnson is now jailed on unrelated charges in Benton County.  Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann says Golden lives outside of Arkansas.

At the school, there is a memorial garden as well as a privacy fence that shields from view the wooded area where Johnson and Golden did their shooting.

The school building still has patches where bullets damaged a concrete wall at the gym.  A bullet hole remains in a metal gutter.

The school will observe the anniversary with a brief on-campus wreath-laying ceremony in a memorial garden.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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