Man who committed school shooting at age 11 dies in car crash

A man who committed a deadly school shooting in Arkansas 21 years ago, when he was just 11 years old, died Saturday night in a car crash. Drew Grant — who was born Andrew Golden and changed his name after the shooting — was 33 and had been out of prison for more than a decade.

Grant and another driver had a head-on collision on a highway south of Cave City, Arkansas, according to an accident report from state police. The crash killed Golden and the other driver, 59-year-old Daniel Petty. Three other people — a 59-year-old woman, a 29-year-old woman and a girl whose age was not given — were injured in the crash.

The accident report lists Grant as a resident of Jackson, Missouri. It does not make clear who was responsible for the crash.

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Grant and and Mitchell Johnson, who was 13 at the time, shot and killed four students and a teacher at Westside Middle School, near Jonesboro, in March 1998 — 13 months before the Columbine High School massacre. Ten other people were wounded. At the time, it was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, behind the University of Texas tower shooting in 1966.

Andrew Golden at the time of his arrest in 1998. AP Photo

Grant and Johnson set off a fire alarm and shot at people as they evacuated the school. They killed Paige Herring and Stephanie Johnson, who were both 12; Brittney Varner and Natalie Brooks, who were both 11; and a teacher, Shannon Wright.

A student told The New York Times that Johnson had told people he was going to shoot girls who broke up with him. “He had said he was mad at everybody and that he was going to kill them. Nobody believed him,” the student said.

Grant and Johnson were tried as juveniles, and ordered to be held in custody until they were 21. Grant was ultimately released in 2007, and Johnson was released in 2005. A judge in 2017 awarded the shooting victims’ families $150 million in damages. 

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