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Freed School Shooter Killed in Car Crash

Andrew Golden was 11 when he took part in shooting that killed 5
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2019 4:30 AM CDT
Updated Jul 29, 2019 6:34 AM CDT
In this April 27, 2000 photo, convicted Westside Middle School shooter Andrew Golden, 13, is escorted from a back door of the Craighead County Courthouse in Jonesboro, Ark.   (Rodney Freeman/The Jonesboro Sun via AP, File)

(Newser) – One of the youngest people convicted of murder in American history has been killed in a car crash, 21 years after he and another student killed four students and a teacher at a middle school in Arkansas. Police say 33-year-old Drew Grant was killed in a crash Saturday evening in Independence County, Missouri, after a Chevrolet Tahoe crossed into his lane on a highway and hit his Honda CRV head-on, KAIT8 reports. Grant—who legally changed his name from Andrew Golden—was just 11 years old when he and 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson carried out the shooting at Jonesboro Westside Middle School on March 24, 1998. He pulled a fire alarm after lunch then ran to a nearby field, where he and Johnson opened fire on teachers and students with weapons they had stolen from their parents' homes. Two 11-year-old girls, two 12-year-old girls, and a teacher were killed.

After what was at the time the second-deadliest school shooting in US history, the boys were given the maximum sentence possible under state law and were incarcerated until their 21st birthdays. In 2008, less than a year after his release, Grant was caught applying for a concealed carry handgun permit under his new name, the Huffington Post reports. The permit was denied. Two other adults and a child were injured in Saturday's crash. "The news of Andrew Golden's death today fills our family with mixed emotions as I'm sure it does with the other families and students of the Westside shooting," said Mitch and Zane Wright, husband and son of slain teacher Shannon Wright. "Mostly sadness. Sadness for his wife and son, sadness that that they too will feel the loss that we have felt." (Read more Arkansas stories.)

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