Arkansas School Shooter Andrew Golden Killed in Car Crash 21 Years Later

Andrew Golden, who took part in a shooting at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., Tuesday, March 24, 1998, that left five dead and who since changed his name to Drew Grant, died in a car crash Saturday, 21 years after the shooting, according to police.
Associated Press

A Missouri man who was 11 years old in 1998 when he and his friend shot and killed five people at their Arkansas middle school died in a car crash 21 years later, police said.

Drew Grant, 33, who had his legal name changed from Andrew Golden, died Saturday evening when his 2017 Honda CR-V crashed into a Chevrolet Tahoe on Highway 167, about 100 miles from Little Rock, Arkansas, KAIT reported.

Arkansas State Police said in a summary of the crash that Daniel Petty, 59, of Essex, Missouri, was traveling south on Highway 167 in a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe when the vehicle crossed two northbound lanes and had a head-on collision with the Honda.

Petty also died in the crash. Three others who were injured, including two adults and one child, were taken to local hospitals in Little Rock and Batesville, according to the crash report.

Arkansas state police spokesperson Bill Sadler said law enforcement is assuming that Grant and Golden are “one in the same.”

Golden and his then-friend Mitchell Johnson, who was 13 at the time, set off the fire alarm at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and shot and killed five people as the rest of the school evacuated the building.

Of those killed were students Paige Herring, 12, Stephanie Johnson, 12, Brittney Varner, 11, Natalie Brooks, 11, and teacher Shannon Wright.

In 2017, a Craighead County judge awarded the victims’ families $150 million in damages.

The two were tried as juveniles and were required to remain in custody until they turned 21, according to Arkansas state law at the time. Their court records were also sealed because they were tried as juveniles.

Johnson was released in 2005, and Golden was released in 2007 and moved to Jackson, Missouri.

Mitch and Zane Wright, relatives of the teacher killed in the shooting, had mixed emotions about Golden’s death.

“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. Mostly sadness,” they told KAIT. “To his family, we are so sorry for your loss.”


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