Drew Grant was 11 when he and a friend, Mitchell Johnson, fatally shot four students and a teacher at an Arkansas middle school in 1998. Last weekend, Grant, now 33, died in a car crash.
In recent years, Grant had legally changed his name from Andrew Golden according to KAIT, a television station for North Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. Bill Sadler, a spokesperson for the Arkansas State Police tells TIME that “the trooper investigating the crash is confident that” Drew Grant and Andrew Golden are “one and the same.” Grant was listed as a resident of Essex, Missouri at the time of the crash, according to an accident report.
Grant’s car, a Honda CRV, struck 59-year-old Daniel Petty’s Chevy Tahoe in a head-on collision on Saturday night on Highway 167, about 100 miles away from Little Rock. Both drivers died. Three other people were injured in the crash — a 29-year-old woman, a 59-year-old woman and a girl. Their identities have not been released. An accident summary released by state police did not specify who was responsible for the crash; Sadler says he was not aware of the injuries being life threatening.
Just over two decades ago, and 13 months before the Columbine school shooting, 11-year-old Golden and 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson shocked the state of Arkansas and the U.S. when they became some of the nation’s youngest school shooters. They set off a fire alarm before gunning down five people in Westside Middle School in Jonesboro. They killed four young girls: Paige Herring, Stephanie Johnson, Brittney Varner and Natalie Brooks, and 32-year-old Shannon Wright, a teacher. The victims’ families later received $150 million after filing a lawsuit seeking damages.
Students later claimed that Mitchell had said he was going to target girls who had broken up with him, according to a report from The New York Times. “He had said he was mad at everybody and that he was going to kill them,” 13-year-old Joshua Reynolds said. “Nobody believed him.”
Grant’s death has triggered complicated feelings for the relatives of those killed.
Shannon Wright’s husband, Mitch Wright, released a statement obtained by KAIT that said, “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. Sadness for his wife and son, sadness that that they too will feel the loss that we have felt. To his family, we are so sorry for your loss.”
Both Grant and Johnson were tried as juveniles. In their sentencing, the court remanded them to a state juvenile detention center and ordered them to remain in custody until the age of 21 with their records sealed. Golden was later released in 2007, while Johnson was released in 2005, the Associated Press reported.
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