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Arkansas Boys Aiming at Females, Grandfather Says

Doug Golden, the grandfather of one of the suspects charged with the fatal shootings of four female students and a teacher, and with seriously injuring 10 females at an Arkansas school, said that his grandson probably used the scope on one of the guns to target females. “They were selected because of their sex or who they were. It was not a random shooting where you just shoot out there, because if that had been true, he would have shot as many boys as there were girls,” he said during an ABC interview. Golden also acknowledged that guns taken from his house did match those used in the crime.

According to an Associated Press article, the Arkansas massacre was the third fatal school shooting in the U.S. in five months. Last October, two students were killed in Pearl, Mississippi. In December, a boy shot into a crowd at a high school prayer circle in West Paducah, Kentucky; three students were killed and five were wounded. All of the victims in the shootings were female.

Dr. Sabine Hack, a psychiatrist NYU Child Study Center, commented on the shootings. She said, “Some mental health professionals also suggested that the school shooting, in which girls have been the main victims, reflected a trickling down to younger ages of the sex patterns that lead many men to stalk and kill their ex-wives or girlfriends.”

Andrew Golden, 11, and Mitchell Johnson, 13, have been charged with five counts of murder and 10 counts of battery. They are being held by authorities until an April 29 hearing. Classmates of the boys have stated that Johnson’s girlfriend had recently broken up with him and that Johnson had said “he had a lot of killing to do.” Doug Golden said that a 30.06 rifle, a .44-caliber Magnum with scopes, a WWII .33-caliber carbine, a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver and a .22-caliber Magnum two-barrel Derringer were all missing from his Jonesboro home. The white van that was loaded with guns and ammunition and was found parked a half-mile away from the school had been taken from the Johnson’s home.

Sources:

AP, New York Times - March 25/26, 1998