Scenes From a Shooting

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JONESBORO: There are dozens of reporters who are trying to piece together the horrific events at Westside Middle School -- and 250 children who will never forget. Some of the latest details:

  • Sixth-grader Sherri VanHorn told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that Mitchell Johnson, the 13-year-old suspect, had gotten into trouble at the school the day before the shooting -- for pulling a knife and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and a teacher.

  • According to his stepfather, Mitchell faked a stomach ache on the day of the shooting. Andrew Golden turned up as usual, say classmates -- but after asking permission to go to the bathroom, he pulled a hallway fire alarm and sprinted out to join his cousin Mitchell in the woods.

  • Andrew had learned to "handle a gun before he could walk," according to an interview with his grandfather in, of all places, the London Daily Mirror. "Last year he killed his first duck," Doug Golden told the British tabloid. "He was very proud. Next season he was going to try deer." When his grandson allegedly moved on to human targets, Doug was mystified -- and insisted that Mitchell was the brains of the operation.
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