U.S. NEWS

School Shooter Andrew Golden Killed In Car Crash 21 Years After Deadly Attack

Golden, who changed his name to Drew Grant, was 11 when he helped carry out what was then one of the deadliest U.S. school shootings.

A Missouri man who was 11 when he and another boy shot and killed four students and a teacher at their Arkansas middle school in 1998 has died in a car crash, according to Arkansas State Police.

Andrew Golden, who later changed his name to Drew Douglas Grant, was killed Saturday night when his vehicle collided head-on with another vehicle in northeastern Arkansas, local Jonesboro station KAIT reported. A police spokesman confirmed to HuffPost that Golden and Grant are the same person.

Three other people were injured and taken to hospitals, though their conditions were not released by authorities. It’s not clear whether they were in Grant’s vehicle.

Andrew Golden (left) and Mitchell Johnson are seen as students at Jonesboro Westside Middle School. In 1998, they carried out
Andrew Golden (left) and Mitchell Johnson are seen as students at Jonesboro Westside Middle School. In 1998, they carried out a mass shooting at the school that left five people dead.

The 33-year-old had spent nine years in a juvenile prison for carrying out the mass shooting at Jonesboro Westside Middle School with fellow student Mitchell Johnson, who was then 13, on March 24, 1998.

At the time, it was one of the deadliest U.S. school shooting in modern history. The shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School, which left 15 people dead ― including the two gunmen ― took place a year later. Prior to the Westside Middle School shooting, two other school shootings ― the Stockton, California, schoolyard shooting in 1989 and the University of Iowa shooting in 1991 ― each left six dead, including the shooters.

Both Golden and Johnson were tried as juveniles and found guilty of five counts of murder and ordered to be held until they turned 21. After their release, they were referred to as the only two mass school shooters who were alive and walking free.

Both went on to have additional brushes with the law over firearms, however.

In 2008, a little more than a year after his release, Golden was caught applying for a firearm in Arkansas using his since-changed legal name, Drew Douglas Grant. The application was denied after his fingerprints used in a background check revealed his criminal past, which forbade him from owning or possessing a firearm. Arkansas State Police also accused him of lying about his address on his application.

Johnson (center) walks past members of the media during his 2008 trial in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for possession of a fi
Johnson (center) walks past members of the media during his 2008 trial in Fayetteville, Arkansas, for possession of a firearm while either being a user or being addicted to a controlled substance.

Johnson was arrested again in 2007, about two years after he was released, during a traffic stop in Fayetteville for possessing a firearm in the presence of a controlled substance: marijuana. While out on bond in 2008, he was arrested for marijuana possession and on suspicion of using a stolen credit card.

Johnson was eventually sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was released in 2015 into the custody of the U.S. Probation Office for the Southern District of Texas, ABC News reported.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that this was the second deadliest school shooting in modern U.S. history. Two earlier school shootings left six people dead, including the gunmen. 

CONVERSATIONS