|Thurston High School shooting|
|Location||Springfield, Oregon, U.S.|
|Date||May 21, 1998 |
7:55 a.m. (PST)
|Target||Kinkel's parents, students and staff at Thurston High School|
|Spree shooting, school shooting, matricide, patricide|
|Deaths||4 total (two at school; two at perpetrator's home)|
The Thurston High School shooting took place on May 21, 1998. Expelled student Kipland Kinkel first murdered his parents before engaging in a school shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon that left two students dead and 25 others wounded.Kinkel is currently serving a 111-year prison sentence.
On May 20, 1998, 15-year-old Kinkel was suspended pending an expulsion hearing from Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, for being in possession of a loaded, stolen handgun. A friend of Kinkel had stolen a pistol from the father of one of his friends and arranged to sell the weapon to Kinkel the night before. Kinkel paid $110 for the Beretta Model 90 .32-caliber pistol loaded with a nine-round magazine, which he then placed in a paper bag and left in his locker. When the father discovered he was missing a handgun, he reported it to the police and supplied the names of students he believed might have stolen the firearm. Kinkel's name was not on the list. The school became aware of his possible involvement and questioned him. When he was checked for weapons, he reportedly stated: "Look, I'm gonna be square with you guys; the gun's in my locker." Kinkel was suspended pending an expulsion hearing, and he and his friend were arrested. Kinkel was released from police custody and driven home by his father.
At home that afternoon, Kinkel was told by his father that he would be sent to military school if he did not improve his behavior. p.m., his father was seated at the kitchen counter drinking coffee. Kinkel retrieved his Ruger .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle from his bedroom and ammunition from his parents' bedroom. He then went to the kitchen and shot his father once in the back of the head, then dragged his body into the bathroom and covered it with a sheet. Kinkel further stated that his mother arrived home at about 6:30 p.m., and that he met her in the garage, told her he loved her, then shot her twice in the back of the head, three times in the face, and once in the heart. He then dragged her body across the floor and covered it with a sheet.According to Kinkel's taped confession, at about 3:00
Throughout the next morning, Kinkel repeatedly played a recording of "Liebestod", the final dramatic aria from Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde , on the family's sound system.The recording was featured in the 1996 film Romeo + Juliet , and included on the compact disc (CD) of the film's soundtrack. When police arrived at the house, they found "opera music" from the soundtrack playing loudly with the CD player set to continuous play. In a note Kinkel left on a coffee table in the living room, he described his motive for killing his parents thus: "I just got two felonies on my record. My parents can't take that! It would destroy them. The embarrassment would be too much for them. They couldn't live with themselves." But as the note continues, he attempts to describe his mental state: "My head just doesn't work right. God damn these VOICES inside my head. ... I have to kill people. I don't know why. ... I have no other choice."
On May 21, Kinkel drove his mother's Ford Explorer to the high school. He wore a trench coat to hide the five weapons he carried: two hunting knives, his rifle, a 9x19mm Glock 19 pistol, and a .22-caliber Ruger MK II pistol. He was carrying 1,127 rounds of ammunition.
Kinkel parked on North 61st Street, two blocks from the school, then jogged to the campus, entered the patio area and fired two shots, one fatally wounding Ben Walker and the other wounding Ryan Atteberry. He went to the cafeteria and, walking across it, fired the remaining 48 rounds from his rifle, wounding 24 studentsand fatally wounding 17-year-old Mikael Nickolauson. Kinkel fired a total of 50 rounds, 37 of which struck students, and killed two.
When Kinkel's rifle ran out of ammunition and he began to reload, wounded student Jacob Ryker tackled him, assisted by several other students. Kinkel drew the Glock from his belt and fired one shot before he was disarmed, injuring Ryker again as well as another student. He yelled at the students, "Just kill me!" The students restrained Kinkel until the police arrived and arrested him.A total of seven students were involved in subduing and disarming Kinkel. In custody, Kinkel retrieved a knife that was secured on his leg and attacked a police officer, begging to be fatally shot. The officer subdued him with pepper spray.
Nickolauson died at the scene; Walker died after being transported to the hospital and kept on life support until his parents arrived. The other students, including Ryker, were also taken to the hospital with a variety of wounds. Ryker had a perforated lung, but he made a full recovery. He received the Boy Scouts of America Honor Medal with Crossed Palms for his heroism on the day of the attack.
Kipland Phillip Kinkel
August 30, 1982
Springfield, Oregon, U.S.
|Parent(s)||William Kinkel (father)|
Faith Zuranski (mother) (both deceased)
|Criminal penalty||111 years (without the possibility of parole)|
Kipland Phillip Kinkel (born August 30, 1982), is the second child of William and Faith (née Zuranski) Kinkel. He has an older sister, Kristin. His parents were both Spanish teachers. Faith taught Spanish at Springfield High School, and William taught at Thurston High School and Lane Community College.
There was a widespread history of serious mental illnesses in both sides of the family. The parents concealed this from psychologists.
According to all accounts, Kinkel's parents were loving and supportive. His sister Kristin was a gifted student. The Kinkel family spent a sabbatical year in Spain when Kip was six, where he attended a Spanish-speaking kindergarten. Kinkel reportedly attended in an "unnormal" way, and his family said that he struggled with the curriculum.When Kinkel returned to Oregon, he attended elementary school in the small community of Walterville, about five miles east of Springfield. His teachers considered him immature and lacking physical and emotional development. Based on the recommendation of his teachers, Kinkel's parents had him repeat the first grade. In the repeat, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, which became worse, and he was placed in extensive special education classes by the beginning of second grade.
Kinkel had an interest in firearms and explosives from an early age. His father initially discouraged this, but later enrolled him at gun safety courses, buying him a .22 caliber rifle and eventually a 9mm Glock handgun at the age of 15.
Classmates described Kinkel as strange and morbid. Others characterized him as psychotic or schizoid, and as someone who enjoyed listening to rock bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, and Marilyn Manson.He constantly talked about committing acts of violence, telling friends that he wanted to join the U.S. Army after graduation to find out what it was like to kill someone. When asked about a family trip to Disneyland, he commented that he wanted to "punch Mickey Mouse in the nose." He once gave a "how-to" speech in bomb-making to his speech class and set off "stink bombs" in the lockers of classmates. Kinkel studied William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet in his English class and related with the protagonists, and became enamored with the 1996 modernized film adaptation, which featured heavy use of firearms.
Kinkel's parents enrolled him in anger management and had him evaluated by psychologists. Shortly before being murdered, Kinkel's father confided to a friend that he was "terrified" and had run out of options to help his son.
Kinkel exhibited signs of paranoid schizophrenia, the full extent of which became apparent only after his trial. The youth had gone to great lengths to hide any symptoms due to a fear of being labelled abnormal or mentally retarded. His doctors later said that Kinkel had told them of hearing voices in his head from the age of 12; he eventually suffered from hallucinations and paranoid delusions — including the belief that the government had implanted a computer chip in his brain.Kinkel described three voices: "Voice A," who commanded Kinkel to commit violent acts, "Voice B," who repeated insulting and depressive statements at the expense of Kinkel, and "Voice C," who constantly echoed what A and B said. Kinkel claimed that he felt punished by God for being subjected to these voices, and that it was Voice A who instigated the killing of his father, mother, and the subsequent attack at Thurston High School.
At the police station, Kinkel lunged at officer Al Warthen with his knife, screaming, "Shoot me, kill me!" The officer repelled Kinkel with pepper spray. Kinkel later said that he wanted to trick the officer into shooting him, and that he had wanted to die by suicide after killing his parents but could not bring himself to do so.
At his sentencing, the defense presented experts on mental health to show that the assailant was mentally ill. Jeffrey Hicks, the only psychologist who had treated Kinkel before the shootings, said that he was in satisfactory mental health. He had seen Kinkel for nine sessions and treated him for major depression. The boy's parents terminated the therapy because Kinkel was responding well to treatment and ceased to show symptoms of depression.
On September 24, 1999, three days before jury selection was set to begin, Kinkel pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder, forgoing the possibility of being acquitted by reason of insanity. In November 1999, Kinkel was sentenced to 111 years in prison without the possibility of parole. At sentencing, Kinkel apologized to the court for the murder of his parents and the shooting spree.
In June 2007, Kinkel sought a new trial, saying that his previous attorneys should have taken the case to trial and used the insanity defense. Two psychiatrists testified that Kinkel exhibited signs of paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the shooting.In August 2007, a Marion County judge denied him a new trial. Kinkel appealed, arguing among other things that he had had ineffective assistance of counsel during the trial proceedings. On January 12, 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court judgment, denying his motion for a new trial. Kinkel has appealed his sentence in both federal and state courts. In federal court he claimed his guilty plea should not have been accepted without a prior mental health evaluation. In state court, Kinkel challenged the validity of the virtual life sentence he was given, citing Miller v. Alabama. Shortly before he was to go to trial, Kinkel abandoned an insanity defense and accepted a plea deal to serve 25 years for shooting his parents, William Kinkel, 59, and Faith Kinkel, 57, and two Thurston High School students Mikael Nickolauson, 17, and Ben Walker, 16. But the deal also allowed a Lane County judge to tack on 40 months for each of the 26 attempted murder counts Kinkel faced for wounding the other students and lunging at an officer with a knife once in custody which added up to 111 years in prison.
Kinkel is incarcerated at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem. He received his GED while serving a portion of his life sentence at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn. On June 11, 2007, Kinkel, nearing his 25th birthday (the maximum age to be held as a juvenile in Oregon), was transferred from the Oregon Youth Authority, MacLaren Correctional Facility, to the Oregon State Correctional Institution.
Matricide is the act of killing one's mother.
Ronald Joseph DeFeo Jr. is an American mass murderer who was tried and convicted for the 1974 killings of his father, mother, two brothers, and two sisters in Amityville, Long Island, New York. The case inspired the book and film versions of The Amityville Horror.
The Frontier Middle School shooting was a school shooting that occurred on February 2, 1996, at Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, Washington, United States. The gunman, 14-year-old Barry Dale Loukaitis, killed his algebra teacher and two students, and held his classmates hostage before a gym coach subdued him.
A school shooting occurred on November 8, 2005 at Campbell County Comprehensive High School in Jacksboro, Tennessee, United States, when a 15-year-old freshman student shot the school principal and two assistant principals. One assistant principal, Ken Bruce, died as a result of the shooting.
Bang Bang You're Dead is a 1999 one-act play written by William Mastrosimone. The plot focuses on Josh, a high school student who murders his parents and five classmates. It is strongly based on the events surrounding Kip Kinkel's shootings of his parents on May 20, 1998, and 27 of his classmates at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon on May 21, 1998. As of October 2002, three years after its publication, the play had been performed over 15,000 times.
Charles Andrew Williams Jr. is a convicted murderer who, as a 15-year-old, perpetrated the shooting at Santana High School on March 5, 2001. In the shooting, two students were killed and 13 others were wounded. Williams is currently serving 50 years to life in prison.
The W. R. Myers High School shooting was a school shooting that occurred on April 28, 1999, at W. R. Myers High School in Taber, Alberta, Canada. The gunman, 14-year-old school dropout Todd Cameron Smith, walked into his school and began firing at students in a hallway, then went to the school cafeteria, killed one student and wounded another one. It was the first fatal high-school shooting in Canada since the Brampton Centennial Secondary School shooting, 24 years earlier.
Thurston High School is a public high school located in the Thurston area of Springfield, Oregon, United States.
Wayne Lo is an American citizen born in Taiwan who perpetrated the shooting at Bard College at Simon's Rock on December 14, 1992, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He murdered one student and a professor, and wounded four people, before he surrendered to police. He is currently serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 20 years.
Gerald Ray Strebendt is a retired professional mixed martial artist. A professional competitor from 2001 until 2008, he fought for the UFC and Cage Rage. He is the former Cage Rage World lightweight champion.
Joseph Gerard Christopher was an American serial killer who gained infamy for a series of murders in the early 1980s. He is believed to have killed at least twelve individuals and wounded numerous others.
The Bethel Regional High School shooting was a school shooting that occurred on February 19, 1997, when student Evan Ramsey shot and killed two people and wounded two others at Bethel Regional High School in Bethel, Alaska. Ramsey is serving two 99-year prison sentences and will be eligible for parole in 2066 when he is 85.
Rick Dancer is an American journalist and politician in the state of Oregon. Born in the city of Hillsboro, he was a longtime anchor for KEZI television in Eugene. Among his other activities as anchor, he covered the Thurston High School shooting. He later left broadcasting to run as a Republican for Oregon Secretary of State, losing in the general election to Democrat Kate Brown in 2008.
Since the 1994 film Natural Born Killers was released, several attacks suspected to have been copycat crimes have been committed by fans of the film, mostly by high school students within the age range of 15 to 18. Though apparent links have been claimed between the film and most of the incidents described below, certain causality has not been proven.
Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) is a 33-acre (130,000 m2) medium security prison located in Salem, Oregon, United States and is operated by the Oregon Department of Corrections. Established by an act of the Oregon State Legislature in 1955, the prison opened in 1959 and has a capacity of 880 male inmates.
The Oikos University shooting occurred on April 2, 2012, when a gunman shot at people inside Oikos University, a Korean Christian college in Oakland, California, United States. Within a few hours, the number of reported fatalities reached seven. One L. Goh, a former student at the school, was taken into custody and identified as the suspect in the shooting. Along with the California State University, Fullerton massacre, this was the fourth-deadliest university shooting in United States history, after the Virginia Tech massacre, the University of Texas Clock Tower shooting, and the Umpqua Community College shooting, and the ninth-deadliest U.S. school massacre overall. It is the deadliest mass killing in the city's history.
James Eagan Holmes is an American mass murderer responsible for the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting in which he killed 12 people and injured 70 others at a Century 16 movie theater on July 20, 2012. He had no known criminal background before the shooting occurred. Holmes booby-trapped his apartment with explosives before the shooting, which were defused one day later by a bomb squad.
The 2013 Belgorod shooting was a mass murder that occurred on April 22, 2013, in Belgorod, Russia, where six people were killed. Sergey Pomazun shot three people at a gun store and three people on the street outside with a semi-automatic rifle in downtown Belgorod before fleeing to Kursk Oblast, where he was apprehended the next day after an extensive manhunt. Pomazun, an army veteran with a history of petty crime and unstable behavior, confessed to the killings, and in his widely covered trial claimed to have murdered many more innocent people during the Second Chechen War in classified missions as an agent of the GRU.
The Marshall County High School shooting occurred at Marshall County High School near Benton, Kentucky, on January 23, 2018.
On May 7, 2019, a school shooting occurred at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school located in Douglas County, Colorado, United States, in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch. One student was killed and eight others were injured.