A man who orchestrated a school shooting at his middle school when he was 11 years old died in a car crash over the weekend, authorities have confirmed.
Drew Grant, 33, of Jackson, Missouri, was killed on Saturday evening on an Arkansas highway when the Honda CRV he was driving got into a head-on collision with a Chevy Taho, state police confirmed to KAIT. Daniel Petty, a 59-year-old resident of Essex, Missouri, and the driver of the Chevy Tahoe, also died in the crash, which reportedly took place on Highway 167 near Cave City.
Following his death, authorities confirmed that Grant had legally changed his name from Andrew Golden, with police telling the outlet that Grant and Golden, the 11-year-old boy involved in a 1998 fatal school shooting, are the same person.
Golden, along with 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson, set off a fire alarm at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on March 24, 1998, and gunned down students and teachers as they streamed out of the building. Paige Herring and Stephanie Johnson, two 12-year-old students, and Natalie Brooks and Brittney Varner, both 11, were killed during the massacre, according to the Associated Press. The only instructor killed, English teacher Shannon Wright, was shot while protecting another student, according to an NPR report.
The shooting, which left 10 others injured, was the second deadliest school shooting in the nation at the time, ABC News reports.
Both boys were tried as juveniles, and were ordered to remain incarcerated until they were 21 years old, as state law dictated at the time, the Associated Press reports. Johnson was released in 2005, while Golden was released in 2007, with Golden eventually starting a new life for himself in Missouri under the name Drew Grant.
Three others were injured in Saturday’s crash, authorities said in a police report, according to NBC News. Stephanie Grant, 29, and a 2-year-old child were both in the car with Grant, and suffered injuries, as was 59-year-old Kathy Tanner, who was riding in the car with Petty, the outlet reports.
Authorities are still investigating the crash, according to KAIT.
Families of the Jonesboro shooting victims won a $150 million lawsuit against Johnson and Golden in 2017, with a judge also ruling that neither man be allowed to profit from the shooting in any way, according to the Associated Press.
Following news of Grant’s death, Shannon Wright’s husband and son, Mitch and Zane, released a statement offering their condolences to Grant's loved ones, presumed to be the woman and child who were in the car with him on Saturday, the station reports.
“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,” their statement reads. “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. We are praying that his wife and child will make a full recovery.”
The year after his release from prison, Grant, in 2008, applied for a concealed carry handgun permit but Arkansas police denied his request, KAIT reports.
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