Don’t Like Mondays


Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

With every school shooting, you can expect long lasting heartache. And the tentacles of pain can be far reaching, beyond the families directly affected by the cruel act.

BLOG POST #135: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 16-year-old female.

Not Your Typical California Day

On what appeared to be a typical California day in January, shots rang out as an elementary school principal was opening the gates to the school.

A 16-year-old girl used a 22 long rifle with little to no recoil, a Christmas gift from her father, to shoot toward the elementary school from her home across the street.

Infamous Intention

A few days before the shooting she had told another teen something big was going to happen on Monday, it would be on TV and radio.

Monday morning she told her father she didn’t feel well. He went to work and she stayed home.

The school principal attempted to rush children away from the gunshots when he was hit and killed. A school custodian ran to help the principal when he too was shot and killed. Eight children and a police officer sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.

A Standoff Ensued

A quick-thinking police officer risked his life to drive a trash truck in front of the teen’s home to block her field of fire.

She barricaded herself inside her home.

During the standoff, while on the phone with negotiators, she was asked why she had committed the shootings to which she indicated, “for the fun of it” and “I don’t like Mondays.” She also had said, she had no reason for it, and in regards to the children, “it was just like shooting ducks in a pond.”

After a seven-hour standoff, she laid her gun down and surrendered.

The Aftermath

Test results showed there were no drugs or alcohol found in her system the day of the shooting.

The court charged her as an adult. She pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Thirty-eight years ago she was sentenced to 25 years to life.

Life After 25 Years

She’s been before the parole board four times but remains incarcerated. As to why she committed the shooting, she now states, at the time, she no longer wanted to live and hoped for death by cop. She knew if she shot at a school the police would show up and shoot her. Her next parole hearing will be in 2019.

Were there warning signs? You decide. Her parents divorced when she was young, and custody was awarded to her father. Because of truancy, she had been transferred to a facility for troubled youths. The facility informed her parents she was suicidal. She had a prior arrest for using a bb gun to shoot out windows at the elementary school and for burglary. The month before the deadly shooting she was given a psychiatric evaluation. It was recommended she be admitted to a mental hospital for depression, but her father didn’t give permission.

Worth mentioning: Due to declining enrollment, the school was closed four years after the shooting. The teen’s father continues to reside in the house across the street from the school.

If you’re interested, here’s a documentary on the event.

I Don’t Like Mondays

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!


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One thought on “Don’t Like Mondays

  1. Obviously school shootings are nothing new. Nearly 40 years ago is pretty much before the internet really grew. I have been on the computer since the early 80s, back then it was all text based, dial-up and bulletin boards.
    Thanks for sharing Robin, great post.

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