School Deaths: 2008-2009


2008-2009 School Year Incidents
Identified by National School Safety and Security Services, Inc.*
Cleveland, Ohio

Note: This page and the work represented herein is copy-protected and reflects the proprietary in-house research conducted by National School Safety and Security Services.  It may not be reproduced or otherwise used in any form without the advanced written permission of Kenneth S. Trump, President of National School Safety and Security Services.

* School-related deaths, school shootings, and school crisis incidents have been identified through print and electronic news sources, professional contacts, and other nationwide sources, by Kenneth S. Trump, President, National School Safety and Security Services, Inc. (Cleveland, Ohio). This is not presented as an exhaustive list or as a scientific study.  Additional incidents may be added pending review of additional items on file and new information received during the course of the school year.

For purposes of this listing, the 2008-2009 school year is considered to be from August 1, 2008, through July 31, 2009. In addition to school-related violent deaths, this page provides a sample of school shootings that did not result in death and a sample of other incidents of school-related crime, violence, and crisis situations.

For purposes of this monitoring report, school-related violent deaths are homicides, suicides, or other violent, non-accidental deaths in the United States in which a fatal injury occurs:
1)  inside a school, on school property, on or immediately around (and associated with) a school bus, or in the immediate area (and associated with) a K-12 elementary or secondary public, private, or parochial school;
2) on the way to or from a school for a school session;
3) while attending, or on the way to or from, a school-sponsored event;
4)  as a clear result of school-related incidents/conflicts, functions, activities, regardless of whether on or off actual school property;

Identified School-Related Violent Deaths:  2008-2009 School Year

Total Deaths:  13

Breakdown by Type:

  • Shooting: 8
  • Suicides: 4
  • Murder-Suicide: 0
  • Fight-Related:  0
  • Stabbing:  1
  • Other:  0

August 14, 2008:  Federal Way, WA
A 26-year-old male was shot in the head outside of a middle school where he was picking up his girlfriend’s son from football practice.  A 16-year-old male was subsequently arrested.  The drive-by shooting incident occurred around 8:20pm in the school parking lot where there were about 15 to 20 persons present.

August 21, 2008:  Knoxville, TN
A 15-year-old male high school student was shot in the chest and killed around 8:10am in the school’s cafeteria.  Another 15-year-old male student was taken into custody about six minutes later on a street near the school.  Police indicated that the two males knew each other.  The school was locked down, and classes were later canceled with students bused to a nearby church for parent reunification.

September 5, 2008:  Milwaukee, WI
A 15-year-old was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver and subsequently died.  The stabbing occurred several blocks from her high school following an altercation at the high school that was disrupted by school security and other staff.  The two groups got into separate vehicles and left the area, with the altercation continuing several blocks from the school.  The victim was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver at later died at the hospital.  An 18-year-old was arrested and a 19-year-old was being sought by police.

October 16, 2008:  Detroit, MI
A 16-year-old male high school student was shot and killed on the lawn of a Pre-K to second grade primary school next to the high school.  Three other students were shot and hospitalized with serious injuries. Three males were later arrested.  The incident reportedly stemmed from ongoing fights and conflicts at the high school.

October 21, 2008:  Indianapolis, IN
A 15-year-old male high school student’s dead body was found on a tennis court outside of the high school around 7:45am.  The male reportedly committed suicide.

November 12, 2008:  Ft. Lauderdale, FL
A 15-year-old female high school student was shot and died.  Another 15-year-old female student was arrested.  The victim reportedly collapsed following an argument with the suspect in the hallway around 11:00am.

November 14, 2008: Indianapolis, IN
A 30-year-old male technical director for a high school performing arts center was found dead by a school custodian around 8:00pm.  The incident was subsequently described as a suicide.  The victim had fallen five floors from the roof of the center.

January 23, 2009: Cahokia, IL
A 17-year-old male non-student was shot and killed in a high school parking lot in between junior varsity and varsity girls basketball games.

February 4, 2009: Evanston, IL
A 10-year-old male elementary student was found hanged from a coat hook.   Subsequent reports indicated the coroner ruled the death a suicide by hanging.

March 9, 2009: Fort Pierce, FL
A 16-year-old male high school student was shot and killed at his bus stop on the way to school.  Police were investigating whether the shooting was associated with other shootings by gang members.

March 11, 2009: Memphis, TN
A 17-year-old male high school student was shot and killed in the neighborhood following a fight earlier in the day at his high school where he was one of eight students arrested in what was believed to be a gang-related incident.

May 5, 2009:  Canandaigua, NY
A 17-year-old male high school student committed suicide, shooting himself with a modified shotgun around 11:00am in a men’s bathroom in the athletic wing of the school.  He was found by two students.  The school went into lockdown.  The victim reportedly had 30 rounds of ammunition on him and in his locker.

May 18, 2009:  Nashville, TN
A 21-year-old male was shot in the face and head, and killed, and two others were wounded as people exited a high school graduation ceremony held at Tennessee State University.


Sample of Reported
School-Related Shootings Not Resulting in Deaths in 2008-2009

A sample of school-related shootings occurring nationwide in the 2008-2009 school year not resulting in death is listed below.  It should be noted that this is only a sample and and is not intended to include all of the many incidents involving firearms confiscated but not used, and other weapons possession or use that occur in U.S. schools.  List includes individuals shot but not killed and firearms discharged in schools, on school campuses and buses, at school-sponsored events, to and from school involving students, and as a clear result of school-related incidents/conflicts.

Total non-death shooting incidents listed to date:  25

August 27, 2008:  Charlotte, NC
A 16-year-old male high school student was shot twice, once in the hip and once in the leg, while walking with a friend blocks from the school.  About 20 witnesses reportedly fled the area.  The victim’s injuries were reportedly non-life-threatening.

August 29, 2008:  Portland, OR
Suspected gang members fired five or six shots while around 7:15pm near a park next to a high school where school football games were being held.  About 15 police officers were on hand and observed the group of individuals flashing gang signs.  As two officers approached the group, the shots were fired.  No one was injured.

September 2, 2008:  Willoughby, OH
A 15-year-old male high school student was arrested after firing a gun in the school’s hallway and then once again at a trophy case around 9:30am.  The student then put the gun to his head but was talked out of taking his own life by the principal, assistant principal and a teacher.  The school was locked down and then later evacuated, according to reports.  Police indicated the male had a .40-caliber gun with 31 rounds of ammunition in a duffel bag.

September 2, 2008: Pueblo, CO
A 17-year-old male high school student was shot in the knee by a 17-year-old shooter who fired six rounds in the area of the victim and his friends.  The incident occurred several blocks from the school during a lunch hour around 12:15pm.  The shooter reportedly was upset over an ex-girlfriend.

September 18, 2008:  Park Forest, IL
A 41-year-old male allegedly fired a shotgun after students exited a school bus coming from a high school and fought.  One student went into the house and the adult male came out with a gun in his waistband, according to reports, and then produced and fired the shotgun.  The incident occurred around 3:30pm.

September 19, 2008: Los Angeles, CA
A 19-year-old male and a 12-year-old female were shot and seriously wounded around 6:00pm in a high school parking lot after a football game on campus.  The male was shot in the pelvis, lower body and buttocks, and the female was shot in the chest and left leg, according to reports.

October 16, 2008:  Detroit, MI
Three other students were shot and hospitalized with serious injuries.  A 16-year-old male high school student was shot and killed on the lawn of a Pre-K to second grade primary school next to the high school. Three males were later arrested.  The incident reportedly stemmed from ongoing fights and conflicts at the high school.

November 18, 2008:  Ceres, CA
A 19-year-old male night school student was shot multiple times while in front of the high school around 9:00pm.  The victim was shot after arguing with the suspect.

January 9, 2009:  Chicago, IL
Five individuals were shot outside of a high school basketball game.  Spectators were departing when a car pulled up and shots were fired, according to reports.

January 14, 2009:  Chicago, IL
A shot was fired through a school bus filled with sixth graders.  No one was injured.

January 21, 2009: Mount Morris Township, PA
Four individuals (two 19-year-olds, a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old) were shot outside a high school basketball game.  Four handguns were believed to have been used and police reportedly found more than 50 pieces of evidence at the scene.

January 30, 2009: Oklahoma City, OK
An adult male non-student was shot three times in the parking lot of a high school during a school basketball game.  An officer heard shots and found two shell casings in the parking lot.

January 30, 2009:  Kansas City, MO
A fight between rival gangs broke out on the sidelines of a high school basketball game.  Five people were shot. Two people were transported to the hospital. Police recovered four guns, including a Tec-9 machine gun.

February 3, 2009: Frederick, MD
A 17-year-old male high school student was shot in the chest near the school about 10 minutes after dismissal.  The school was locked down and counselors were brought in the next day.

February 11, 2009:  Lynwood, CA
A 16-year-old male high school student was shot in the buttocks by two suspected gang members outside of his school after classes ended.  The victim reportedly was not in a gang but was struck when the suspects fired into a crowd of students.

February 11, 2009: Youngsville, NC
A 14-year-old male middle school student was shot in the leg around 6:10am while on his school bus.  One male brought a gun from home and was showing it to his friend when it discharged.

February 17, 2009:  Detroit, MI
A 17-year-old male non-student was arrested and subsequently charged with intent to commit murder in connection with a shooting inside a Detroit high school.   The victim, also a non-student, was reportedly shot in the abdomen.  The suspect reportedly also shot another 18-year-old in the groin.  The male shot in the groin reportedly shot yet another male in the leg.

February 20, 2009: Hayward, CA
Gunshots were fired through two elementary school classroom windows while about 15 pre-school students and their parents were taking part in a reading program.  No one was injured.  Police believe the shooter, who jumped into a waiting Jeep, was trying to shoot a man walking his five year old to school and not aiming to intentionally shoot in the school.

February 23, 2009: Norwalk, CT
A 19-year-old male was shot in the leg outside of a high school basketball game around 8:30pm.

February 27, 2009:  Kansas City, MO
A 16-year-old male student was shot in the hand while walking to school.   Males in a vehicle fired seven to eight shots at the student, who was grazed on the hand.

February 27, 2009:  Houston, TX
Three high school students were shot after school dismissal, one across from a high school and two at a transit center, following an altercation outside a store across the street from the school.

March 6, 2009:  Fayetteville, NC
A 19-year-old male was arrested in connection with the shooting of a 15-year-old male who was struck by a stray bullet while attending a fashion show at a high school.

May 1, 2009:  Sheboygan, WI
A 17-year-old male received a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the abdomen while in the high school parking lot around 3:40pm.  The student reportedly had been troubled over issues, according to police.

May 13, 2009:  Tulare, OK
Police arrested two teens and were seeking a third in connection with a drive-by shooting toward a middle school play area where youth were located around 5:00pm.  Police were unaware of activities were going on in the school but found a bullet hole in the school building.  Police believe the incident was gang-related according to reports.


Sample of Other Reported Higher-Profile
School Crime, Violence, and Crisis Incidents in 2008-2009

Total incident listing to date:  20

August 1, 2008:  Ardmore, AL
A 16-year-old male high school student was arrested and police found pictures of a mass shooting, and a list of students and teachers to kill.  The male reportedly had five swords and was trying to recruit others to carry out the plot, which included burning a teacher alive according to reports.

August 5, 2008:  Nashville, TN
Police were called to a high school student orientation after five or six fights broke out.  The fights reportedly stemmed from conflicts which had occurred over the summer.

August 12, 2008:  Grand Rapids, MN
Two 12-year-olds were taken into custody after a parent saw plots for a school shooting at a middle school on one of the males MySpace web page.

August 27, 2008: Dade City, FL
A 16-year-old male student was taken into custody for plotting a shooting spree at his school.  The male reportedly mapped out shooting areas on a school map he had taken from one of his classrooms.  He also reportedly had threats posted on his MySpace web site.

August 28, 2008: San Jose, CA
A 16-year-old male high school was attacked by three males and stabbed while walking home from school.

September 2, 2008: New York, NY
An 18-year-old male Brooklyn High School student was reportedly stabbed in the left side during a fight a couple blocks away from the school.

September 3, 2008: Las Vegas, NV
A 17-year-old male high school student was arrested after police saw a BB gun in his car while doing routine checks of the property.  The male subsequently admitted to having a rifle in the trunk, which he said he used for target practice. The gun was reportedly unloaded.  The male was arrested and charged.

September 4, 2008: San Diego, CA
A 16-year-old high school student was repeatedly stabbed while in a school restroom.  Police were investigating the incident as gang-related.

September 5, 2008: Boca Raton, FL
A high school football game was delayed for about 15 minutes in the fourth quarter after two people were injured in a shooting nearby the game.  No fans or players were hurt.

September 8, 2008: Cleveland, OH
A eastside high school was put on lockdown following threats of shooting tip that had been given to the county prosecutor.

September 10, 2008: Santa Ana, CA
A 13-year-old male, who was picking up his sister at her high school, was shot and killed nearby the school as students walked home.  The male was reportedly approached and asked what gang he belonged to, and then shot when he did not answer.  One 16-year-old and one 18-year-old were subsequently arrested.  Police reported that the victim and the two suspects allegedly had gang ties.

October 3, 2008:  Chicago, IL
A fight that started inside a high school around noon spilled over into the streets outside of the school and resulted in 24 arrests.

January 13, 2009:  Philadelphia, PA
$26,000 in computers and security equipment was stolen from a high school.  The school’s alarm was not turned on and 38 surveillance cameras had no tape recording, according to a news story citing the superintendent.

January 28, 2009:  Allentown, PA
A 37-year-old male barged into a middle school classroom, choking a 14-year-old student and taking a necklace while a 21-year-old male blocked a teacher from calling security.  The males were later apprehended.

January 28, 2009: Hollywood, FL
A lunchtime fight escalated into a riotous situation resulting in 18 students being arrested.

February 5, 2009: Charlotte, NC
Two students, ages 18 and 19, were charged with leaving a high school campus in a car with a 15 inch sawed off shotgun after the vehicle drove past school security officers in a parking lot and the officers called police, who found the weapon in the vehicle.

February 10, 2009:  Washington, DC
A fight involving girls in a lunchroom, with several other subsequent fights, resulted in 16 high school students being arrested.

March 12, 2009:  Pittsburgh, PA
At least 20 high school students were arrested in connection with a fight that could have involved 50 to 60 people total.  Two school police officers were injured, including one with a spinal cord injury.