School bells were calling children and adults to the Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, when all of sudden the crack of shots rang out. Teachers told children to hide under their desk and Principal Burton Wragg started trying to help children into safety from the yard. For 20 minutes shots fired on the school and bullets left children screaming in agony and screaming with terror at the sight of bloodied classmates falling to the ground. The shots were fired from a house located directly across the street and 100 feet away. Principal Wragg, trying to keep his “kids” safe, was mortally injured and school custodian Mike Suchar tried to pull his friend to safety. Suchar was the next person shot. In the end, the 16 year old shooter killed two and injured 8 children, and a police officer. When asked why she did it she simply said…”I don’t like Mondays.”
The Cleveland Elementary School shooting was the first truly reported school shooting. News reporters marked every second with live reports, video, second by second reporting. By the end of 1979 a song by Bob Geldof for his band Boomtown Rats called “I Don’t Like Mondays” was number one across America and Britain. For her part, Brenda Spencer says she does believe, because of the news coverage of her shooting, that others may have taken her mistake and made their own.
To help honor Bruton Wragg and Mike Suchar
One thought on “Cleveland Elementary School Shooting January 29, 1979”
Drove by the Spencer’s yesterday. The school is now gone. There’s a large housing tract there now. Brenda’s just tried for parole once again and now has to wait 3 more years until another attempt of freedom. GOOD. I’m glad. Sick of nut cases they deserve every second in there new homes !