It was the last day of school (May 26, 2000) and English Teacher Barry Grunow was looking to his summer. There was excitement in the air, yearbooks were being signed, and everyone at Lake Worth Middle School in West Palm Beach, Florida was happy that they had just completed another school year. Barry saw one of the students of the school trying to enter his room in an effort to speak with some of his friends. When Barry refused the 13 year-old access, a gun was pointed in Barry’s direction. There was a loud crack and Barry sank to the floor.
The 13 year-old had been caught throwing water balloons in the school lunchroom and was suspended from school. The young man was, in all accounts a good student, with perfect attendance, no serious discipline problems and part of the school band. During his trial he had even said that Mr. Grunow was his favorite teacher and claimed it was all an unfortunate accident.
What is known is that Barry would never return home to his wife and two children.