Not Yet Determined a Motive for Murder — Horace Morgan

Horace Morgan was an English major, who received his doctorate from Georgia State University and went on to serve in the Air Force. He began his teaching career at the former Walker High School in 1975 which transformed into McNair Senior High School.

On the Morning of September 25, 1996, a 16 year-old student was bumped in the hallway by a fellow student, who apologized and kept walking. The next thing students heard was shots fired. The student who was bumped had shot Horace who had been standing near where the bumping in the hall happened. Horace passed away on the way to the hospital. The shooter had been a student of the school for less than a week before the shooting.

To help honor Horace Morgan


2 thoughts on “Not Yet Determined a Motive for Murder — Horace Morgan

  1. Horace was a great teacher and good friend. I taught with him at Walker High School. There is an error in the commentary above. Horace transferred to DeKalb Alternative School and taught there many years until his death. Walker’s name was changed to McNair in 1987, after Horace left. McNair has never been an alternative school.

  2. The information above is inaccurate. The shooting occurred on the morning of September 25, 1996 (not September 27). The school where the shooting occurred was DeKalb Alternative School in Scottsdale, Georgia, not McNair Senior High School. It is true that the shooter had been a student at the school for less than a week, but there was no bumping incident. An eye-witness account of the shooting is described in this story by the Associated Press:
    I was a first-grade teacher at another DeKalb County school at the time Dr. Horace P. Morgan was killed. The wife of the victim worked as a paraprofessional (i.e., teaching assistant) in another grade level at my school. My wife and I attended Dr. Morgan’s funeral.
    I’ve been unable to find detailed reporting of the incident and its aftermath on the internet, although the story was in covered extensively by the Atlanta media. We learned that the shooter suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, a condition his parents were aware of. Despite this, they failed to secure their handgun and their son took the weapon to school on the day of the shooting.
    The motive for the shooting was the student’s delusional fear that Dr. Morgan, his English teacher, was his enemy and out to get him. The student convinced himself that Dr. Morgan was an enemy because the word “adversary” appeared on the teacher’s assigned list of vocabulary words.
    The student was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a state mental hospital, as reported correctly on Wikipedia:
    Wikipedia has it wrong that the shooting occurred “on the steps of Dekalb Alternative School” – it was inside the school building.
    Thank you for honoring Dr. Morgan. I hope you find this information helpful.

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