Thurston High School shooting tragedy unfolded 10 years ago

Thurston High School shooting tragedy unfolded 10 years ago »Play Video

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The dazed and bloodied teenage boy walking from his school.

The crying girl, pulled away by friends.

The stretcher carrying a wounded child.

The frantic parents searching for answers.

These are images burned into Oregon's collective memory, images seen around the world in the aftermath of the May 21, 1998, shooting at Thurston High School.

The tragedy started to unfold a day earlier.

Thurston High School expelled 15-year-old Kip Kinkel May 20 for bringing a handgun to school.

Back at his Springfield, Ore., area home, Kinkel shoots his parents, Bill and Faith Kinkel. He later told police he wanted to spare his parents, both Spanish teachers, the shame of his expulsion.

Early on the morning of May 21, Kinkel drove his mother's car to Thurston High School. He entered the school in a trench coat with two handguns, a rifle, a knife and more than 1,200 rounds of ammunition.

At 7:50 a.m., Kinkle entered the school and shot Ryan Atteberry and Ben Walker in a hallway. Walker died later at the hospital.

Kinkel walked into the cafeteria filled with 200 students and started firing, getting off 51 shots and making 37 hits.

One bullet killed Mikael Nicholauson. Another 25 students are wounded.

When Kinkel stopped to reload his gun, students Jake Ryker and Adam Walburger tackled Kinkel. Several boys piled on Kinkel, holding him down until police arrived.

In the choas that followed, police, parents and reporters descended on the school, all looking for answers.

Police arrested Kinkel.

Later that night, police brought him back to the scene of the crime. He confessed as he retraced his steps at the school with officers.

Meanwhile, Sacred Heart and McKenzie Willamette hospitals cared for the wounded. Parents searched for their children, and stories about Kinkel and possible warning signs began to circulate.

In the days that follow, the community mourned at a massive community vigil. A fence at Thurston was turned into a long memorial wall.

Stories of heroism and hope unfolded.

The boys who tackled Kinkel received scholarships.

Teresa Miltonberger, shot in the forehead and given a 20 percent chance of survival, left the hospital.

President Bill Clinton visited Thurston and met with victims.

The community donated to the victims, planned a permanent memorial and formed an anti-school violence coalition.

In September 1999, three days before the start of his trial, Kinkel pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder, abandoning his insanity defense. The judge sentenced Kinkel to prison for 111 years with no chance of parole.