Parole Denied to Woman Who Killed 2 in 1979 School Shooting

From Associated Press

Brenda Spencer, who killed two people and wounded nine in the nation’s first high-profile school shooting, was denied parole Tuesday after a hearing in which she said she feels responsible for the many school shootings since her 1979 sniper attack.

Spencer, 38, told the three-member parole board at the California Institution for Women that she believes she is a different person now.

“I know saying I’m sorry doesn’t make it all right,” she said, adding that she wished it had never happened. But she added, “With every school shooting, I feel I’m partially responsible. What if they got their idea from what I did?”

Spencer was 16 on Jan. 29, 1979, when she fired on San Diego’s Grover Cleveland Elementary School with a .22-caliber rifle from her family’s house across the street.


Principal Burton Wragg and custodian Mike Suchar were killed. Eight students and a police officer were wounded. Spencer pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Spencer was asked by a parole board member about her infamous comment to a reporter that the reason she opened fire was, “I just don’t like Mondays.”

She said she did not remember making the statement or talking to a reporter. She said she had been drinking and taking drugs that day and does not remember much.