I had never heard of the school shooting at Goddard Junior High School in Goddard, Kansas, until recently. Close friend of the site Denise sent me this article detailing the shooting 30 years later. The shooting happened on January, 21st 1985. I was 16 at the time. I don’t ever recall the news of it making it out to the East Coast of that time unlike today when we hear about events like these almost as they’re happening.
14-year-old James Alan Kearbey entered the school that morning armed with a .308 rife and a .357 Magnum. Before it was over he had shot and killed Principal James McGee and wounded three others before he surrendered to police. Much like modern-day school shootings there were claims of bullying however investigations would show that Kearbey was a tough acting loner obsessed with guns. Other students have said that he was difficult to get along with. Much like the Jonesboro shooting Kansas had no laws at the time where Kearbey could be charged as an adult. As you can see in the photo Kearbey wore a long coat and sunglasses, instead of making him look like a bad ass he looks more like a boy playing dress up in his father’s closet. Ten years after his release he found himself in trouble with the law again on firearms and domestic violence charges, not that unlike Kenny Bartley who was the Campbell County High gunman.
So it seems that even 30 years ago there were people of my generation who felt that they were entitled victims who could only cowardly solve there problems through violence. Not many as there are today but still some.