Charles Andrew Williams
|Charles Andrew Williams|
February 8, 1986 |
Frederick, Maryland, U.S.
|Criminal charge||Murder, attempted murder|
|Criminal penalty||50 years to life in prison|
|Date||March 5, 2001|
|Weapon(s)||Arminius .22 caliber revolver|
Charles Andrew "Andy" Williams (born February 8, 1986) is an American who, as a teenager perpetrated the shooting at Santana High School on March 5, 2001. In the shooting two students were killed and thirteen others were wounded. Williams is currently serving life in prison with the possibility of parole in 50 years.
Williams attended Santana High School in Santee, where he was bullied by fellow students. He began to spend time with a crowd of skateboarders. Williams was accepted within this peer group; however, at times these individuals also bullied him.
Weeks before the shooting, Williams attempted to speak with a school counselor, but was told to go back to class because the office was full. The Friday before the shooting, his drama teacher humiliated him in front of the class. Williams spoke on two occasions of his plan to "pull a Columbine" at Santana High School, but no reports were ever made of these threats to the school. He also made plans to get on top of the schools roof so that he could hit people more easily. The friends he informed were asked to leave the school. The first occasion was a week before the shooting, the second during the weekend prior to March 5.
He took his father's Arminius .22 caliber long-action revolver from the locked gun cabinet in their apartment. After his arrest, he told investigators that he was "tired of being bullied." On the way to juvenile hall, Williams said that he did it because he was dared to by his friends.
|Santana High School shooting|
|Location||Santee, California, U.S.|
|Date||March 5, 2001
|Attack type||School shooting, murder|
|Weapon(s)||Arminius .22 caliber revolver|
|Perpetrator||Charles Andrew Williams|
On Monday, March 5, 2001 at 9:20 a.m., Williams entered a boys' bathroom at Santana High School and fatally shot a freshman. He then left the bathroom and began firing the revolver indiscriminately at other students, killing another. According to one witness, Williams repeatedly walked out of the bathroom, fired shots, then went back into the bathroom. The scene soon turned chaotic as students and teachers ducked or scrambled to safety. Minutes later the school was on lock-down. Williams reloaded his revolver at least once. A student teacher and campus security supervisor Peter Ruiz walked into the bathroom to try to stop Williams, but Williams aimed the revolver at Ruiz shooting him five times. As the student and supervisor walked out, Williams fired and hit Ruiz in the back. He was often seen smiling throughout the entire shooting. Two off-duty police officers who were visiting the school were alerted to the shooting; however, they were at different ends of the school. One of them approached the bathroom and called for backup. Police officers quickly arrived and charged the bathroom; they discovered Williams kneeling on the floor with the weapon in his hands. He wanted to kill himself, but was unable to. He told officers that he was by himself. In the end he shot fifteen, two of which died.
Williams surrendered and was taken into custody. The two students that were killed were 14-year-old Bryan Zuckor and 17-year-old Randy Gordon. Eleven students and two school supervisors suffered gunshot wounds and were treated at either University of California, San Diego Medical Center or Children's Hospital. The San Diego SWAT team was called to "assess and clear" the scene of the shooting.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
In Washington, President Bush offered his condolences "to the teachers and the children whose lives have been turned upside-down right now." Bush called the shooting "a disgraceful act of cowardice," adding, "When America teaches our children right from wrong and teaches values that respect life in our country, we'll be better off." But, he said, "First things are first. And our prayers go out to the families that lost a child today."
Following the shooting, friends of Williams said on NBC's Today that Williams was a huge fan of the rock band Linkin Park. The Today host then read the lyrics "'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge, and I'm about to break" from "One Step Closer", one of Williams's favorite tracks on the band's album Hybrid Theory. (Also, in a note to his father attempting to explain his actions, Williams wrote, "I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn't even matter," from the song "In the End.") The supposed connection between the shooting spree and Linkin Park was subsequently widely reported in the media.
In an official statement, Linkin Park stated that "Like everybody else, we are extremely saddened by these events and our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims". They denied responsibility, commenting that the type of music a murderer listens to has no relation to the reasoning behind his actions. "You might as well say, it's because he ate mayonnaise that day", frontman Chester Bennington commented. Bennington also stated that "There's not enough attention paid to the problems of sensitive young men in our society."
On June 20, 2002, Williams pleaded guilty to all charges against him in an effort to avoid trial. On August 15, 2002, a California judge sentenced Williams, as an adult, to 50-years to life in prison, and ordered him to serve his time in the Youth Offender Program at CCI, Tehachapi (since closed) until his 18th birthday, at which time he would be transferred to adult prison. Williams was given credit for the 529 days that he had served in juvenile hall, fined $10,000.00 and ordered to pay restitution to the Victims Restitution Fund. At his sentencing, Williams apologized and expressed remorse for his actions. On March 1, 2004, he was transferred to an adult prison.
Currently there are grass-root efforts to have Williams' sentence reduced. His supporters argue that the judge was too harsh in sentencing Williams as an adult and did not take into consideration Williams' age at the time of his offense. They would like to see Williams get a retrial, but as a juvenile, which would have meant confinement by the California Youth Authority until age 25. The California State Attorney General's office handled a total of six appeals filed by Williams supporters, four to the Court of Appeals and two to the California State Supreme Court. The district court denied his petition in September 2010 and the case is now on appeal to the 9th Circuit, according to the California Attorney General's Office. Williams is currently incarcerated at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, a 640-acre facility with some 3,895 inmates, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Web site. (Note: there are conflicting data at "Rehabilitation Website" as to current incarceration location: one datum shows Calipatria - age 24 - admission date of 2006; another shows Ironwood - age 25 - admission date of 2002). He will be eligible for parole in 2052. He will be 66 then.
- "2 Dead, 13 Hurt in Calif. School Shooting". ABC News. March 5, 2001. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- "Community Mourns Lives Lost In School Shooting". KGTV. March 7, 2001. Archived from the original on March 9, 2001.
- Portner, Jessica (April 29, 2001). "How kids get guns". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on August 7, 2001.
- "San Diego Community Stunned By School Shooting". KGTV. March 6, 2001. Archived from the original on March 8, 2001.
- "Santana High School Shooting Victims". KGTV. Archived from the original on March 9, 2001.
- Graham, Ben, Linkin Park: The Unauthorised Biography in Words and Pictures." 31
- Teen stands accused of murder
- Perez, Steve, Where is the Santana Shooter Now?"
- California Inmate Locator
- Andy Speaks
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- Andy Williams. Unhappy kid. Tired of being picked on.
- Terrorist without a cause The Huffington Post