Nathaniel Brazill

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Nathaniel Brazill
Nathaniel brazill new.jpg
Born (1986-09-22) September 22, 1986 (age 32)
Criminal statusIncarcerated at Hardee Correctional Institution
Parent(s)Polly Powell
Conviction(s)Second degree murder, aggravated assault
Criminal penalty28 years imprisonment, plus 7 years felony probation
Weapons25-cal. Raven handgun[1]

Nathaniel R. Brazill (born September 22, 1986) is an American who, at age 13, fatally shot one of his schoolteachers, Barry Grunow, at Lake Worth Middle School in Lake Worth, Florida. Brazill was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 28 years in prison.[2]

Shooting and conviction[edit]

On May 26, 2000, the last day of the 1999–2000 school year, Brazill—a seventh grade student—shot and killed Barry Grunow, an English teacher at Lake Worth Middle School in Lake Worth, Florida. After being sent home from school earlier in the day for throwing a water balloon, Brazill had returned home, retrieved a .25-caliber handgun, and shot Grunow.[2][3] Brazill was tried as an adult and convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of Grunow and aggravated assault for pointing the gun at another teacher.[4][3] The jury decided not to convict Brazill of first-degree murder, which requires premeditation and carries a mandatory life sentence in Florida.[3] Brazill was sentenced to 28 years in state prison followed by 7 years of probation.[2]

Subsequent civil litigation[edit]

Pam Grunow, the widow of the murdered teacher, sued the Brazill family friend that owned the handgun used, the Palm Beach County School Board, and the pawn shop that sold the handgun. These cases were settled for over $1 million. Grunow also filed an action against the gun manufacturer that resulted in a $1.2 million jury verdict, but the trial judge set aside the verdict, and in 2005 the Florida District Court of Appeals upheld this ruling.[5][6]


Brazill is in Florida state prison, with a release date set for May 18, 2028.[7] While imprisoned, Brazill earned his GED and certification as a paralegal.[8]

Childhood and student career[edit]

As a child, Brazill was surrounded by domestic abuse and alcoholism at home, and local police frequently responded to calls from the Brazill residence.[9] Prior to the Grunow murder, however, Brazill was an honor student, described by teachers as being mild mannered and likeable. Grunow was his favorite teacher.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Nathaniel Brazil's murder of his teacher Barry Grunow was covered in the show Kids Who Kill. It was showed in the same episode as the murder of Derrick Robie by Eric Smith, and the murder and attempted murder by Daniel Petric.


  1. ^ Field-Meyer, THOMAS (7 May 2001). "Death on An Impulse". People. Time Inc. 55 (18). Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Tim Roche (July 27, 2001). "Nate Brazill, Sentenced to Grow Up in Prison". Time.
  3. ^ a b c Dana Canedy, Boy Who Killed Teacher Is Found Guilty of Murder, New York Times (May 17, 2001).
  4. ^ "Brazill Guilty of Second-Degree Murder". ABC News. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  5. ^ Eliot Kleinberg, Lake Worth Middle teacher killed by student 15 years ago, Palm Beach Post (May 28, 2015).
  6. ^ Grunow v. Valor Corp. of Florida, 904 So. 2d 551 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2005).
  7. ^ "Inmate Population Information Detail - Nathaniel R. Brazill". Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  8. ^ Susan Spencer-Wendel, A decade after Lake Worth Middle School shooting: Nathaniel Brazill regretful, ambitious, Palm Beach Post (May 26, 2010).
  9. ^ "Nate Brazill, Sentenced to Grow Up in Prison". Time. July 27, 2001. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  10. ^ Canedy, Dana (July 28, 2001). "Boy Who Killed a Teacher Gets 28 Years and No Parole". The New York Times.

External links[edit]