Lindhurst High School shooting

The Lindhurst High School shooting was a school shooting and subsequent siege that occurred on May 1, 1992, at Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst, California, United States. The gunman, 20-year-old Eric Houston, was a former student at Lindhurst High School. Houston killed three students and one teacher and wounded nine students and a teacher before surrendering to police. Houston was sentenced to death for the murders, and he is currently on California's death row in San Quentin State Prison.[1][2][3]

Lindhurst High School shooting
Part of mass shootings in the United States and school shootings in the United States
LocationOlivehurst, California, United States
DateMay 1, 1992
2:40 – c. 11:30 p.m. (PST)
TargetStudents and staff of Lindhurst High School
Attack type
School shooting, mass murder, hostage taking, siege
PerpetratorEric Houston


Lindhurst High School, where the shooting occurred, has a multiethnic student body, mostly from poor and working-class backgrounds.[4]

Shooting and siegeEdit

Houston arrived on campus armed with a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and a sawed-off .22 caliber rifle[5] around 2:40 p.m. on May 1. As he entered the school, he fatally shot teacher Robert Brens, his civics teacher during his senior year. He shot and killed Judy Davis, a 17-year-old student in Brens' classroom. Houston then walked through the hallway outside the classroom and fatally shot student Jason Edward White in the chest. Further on, Houston pointed his shotgun at another student, Angela Welch. Still, before he could fire his weapon, another student, 16-year-old Beamon Aton Hill, pushed her to safety, taking a single fatal bullet to the side of his head. The gunfire injured ten others.

Houston then entered a classroom with about 25 to 30 students inside. According to reports, Houston would send student Andrew Parks to retrieve more hostages, threatening that if he did not come back, he would kill another student and eventually held over 80 students hostage. He engaged in an eight-hour standoff with police before surrendering to authorities.


Houston in 2007.

While in police custody, Houston stated that he was despondent over losing his job and was angered that he failed to graduate from high school or obtain a GED.[6] He claimed to be "out of touch with reality" when he committed the murders.[7] He also confessed to holding a grudge against his former Civics teacher Robert Brens, who failed Houston in his class. On September 21, 1993, Houston was found guilty of all charges against him and was sentenced to death.[8] In 2012, the California Supreme Court upheld his death penalty.[9] He is currently awaiting execution at San Quentin State Prison.[10] Eric Houston also stated that he had not warned the school about coming on campus, as some alleged. His statements were introduced as evidence in both the civil and criminal trials. As of 2022, Houston is still on death row.[11]

A memorial park was erected on McGowan Parkway in Olivehurst, California, in remembrance of the four people who died that day.[12]


Detention: The Siege at Johnson High (a.k.a. Hostage High and Target for Rage) is a 1997 film based on the Lindhurst High School shooting. The television series Hostage Do or Die also produced an episode recreating the events of the shooting and standoff. The episode aired on December 29, 2011.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of School Crime and Violence. By Laura Finley. Page 234.
  2. ^ The Shootings and Siege at Lindhurst High School - as told by the Survivors. Angels of Columbine
  3. ^ American Decades: 1990-1999, Volume 10. p. 153
  4. ^ Contention: debates in society, culture, and science, Volume 2, Issues 1-3. p.52
  5. ^ Louis R. Mizell. How to Stay Safe in High School and College. Berkley Pub Group, 1996. p. 143
  6. ^ Babyface killers. Clifford L. Linedecker. St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1999. p. 276
  7. ^ The psychology and law of workplace violence: a handbook for mental health professionals and employers. Irvin H. Perline, Jona Goldschmidt. Charles C Thomas Publisher, 2004. p. 315
  8. ^ Shooting game. Joseph Alan Lieberman. Seven Locks Press, 2006. p. 83
  9. ^ "State Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty For Houston In Lindhurst High Rampage". CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. August 2, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  10. ^ Kymm Mann. School shooting turns unwanted attention to Lindhurst. Appeal-Democrat. April 16, 2007.
  11. ^ California Inmate Locator. Accessed May 15, 2018
  12. ^[bare URL PDF]

External linksEdit

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