That morning, Brenda Spencer, a 16-year-old with a history of petty theft and violent thoughts, opened fire from inside her house at students outside San Diego’s Grover Cleveland Elementary School across the street. In a 15-minute spell, she fired 30 rounds of ammunition from a semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle her father gave her for Christmas. Principal Burton Wragg and custodian Mike Schar were killed in the attack; eight children and a policeman were wounded.
Spencer, who had told classmates a week before that she “wanted to do something big to get on TV,” then locked herself in the house as the SWAT team descended. The standoff lasted nearly seven hours before Spencer finally surrendered. During that time, a reporter from the San Diego Tribune spoke to her on the telephone. She explained her actions by saying, “I just did it for the fun of it. I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day. I have to go now. I shot a pig, I think, and I want to shoot more. I’m having too much fun.”