Massacres/Mass Murder · Mississippi · Religion · School Violence

Pearl High School shooting

October 1, 1997
Pearl, Mississippi
Luke Woodham (16) bludgeons and stabs his mother as she sleeps before going on a shooting spree at his school

After his capture, Woodham claims he did not remember killing his mother and so had no motive for the murder. He drove his mother’s car to his high school and entered carrying a rifle. He shot his former girlfriend Christina Menefee and her friend Lydia Kaye Dew, fatally wounding both girls. He also shot indiscriminately at other classmates, wounding a further 7.

Following the shooting spree, Woodham got back into his mother’s car intent to continue the spree at the local junior high school. He was stopped, however, by the high school’s assistant principal Joel Myrick who had retrieved a pistol from his car which he used to subdue Woodham. When Myrick asked “why did you shoot my kids?” Woodham replied “Life has wronged me, sir.” During trial, Woodham claimed his murder spree was partially motivated by bullying and partially due to being in a Satanic cult.

Woodham was found guilty and sentenced to three life sentences for the murders and 7 20-year sentences for the attempted murder of the wounded victims.

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