cleveland elementary school


This Day In Crime

Brenda Spencer
‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ 

Female mass murderers/school shooters are a rare occurrence, but not on January the 29th 1979, at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. Whilst the young children were waiting at the school gates for it to open, Brenda Spencer got her rifle and stood at her window. Spencer fired 30 rounds of ammunition, killing the principle, a custodian and injuring 8 children. Spencer then barricaded herself in her home hours before being arrested. 

Whilst inside on the phone a reporter asked why? Brenda’s response was “I don’t like Mondays”  

Brenda Spencer was sentenced to 25 to life 

Spencer has had 4 parole requests denied, her next hearing is 2019


Childhood photos of Brenda Spencer

She was very active and she was always happy. A good child, well behaved, never had any problems at school.” - Brenda’s mother, Dot Spencer, about her daughter as a child.

On January 29, 1979, Brenda Ann Spencer, 16 years old at the time, fired shots at Cleveland Elementary School across the street from her house, in San Diego, California. The principal and a custodian were killed and nine more were wounded in the shooting.

That was my little girl, she’s not a monster.” 

Patrick Purdy thought Asians where at the root of all his problems.

In January 17, 1989, he decided it was time for resolution. He left his flea bag motel wearing the customary army fatigues with “Death to the Great Satin” (a typo or perhaps a strange fixation with fancy evening wear) scribbled on his sleeve and headed for the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California.

In the next six minutes the the lethal drifter opened fire in the schoolyard with an AK-47 killing five youngsters of Southeast Asian descent and wounding 29 children and a teacher. Purdy, 24, ended the attack by turning his gun on himself.

Arson investigator Marty Galindo was at a nearby car wash when he got a radio call of a vehicle fire near Cleveland Elementary School. Purdy, in what detectives later said was a diversion attempt, had stuffed his station wagon with fireworks and set the car ablaze moments before he walked onto the campus and opened fire.

“I can still smell the gunpowder. That’s what I remember most – the gunpowder. There were bullet casings everywhere. And I remember walking by a little girl’s shoe, it couldn’t have been more than a few inches long, that was sitting there on the ground. There was flesh on it. It had to have been cut off. I walked around the corner of a building and saw all those kids down. It was surreal. This was supposed to be where kids are playing games, happy,” Galindo said.

When the smoke settled, Michael Jackson, the Peter Pan of auto-erotica, descended on the school to spread goodwill (and maybe something else) among the surviving kids. Four of the dead children were Cambodian, one was Vietnamese. Most were born in Thailand in refugee camps as their parents fled the genocidal regime of Cambodian ruler Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.


Four days before the shooting, Patrick Purdy invited his half-brother Albert Gulart to his motel room, where they spent much of the evening drinking and cleaning and loading Purdy’s collection of guns. Conversation soon deviated to the familiar topic of killing people. In the past, the two of them had shared a desire to shoot policemen, even deciding on a bridge near Modesto as the ideal place to kill officers. That night, Purdy reportedly said, “Let’s do it,” to which Gulart replied, “You’re not ready.” They continued drinking, and awhile later, Purdy finally gave up on the idea, admitting, “Fuck it, they’re not worth it.” Investigators concluded that it was “probable” Gulart knew about his general plan and Purdy intended him to be his partner, due to his “guarded” account of that January 13th conversation, among other things, and he even admitted, “It’s kind of hard to talk about because somewhere in the future I would have went with him.”

When asked about Purdy’s suicide, Gulart claimed he killed himself “to get even with police, so they wouldn’t be able to punish him.” He also said suicide “takes all the guesswork out of it” because one doesn’t need to worry about when or whether to leave, the arrival of the police, or how many people were killed, then added: “You can concentrate more on doing it. You just fire away, and you hear it and that’s what happened. Basically, he knew what he was going to do.”


38 years ago today, 16 year old Brenda Ann Spencer killed 2 and injured 9 at Cleveland Elementary School. She has been denied parole 4 times, and is next eligible to try in 2019, 40 years after the shooting
she is known for being the first school shooter in American history, and for her infamous quote “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day a little.”
The song I don’t like Mondays, by the Boomtown Rats, was written about Spencer

The Cleveland Elementary School shooting took place on January 29, 1979, in San Diego, California. Shots were fired at a public elementary school. The principal and a custodian were killed. Eight children and a police officer were injured.

A 16-year-old girl, Brenda Ann Spencer (born April 3, 1962), who lived in a house across the street from the school, was convicted of the shootings. She was tried as an adult, and pled guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon. She was given an indefinite sentence and remains in prison.

During the shooting, a reporter phoned houses near the school looking for information about what was going on. He reached Spencer, who freely admitted that she was the one doing the shooting. When asked why she was doing what she was doing, one of the things she was said to have told him was: “I don’t like Mondays.” The alleged comment was widely publicized; Spencer later said she did not recall making the remark.



Brenda Ann Spencer and the Cleveland Elementary School Shooting :

On 29/01/1979 sixteen year old Brenda Spencer shot the elementary school who was a street across her house. She injured eight childrend and a police officer and kills the principal and the custodian of the school.
When police asked her why she did this her answer was “I don’t like mondays” what inspired Bob Geldof to write his song “I don’t like mondays” who was playes by his band The Boomtown Rats. The song was relased later that year.

Tried as an adult, Spencer pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and was given an indefinite sentence.

On Monday, January 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer used a rifle to wound eight children and one police officer at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, and to kill Principal Burton Wragg and custodian Mike Suchar. The school was across the street from her house. She used the rifle she had recently been given for Christmas by her father. When the six-hour incident ended and the pretty teenager was asked why she had committed the crime, she shrugged and replied, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” She also said: “I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun.” “It was just like shooting ducks in a pond.” and “[The children] looked like a herd of cows standing around; it was really easy pickings.” Her lack of remorse and inability to provide a serious explanation for her actions when captured inspired the song “I Don’t Like Mondays” by The Boomtown Rats, written by socialist musician Bob Geldof. Her quote “I don’t like Mondays” also appears written on a wall in the movie, The Breakfast Club.


Patrick Purdy murdered five children at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California on January 17, 1989. After parking his car behind the building, he approached the children in the schoolyard dressed in military fatigues armed with a Norinco 56s rifle, and a Taurus PT92 pistol. “Hezbollah” was carved into the rifle and “Freedom” was written on the magazine, along with the pistol’s handle reading “Victory.” While his car exploded, he began shooting with the AK-47 variant, spraying gunfire in all directions. The attack lasted under three minutes and ended when Purdy shot himself in the head. Twenty-nine children were injured, as well as one teacher. The five fatalities were all Southeast Asian immigrants and between the ages of six and nine. Authorities maintained the shooting was not the result of a hatred for the Asian community and concluded Purdy was an unhappy loner who had a fixation on the military.

‘’I don’t like Mondays. This will liven up the day.’’


On the morning of Monday, January 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer had told her father that she wasn’t feeling well and he let her stay home that day. After he left for work, Brenda took her .22 caliber rifle and began shooting from her window at children who were waiting outside Cleveland Elementary School for principal Burton Wragg to open the gates. Brenda injured eight children, including an officer, and killed Principle Burton Wragg and the custodian, Michael Suchar, who were trying to protect the children.

After firing thirty rounds of ammunition, Brenda barricaded herself inside her home for nearly seven hours. While there, a journalist phoned her up and inquired Brenda’s reason for the shooting to which she replied, “I don’t like Mondays. This will liven up the day.’’ Brenda threatened police negotiators that she would ‘’come out shooting.’’ Ultimately, she stepped outside of her home, calmly put her weapon down, and surrendered. When police officers searched her home, they found empty bottles of beer and whisky scattered on the ground.


Brenda was tried as an adult, and pled guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Due to Brenda’s age, she could not receive the death penalty so was instead sentenced to 25 years to life. In prison, Brenda was diagnosed as an epileptic; she has received medication to treat epilepsy and depression while at the California Institution for Women in Chino, California.

In 2009, the parole board ruled Brenda would be denied parole, and would not be considered for the next 10 years. She will become eligible to have a Board of Parole Hearing in 2019.

Aged 16, 1,57 tall, unusually thin, bright red hair,  self-identified as “having been gay from birth”.  On the morning of Monday, January 29, 1979, Spencer began shooting from her home at children who were waiting outside Cleveland Elementary School. 2 deaths, 9 injuries, asked why she carried out the shooting what she answered was:”I don’t like Mondays”.

Given how my “Ring Of Fire” Post is taking off like a Ba 249 “Natter”, let’s do a double feature with another classic cheap gun. 

This is a TEC-DC9, specifically this is the version used by spree killer and absolute edgy teen idol Dylan Klebold in the infamous 1999 Columbine School massacre. And now we’re gonna see how a weapon intended for police and military sales became one of the firearm world’s twist of fate and one of the most iconic criminal guns.

The story begins with two men, George Kellgren and Carlos Garcia. Kellgren was a designer who worked for Husqvarna and Interdynamic AB and designed the TEC-9′s beginning, the MP-9. With milled and stamped steel components, horrible folding stock, foregrip and selector switch killed it on the absurdly tight Swedish market, so Interdynamic moved to Miami, Florida. Kellgren leaves to work with Grendel and founded Kel-Tec, explains a lot of Kel-Tec’s quality problems while Garcia tweaked the MP-9 and began selling it as the KG-9.

The first alarm bell rang and that was that the KG-9 was a semi-auto pistol with an open bolt. For those who don’t know, that meant that any illegal gunsmith could simply fiddle with the sear and make it a full-auto machine pistol, and that they did. KG-9′s were bought in spades, set to full auto and matched the MAC-10′s ludicrous 1,000 RPM in a caliber easily obtained with a number of magazine sizes from tiny 10 rounders to ridiculous 50 round stick mags.

In 1982, the ATF ordered Intratec to revise the design to a closed bolt system, and they did and renamed the gun the KG-99. At this time, Interdynamic changed names to the now infamously tainted Intratec, and the kingpin was born. The KG-99 was modified with better sights and dubbed, the TEC-9.

From 1985 to 1990, the TEC-9 was made, with a number of version with long and short barrels, satin nickel or black finishes, a slew of magazine sizes and muzzle extensions and suppressors for every need. The TEC-9 became common with Jamaican and Cuban gangs across Florida for it’s size, large magazine capacity and it’s similar look to the full-auto MP-9. And with the rise of modern crime dramas and gangster rap, they immortalized the TEC-9 as a powerful gat with stopping power. 

And with a large magazine and the rise of the spree killer came it’s usage in mass shootings. On January 27, 1989, 6 people were killed in the Cleveland Elementary School shooting, committed by drifter Patrick Purdy. With this, California passed the Robert-Roos Assault Weapon Control Act of 1989, banning a lot of guns more on name than actual criminal usage and the TEC-9 was one of them.

Intratec circumvented this by making the TEC-DC9, DC standing for Designed For California. With the only difference being a change in sling attachment point, the TEC-DC9 lasted until 1994. When it and the original TEC-9 were named in the now famously bad Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. Intratec continued with the AB-10, similar looking to the TEC-9 “mini” but with no thread for a muzzle cover or suppressor as those were too “threatening” for 90′s politicians.

And here comes the big two nails in the Intratec coffin, the Columbine shooting and the 101 California Street shooting. 101 was on July 1st of 1993 when 55-year-old failed entrepreneur Gian Luigi Ferry walked through the 34th floor of law firm Pettit & Martin and after being told to seek legal council with a firm in the Midwest, walked into an elevator, donned ear protection and drew out 2 TEC-DC9 pistols as well as a Norinco made 1911 copy. He then shot 8 people at the firm and then himself. This attack prompted the Crime Bill of 1994 and the AWB.

Columbine High School in 1999 is devastated when two student, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shoot 13 students before killing themselves. In their arsenal included a Hi-Point 995 Carbine, sawn off Savage 67F pump shotgun and 311R double barreled shotgun, around 99 pipe bombs and one TEC-DC9, that was famously captured in a CCTV image in the hands of Klebold following their shooting of the school’s cafeteria. This shooting devastated the nation, and whether it was news reports, documentaries made by fat waste of space or countless leaflets, the TEC-9 shows up.

With publicity due to these shootings, Intratec attempted to diversify with a number of other designs, such as the Glock style compact CAT-9 pistol, TEC-22 and TEC-38. But the media frenzy grabbed Intratec and soon every politician was claiming the CAT-9 was “a cross between an assault weapon and a saturday night special” over a tiny compact pistol. Typical politician bravado, Intratec folded in 2001 from infamy and a ton of lawsuits from the Clinton administration.

And that ends the tale of the TEC-9, from police SMG to gangland paradise to media sensation, whether it’s at a gunshow’s pistol rack, a Dominican drug runner’s gun of choice, a video game bullet hose or in a Biggie Smalls song, the TEC-9 will remain a gangster’s piece.

January 29, 1979

16 year old Brenda Ann Spencer open fired on Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, which she lived across the street from. Spencer had received the gun as a gift from her father on Christmas, almost a month prior to the shooting. From her home, she began to shoot at children who were patiently waiting for the front gates of their school to open. In the midst of her rampage, the principal and a janitor were killed while trying to get children to safety. She also injured 8 children and a police officer. 

When questioned on her motives for the shooting, she replied “I just did it for the fun of it. I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”

Spencer is currently serving out an indefinite sentence at The California Institution for Women in Chino, California, and will not be eligible for parole again until 2019. 


Brenda Ann Spencer was just 16 years old when she opened fire at Cleveland Elementary School. Brenda killed the school’s principal as well as a custodian and wounded 8 children and a police officer. Brenda’s home was across the road from the school and she ended up barricading herself inside her home in the hours before her arrest. During this time she spoke to a journalist on the phone. The journalist reported asking Brenda why she had shot at the school, her apparent reply was “I don’t like Mondays.” Spencer has said she doesn’t recall making this remark.
Brenda was tried as an adult and received a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

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On January 17, 1989, a disturbed loner, Patrick Purdy, brought a Chinese-made AK-47 to the Cleveland Elementary School and started firing. He killed five children and wounded 30 others, including one teacher. He then killed himself. The victims were mostly from Cambodia and Vietnam — Stockton is one of the major hubs for South Asian refugees. Stockton was in the national news — as always, just for something awful. Michael visited Stockton Elementary School shortly after the shooting. His visit left a tremendous impact on children who were still emotionally and psychologically scarred from that tragedy. Weeks after he was wounded in the Cleveland Elementary School shootings, 6-year-old Rob Young and his family received a call from a caseworker with the San Joaquin County district attorney’s victim/witness assistance office that a celebrity was coming to Stockton to visit children and families. “They didn’t tell us who it was,” Young said. “We thought it was going to be the president.” In fact, it was pop singer Michael Jackson, just back from a world tour and at the height of his celebrity. Jackson had heard about the tragedy and, on Feb. 7, 1989, he came to town to try to boost spirits. Wearing a dark blue military-style uniform, Jackson visited every classroom at Cleveland that day, stopped by Central Methodist Church to meet wounded children not yet ready to return to school and sat with two more children still recovering at San Joaquin General Hospital. Jackson gave all the children videotapes and T-shirts. “His presence made me feel like, ‘Oh, wow, the world is safe, and it is possible to dream, and there is hope after all,’ ” said Elizabeth Pha, 27, who as an adult is pursuing her own career as a singing star. In a recent interview with former Record reporter Dianne Barth, Cleveland Principal Pat Busher said, “(Jackson’s) motivations were heartfelt. … It was to help children. And that event did a lot of good for the children.” “He brought truckloads of gifts and held children in his arms. He was genuinely concerned and expressed his sorrow.” said Diane Batres, head of the Victim Witness program in Stockton, who explains she was contacted by Jackson because he was interested in visiting the school and the surviving children. Michael also distributed videotapes of his latest recordings to the children and staff at the school. One of the songs distributed was Man in the Mirror. Five children died, 29 more and a teacher were injured, on January 17th 1989.


Patrick Edward Purdy was an unemployed drifter that engaged in a series of criminal activities at a young age. At the age of 12, police caught Purdy with BB guns and subsequently confiscated them. When he was 15, Purdy was arrested for a court-order violation, and was arrested weeks later for underage drinking. As the years went by, Purdy was further incarcerated for offenses including prostitution, possession of marijuana, drug dealing, possession of an illegal weapon, theft, armed robbery, and vandalism. 

In April of 1987, at the age of 22, Purdy and his half-brother Albert were both arrested for firing a semi-automatic pistol at trees in a national forest. Authorities had found Purdy holding a book about the white supremacist group “Aryan Nations.” During his interrogation, he had told the county sheriff that it was his “duty to help the suppressed and overthrow the suppressor.“ While behind bars, Purdy attempted suicide twice, once by trying to hang himself with strips torn off of his shirt and another time by trying to cut his wrists with his fingernails. A psychiatric evaluation that followed claimed that the man was mildly mentally retarded, and that he was a danger to both himself and others. Purdy began attending welding classes in the fall of 1987, and started complaining about the high amount of southeast Asian students at the college he was at. 

On January 17, 1989, an anonymous caller tipped the Stockton, California police department off about a massacre that was going to occur at Cleveland Elementary School, the school that Purdy had attended from kindergarten to second grade. At noon, Purdy parked his vehicle behind the school after arming it with fireworks, and proceeded to set it on fire with a Molotov cocktail, causing it to explode. Purdy then moved to the school playground, where he fired 106 rounds with his semi-automatic assault rifle, killing 5 students, wounding 29 others, and wounding a teacher. Purdy then pulled the trigger on himself. The 5 victims and most of the wounded consisted of Cambodian and Vietnamese immigrants that had come to the US with their families as refugees. Purdy had carved the words “freedom,” “victory,” and “Hezbollah” on his weapon, and had also written “PLO” ( which stood for “Palestine Liberation Organization”), “Libya,” and “death to the great Satin” on his body armor. Police claimed that Purdy was a misanthrope with a strong hatred toward Asian immigrants, his rationale being that they stole the jobs of natively-raised Americans. 

One of Purdy’s former co-workers had stated that “he was always miserable. I’ve never seen a guy that didn’t want to smile as much as he didn’t.” Purdy had also written the following in a notebook he had kept with him: “I’m so dumb, I’m dumber than a sixth-grader. My mother and father were dumb.”