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Mass shooting in Texas brings back memories of 1997 Pearl High School shooting

WAPT Jackson logo WAPT Jackson 5/25/2022
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It seems that every time a shooting at a school is reported in the U.S., Mississippians are reminded of the dark day in Pearl in 1997 when Luke Woodham killed three people and wounded seven others.

It's always a bitter memory of what was one of the first highly publicized mass school shootings. There had been others before, but what Woodham did in 1997 was apparently a sign of things to come.

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Woodham was convicted of stabbing his mother to death and then driving to the Pearl High School campus and opening fire on his classmates. Those who were at the school then said it is a hard reminder to pay attention to those around you.

"I think about it all the time," said Jason McCarty, Pearl class of '97. "And the movie theater thing happened, and I didn't go to a movie theater for about two years."

Video: How to talk to kids about the mass shooting (WAPT Jackson)


Roy Balentine was the Pearl High School principal in 1997.

"We can do things to minimize the risk and be prepared that in the event, God forbid, something does happen in a particular school, that you know how to deal with it," Balentine said.

Balentine said one of the positives to come out of that horrific event was how the community pulled together after the incident to heal. That continues, it seems, almost 25 years later.

Woodham is serving a life sentence at Parchman.

READ THE FULL STORY:Mass shooting in Texas brings back memories of 1997 Pearl High School shooting

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