Sacto 9-1-1
December 14, 2012
Connecticut killings remind north state of past school shootings

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

Today's mass killing at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school where 27 people, including 18 students, died at the hands of a lone gunman, has grim similarities to violence in this region.

Northern California public schools have been devastated by their own history of heartbreak in school shootings.

In January 1989, Patrick "Eddie" Purdy, 24, loaded himself down with a semiautomatic AKM-47 and two pistols and headed to Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, a campus he had attended 16 years earlier.

Before he was through, he had killed five students and wounded 30 children and one teacher. Then he turned a gun on himself and ended his life with a bullet to the head.

Three years later, in May 1992, a disgruntled high school dropout, Eric Houston donned a camouflage hunting vest, loaded his car with a semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun and fatally gunned down three students and history teacher at Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst, north of Sacramento.

He injured 10 other people that day and trapped 84 students in the school building as hostages.

Houston was convicted in 1993 and sent to death row.

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