Indiana school shootings: A comprehensive list of the last 130 years

INDIANAPOLIS -- The history of school shootings in Indiana goes back more than 100 years, but the state has been spared the type of violence that has occurred at other schools across the country.

Since 1881, there have been eight school shootings recorded in Indiana; only two of them have been deadly. 

The most recent incident was in Gary, Indiana, in 2011, when a 17-year-old student shot and killed a 16-year-old student. 

In 1960, a Hartford City principal killed two female teachers in their classrooms before he ran into the woods and shot himself. 

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Education Week, a publication that covers stories about teachers and education policy, has launched an annual school shooting tracker called: School shootings this year: How many and where.

The Education Week tracker shows all incidents where a firearm was discharged inside a K-12 school building or facility, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event that resulted in injury or death of anyone not the suspect. 

Here is a list of the reported school shootings in Indiana since the late 1800s. 

January 22, 2016: Indianapolis

Paul Rayner
  • A 15-year-old student from Lawrence Central High School was shot in the leg outside the school at the end of the basketball game against Warren Central. Police identified the shooter as Paul Rayner, a student at Lawrence North. Rayner admitted to police that he had fired several shots at a group of students who he said were “following him.” In 2017, Rayner plead guilty to battery, intimidation and carrying a handgun without a license.  

March 25, 2011: Martinsville

Martinsville West Middle School
  • A suspended Martinsville West Middle School student, Michael Phelps, 15, shot another student inside the school. The victim, Chance Jackson, 15, was hit twice in the stomach. The shooting injured seven of his organs. Phelps was found guilty of attempted murder in July 2011 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

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March 30, 2001: Gary

Lee Wallace High School
Lee Wallace High School

December 2, 1983: Crawfordsville

Grant Carey
  • Crawfordsville High School student Calvin Dowell, 17, was shot four times at point-blank range by another student, Grant Carey, 17. The two had been arguing over a girl. According to newspaper articles from the time, Grant used a .44 Magnum from his father's collection for the shooting. The case was waived to adult court and Grant was sentenced to six years in prison. Dowell survived the shooting but was paralyzed. 

March 22, 1974: Brownstown

  • A 17-year-old student shot and killed Jessie Blevins, 48, the Athletic Director at Brownstown Central High School in the parking lot of the school. The motive for the shooting was never revealed. 

February 2, 1960: Hartford City

  • William Reed School principal Leonard Redden, 44, shot and killed two teachers, Harriett Robson and Minnie McFerren, inside their classrooms. Redden then ran into the woods and killed himself. It is unclear what led to the shootings but some say Redden was having dreams about the two teachers. 

March 17, 1909: Delphi

  • During a dispute between the junior and senior classes one of the students, Larry Coble, was on the roof of the school putting up his class flag when students surrounded him and someone fired shots with a double-barrel shotgun. Coble was struck in the back but was not seriously injured. A newspaper article from The Indianapolis News says that a mother of one of the boys handed the gun to the boy who did the shooting.

April 24, 1890: Brazil

  • A Meridian Street School student, Ben Corbery, shot a 10-year-old Cora Brubach in the face while they were playing at recess because she had told the teachers about something he had done wrong. Brubach survived the shooting.

December 22, 1881: Shelby County

  • A Shelby County teacher made the paper after he fired a shot at a student who refused to write on a slate. The bullet missed the child but the teacher was arrested and fired. 

 

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