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Brenda Spencer: Teen Sniper Terrorized Elementary School (FPD CASE VAULT)

Brenda Spencer: Teen Sniper Terrorized Elementary School, Killing 2
Source: AP Photo/Nick Ut

Teen sniper unleashed a hail of bullets on an elementary school all because she didn't like Mondays.

Nov. 22 2023, Published 9:01 a.m. ET

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On a quiet Monday morning, 16-year-old Brenda Spencer unleashed hell — firing a hail of bullets into a San Carlos school as 300 students cowered in terror.

"I just did it for the fun of it," Brenda told reporters who reached her by phone during the rampage. "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day."

When the schoolgirl sniper surrendered six hours later, two adults were dead, principal Burton Wragg and janitor Mike Suchar, and eight children and a police officer were wounded.

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Brenda Spencer: Teen Sniper Terrorized Elementary School, Killing 2
Source: Bettmann/CORBIS

Principal BurtonWragg (left) died protecting kids. Custodian Mike Suchar was killed trying to save Wragg after he was shot by fresh-faced teen terror Brenda Spencer, who lived across the street from the school.

Friends weren't surprised by Brenda's behavior, revealing the troubled teen led a twisted double life. On one hand, she was quiet and well-behaved, an animal lover who won a Humane Society award.

But they claimed she also delighted in setting fire to stray dogs and cats, used drugs, drank, and boasted that she'd become a professional sniper and kill cops.

Brenda Spencer: Teen Sniper Terrorized Elementary School, Killing 2
Source: AP Photo/San Diego Union-Tribune/Jim Okerblom

Brenda Ann Spencer, 16, lays down a .22-caliber rifle as San Diego Police SWAT team officers aim sawed-off shotguns and high-powered rifles at her, ending a 6 1/2-hour siege at her suburban San Carlos home, Jan. 29, 1979.

As hundreds of police surrounded the house across from the school where she lived with her divorced dad, Brenda calmly walked out, and laid down her .22 rifle and the Jan. 29, 1979, ordeal was over.

Before the shooting, she announced to classmates she wanted to "do something big to get on TV."

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"She must have loved every minute," said a close friend.

The slaughter was made even more notorious by the Boomtown Rats hit single "I Don't Like Mondays" which Spencer's family tried to get banned in the U.S.

Now 50, she remains in prison and has been denied parole four times.


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