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Police question whether shooters targeted individuals

Johnson and Golden
Mitchell Johnson (L) and Andrew Golden in undated yearbook photos   

2 Jonesboro funerals today

Friday's developments:

JONESBORO, Arkansas (CNN) -- Two of the Jonesboro, Arkansas, girls killed in Tuesday's schoolyard ambush were being buried on Friday as investigators hoped to complete interviews with shooting victims who survived the attack, which was blamed on two middle school classmates.

Two students -- Mitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew "Drew" Golden, 11 -- are being held on five counts each of murder and 10 counts of battery. Of the 10 people wounded, five, including a teacher, remained hospitalized Friday.

Police say the two suspects, dressed in camouflage and armed with rifles and handguns, opened fire on Westside Middle School classmates and staff members who had left the school after the boys triggered a fire alarm.

Highlights from Friday briefing

Sadler visits the jail area Friday
icon 342K/30 sec. AIFF or WAV sound

Bill Sadler, a spokesman for the Arkansas State Police, briefed reporters on Friday outside the Craighead County Detention Center in Jonesboro where Johnson and Golden are being held. He said:

  • No single individual appeared to be targeted by the boys. He said the chaos that erupted after the gunfire began "would make it difficult, at best, for some person to be targeted in that chaos." icon (376K/34 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
    Some students have reported that Johnson threatened to seek revenge against a girl for breaking up with him. When questioned further by a reporter, Sadler left open the possibility that the shooters may have "gone there with the intention of looking for one single person." icon (305K/27 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
  • Both of the young suspects "seem to be as well as you can expect under the circumstances."
Authorities found several weapons in this van   
  • State police investigators had conducted 88 interviews in the case and hoped to wrap up the questioning on Friday, once they were able to talk to shooting victims still hospitalized or recently released from the hospital after being treated for their wounds.
  • A "significant amount" of physical evidence, including fingerprints and firearms, had been turned over to the state police crime lab.
  • Prosecutors were preparing a "fact list" on the case but Golden's attorney, Val Price, objected to the list being made public. No decision has been made on whether the information will be released.

  • Interactive Map: Recent shootings at U.S. schools

  • Statistics: School violence at a glance

  • Message Boards: Are our schools safe?
  • Friday funerals

    The school was closed on Friday for a previously scheduled teacher training day. Funerals were to be held on Friday for two girls, both 12 -- Paige Ann Herring and Natalie Brooks.

    Hundreds of Herring's friends and classmates hugged one another and cried as they waited to walk by her open casket during visitation Thursday night. A line for the viewing went out the door and into the parking lot.

    Photos of Brooks at different ages were to the right of her closed casket at a separate visitation. One showed a toddler dressed in a white bunny costume, while she wore a pink formal dress in a recent photograph.

    Funeral services are scheduled Saturday for the three other victims, teacher Shannon Wright, 32, and students Stephanie Johnson, 12, and Brittheny Varner 11.


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