Victim speaks out about shooter's release - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Victim speaks out about shooter's release

The Jonesboro school shooting was seven years ago, but for those who lived it, it feels like it was yesterday.

On August 11th, Mitchell Johnson will walk out of a federal prison in Memphis.

He's 21 years old now, no longer the 7th grade boy who shot and killed four of his Westside Middle School classmates and a teacher. Mitch Wright's wife Shannon was that teacher.

"When you realize how short the sentence is going to be, you start counting it down then," Wright said.

He says seven years isn't long enough for the crimes Johnson committed.

"I mean to me its basically the same thing as terrorism, these kids terrorized school students and to think that they're going to walk scot free with a clean record its just not justice," Wright said.

Shannon Wright left behind a 2 1/2 year old son who is now 10, and like his father, is anxious about Johnson's release.

"He said dad its not fair, he gets to go home and see his mom and the only way I get to see my mom is in videos and pictures," Wright recalled.

Wright hasn't seen Johnson since the trial ended...he says while he doesn't necessarily want to talk to him, he is willing.

"If he would call me up and say that he wanted to talk as long as there was someone present I would meet with him because I would still like to know why the real reason why and not just something that a lawyer came up with," Wright said.

Johnson's mother, Gretchen Woodard, told an Arkansas newspaper her son has changed and will not return to Arkansas. Something Wright wants to believe is true.

"I hope that he's been rehabilitated, I hope that he doesn't commit anymore crimes, and I hope that no more innocent people have to pay," Wright said.

The second Jonesboro school shooter, Andrew Golden...will be behind bars for another two years.

Golden was eleven when he and Mitchell Johnson opened fire at Westside Middle School. He is set to be released in May of 2007.

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