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Charles Andrew WILLIAMS






A.K.A.: "Andy"
Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Juvenile (15) - School shooting
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: March 5, 2001
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: February 8, 1986
Victims profile: Bryan Zuckor, 14, and Randy Gordon, 17 (students)
Method of murder: Shooting (.22-caliber revolver)
Location: Santee, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to 50 years to life in prison on August 16, 2002

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Charles Andrew "Andy" Williams (born February 8, 1986 in Frederick, Maryland) is a convicted American murderer. At age 15, he was the perpetrator of the 2001 shooting at Santana High School in which two students were killed and thirteen others wounded. Williams is currently serving 50 years to life in prison.

Early life

Williams was born to Charles Jeffery and Linda Williams. He was born about 2 weeks premature and was delivered by C-section. He has one older brother named Michael. Linda worked for the US Army and was assigned to the Middle East in June 1989. Williams lived the first 8 months of his life with his mother, but seldom saw her after that.

In 1990, the couple divorced. Williams went to live with his father, and his brother went to live with their mother. Williams grew up in Maryland, moving twice within the state. In 1999, Williams's father wanted a change of scenery and moved himself and Andrew to 29 Palms, California. For the most part, father and son enjoyed a good relationship.

After moving to Santee, California, from 29 Palms, California, Williams felt he was targeted for physical and emotional bullying in school. In an attempt to fit in, he began to spend time with a crowd of skateboarders, with whom he would often participate in activities such as smoking marijuana. Williams was accepted within this peer group, however, at times these individuals also teased or picked on him.

In February 2001, just before his 15th birthday, Williams received news that one of his best friends from 29 Palms was killed in a bus accident.

Williams spoke on two occasions of his plan to "pull a Columbine" at Santana High, but no reports were ever made of threats to the school. The first occasion was a week before the shooting, the second during the weekend prior to Monday, March 5.

Before the shooting, Williams had two skateboards stolen from him. He acquired his weapon, an Arminius .22-cal. revolver, from the locked gun cabinet in his apartment (the gun belonged to Williams's father). After his arrest, he told investigators that he was "tired of being bullied." On the way to Juvenile hall Williams said that he did it because his friends dared him to.

The Crime

On Monday, March 5, 2001 at 9:20 a.m., 15-year-old Williams began firing a .22-caliber revolver in a boys' bathroom at Santana High School, killing two students. He then left the bathroom firing the revolver indiscriminately at other students.

According to one witness, Williams repeatedly walked out of the bathroom, fired shots, then went back into the bathroom. The scene soon turned chaotic as students and teachers ducked or scrambled to safety. Williams reloaded his revolver at least once.

A student teacher and campus security supervisor Peter Ruiz walked into the bathroom to try to stop Williams, but Williams aimed the revolver at them and forced them out. As the student and supervisor walked out Williams fired and hit the Ruiz in the back.

Two off-duty police officers who were visiting the school were alerted to the shooting, however, they were at different ends of the school. One of them approached the bathroom and called for backup. Police officers quickly arrived and charged the bathroom; they discovered Williams kneeling on the floor with the weapon in his hands. He told officers that he was by himself.

Williams surrendered and was taken into custody. He shot and killed two students, 14-year-old Bryan Zuckor and 17-year-old Randy Gordon. Thirteen others suffered gunshot wounds and were transported to various local hospitals.


On June 20, 2002 Williams, in an effort to avoid a trial, pleaded guilty to all charges against him. On August 15, 2002 a California judge sentenced Williams, as an adult, to 50 years to life in prison, and ordered him to serve his time in the Youth Offender Program at CCI, Tehachapi until his 18th birthday, at which time he would be transferred to adult prison.

Williams was given credit for the 529 days that he had served in juvenile hall, fined $10,000.00 and ordered to pay restitution to the Victims Restitution Fund. At his sentencing, Williams apologized and expressed remorse for his actions.

On March 1, 2004 he was transferred to an adult prison. Currently, there are grass-root efforts to have Williams's sentence reduced. His supporters argue that the judge was too harsh in sentencing Williams as an adult and did not take into consideration Williams's age at the time of his offense. They would like to see Williams get a new sentence, but as a juvenile, which would have meant confinement by the California Youth Authority until age 25. His appeals continue while currently incarcerated at Calipatria State prison.


The Biography of Andy Williams

In 1986 the best selling novel was Stephen Kings "IT," the top box office hit was "ALIEN" and the #1 song for 1986 was "AND THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR" and Charles Andy Williams was born on February 8, 1986, at Frederick Memorial Hospital, in Frederick, Maryland.

Andy weighed in at 7-1/2 pounds and was 22" long. Andy was born about 2 weeks-prematurely by C-section and remained in the hospital for a week before going home with his family. The first 8 months of his life, Andy lived with his Mom, Dad and his brother Michael in an apartment in Frederick right off the "Golden Mile."

In the latter part of 1986 Andy moved with his family to Fort Detrick, home to the US Army Medical Research & Material Command. Linda, Andy's Mom, was serving in the US Army. In June of 1989, when Andy was about 3 years old, his Mom was assigned to the Middle East. On leave at Christmas Andy's parents decided to divorce. Linda returned to Middle East to complete her assignment and Jeff took care of the boys. In 1990 Jeff and Linda separated and was subsequently divorced. Andy remained with his Dad and his brother Michael went to live with his Mom.

Again Andy and Jeff moved, this time to Hagerstown, Md. The two of them returned to Frederick in 1992 and in 1993 Jeff bought a house in Knoxville, Md. right at the Brunswick City limits. Jeff and Andy settled into their new home and immediately Andy became known at the "kid with the smile.'

Andy attended kindergarten and later attended Brunswick Elementary...Andy was an excellent student and seemed to enjoy school. He made friends easily and became involved in sports. Andy was very active in sports through out his time in Brunswick.

Here in Maryland, Andy grew up to become a caring and loving person. Surrounded by a circle of caring friends in the very small communities of Knoxville and Brunswick where he and his Dad made a home, a place that Andy loved dearly. Brunswick is a quaint, safe place to grow up. It was here that Andy spent his happiest years, going to school and playing sports. He liked different organized sports and school activities. Friends in Maryland saw Andy as, extremely friendly, personable and always smiling and he always did his best.

He played baseball from 1992-99 with teams from Fort Detrick, PVYA and Brunswick Little League and Jefferson Valley Baseball. From 1994--1999 Andy, played football with Brunswick Railroaders. In 1998, they went to the Super Bowl and the Railroaders won!! In 1993 Andy played soccer on a Ft. Detrick soccer team and he was always ready for a quick pick up game of basketball.

Throughout his school years, in Brunswick he did his best, winning numerous achievement awards...In 1993 he won the SUPER SCIENTIST AWARD for outstanding science project work. He also won the Hardee's Outstanding Achievement Award---his prize was a "Free Cool Twist Cone." He won 2nd place award for the Pass--Punt--and --Kick competition.

In 1999, while attending Brunswick Middle School, he was selected as one of the 7th Grade-- Student of the Month. The award, that meant the most to Andy was when he received the "Coaches Award" for the Railroaders football team.

Andy continued to thrive in Brunswick with his friends, sports and school..His best friend Scott, likes to tell the story about the frog and the mouse...It seems he and Andy were walking one day and found a frog in a puddle..Scott hit the frog with a stick and it died..Andy was very upset and made Scott stay there with him to be sure the frog was dead. Andy asked him "How would you feel if a giant frog came by and hit you with a stick and you died"? Scott says that Andy always had a thing about animals. Andy would catch field mice and turn them into pets.

Then when they died Andy would make little cardboard coffins for them and he would make Scott attend the funeral he had for his mice. Andy would even make little tombstones for their graves. Many friends tell of the great times they had with Andy..his caring for the elderly and helping carry in groceries and shoveling sidewalks, when the snow would come.

Andy went on to attend Brunswick Middle School and was running for Class President when in 1999 his Dad decided to move to California. Jeff's parents lived in 29 Palms and they decided they wanted to be closer to family and leave all the snow and cold weather behind. Andy did not want to leave Maryland and his friends, but soon after arriving in 29 Palms he was making friends and enjoying spending time with his grandparents.

In the fall of 1999, Andy was enrolled in the 8th grade at 29 Palms Junior High School. Andy was chosen to play Linus in the school production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Also, while attending 29 Palms School Andy met Brian Burdette and they became the best of friends. Brian suffered from a crippling muscle disease and was frequently bullied by other students. Andy stood up for him and in the short time they had together they both made a difference in each others lives. Jeff and Andy attend 29 Palms Baptist Church and Andy joined the church and the was involved with the youth group there.

In the summer of 2000 Jeff and Andy moved from 29 Palms to Santee, California. Andy was enrolled at Santana High School.. an environment so totally different from Brunswick, Md. Andy never felt wanted or accepted at Santana. In February of 2001, just before Andy's 15th birthday, his friend Brian Burdette, was killed in a bus-related accident.

And then came March 5, 2001--


Andy was taken into custody at Santana High School, questioned by the police and later that evening was transferred to Juvenile Hall. Andy remained at Juvenile Hall until his sentencing on Thursday, August 15, 2002.

While at Juvenile Hall, Andy was a model inmate. He completed 2 years of high school, be came adept in the art of origami and marked his growth on the wall of his one-person cell. When Andy was taken into custody, he was of slight build--5 feet-5-inches tall, 110 pounds. While at Juvenile Hall he grew to nearly 6 feet and about 150 pounds, He spent his time reading and writing letters while the Public Defender unsuccessfully fought to have Prop 21 declared unconstitutional. After the ruling by the Supreme Court, that Prop 21 was constitutional Andy was taken back to court to be tried as an adult.

On June 20, 2002 Andy pled guilty to the charges and his sentencing was set for August 15. On August 15, 2002 Andy was sentenced to 50 years to life and ordered to serve his time in the Youth Offender Program at Tehachapi State Prison until his 18th birthday at which time he would be transferred to adult prison. Andy was given credit for the 529 days that he had served in juvenile Hall, fined $10,000.00 and ordered to pay restitution to the Victims Restitution Fund.

Present for the sentencing were many long time supporters, some from out of state and local supporters, family and friends. That evening a candlelight vigil was held in front of Juvenile Hall to protest Andy being tried and sentenced as an adult. On, Saturday, August 17th Andy was interviewed by Diane Sawyer from Prime Time and according to a spokesperson, for ABC, they received more letters and emails about that interview than they ever received about any show they had aired.

On Monday, August 19, Andy was transferred to Tehachapi which is located about 90 miles north of Los Angeles. While at Tehachapi Andy continued to be a model inmate and earned his high school diploma. At Tehachapi Andy was placed with another inmate, Parker. They both did very well and their friendship continues today. They write each other, whenever they can, and both look forward to being reunited someday.

On March 1, 2004 Andy was transferred to adult prison where he continues to be a model inmate, is taking college courses and hope someday to be free.

During the time, that Andy has been incarcerated, he has had the support of his family and friends. He looks forward to their letters, their visits and he calls his family and friends, whenever he can.


WARNING: Andy Williams here. Unhappy kid. Tired of being picked

By Terry McCarthy /

Sunday, Mar. 11, 2001

After Andy Williams, 15, was arrested for opening fire on his classmates in Santee, Calif., last week, his mother Linda Williams wept before a TV crew and said, "He's lost. His future's gone." No grownup in his life seems to have been looking out for that future before the shooting. Charles Andrew Williams had been a lost boy for some time--hopelessly adrift in a dysfunctional, anonymous suburban landscape, craving acceptance but too often meeting rejection instead.

His schoolmates bullied him. His mother rarely saw him. His father neglected him. Even his friends taunted him--and may well have goaded him into his shooting rampage. A Williams associate told TIME that more than two months before the attack, one of the boy's closest friends boasted that Williams had taken one of his father's guns and hidden it in bushes behind a park they frequented. The weekend before, when Williams began saying that he was going to "pull a Columbine" on Santana High, two of his friends called him a "pussy" and dared him to do it.

Others were sufficiently concerned to pat down his clothing in search of a gun on Monday morning before he entered the school. But nobody said anything to the school authorities. At 9:20 a.m. on Monday, Williams took out a .22 revolver--secreted either in his trousers or in his yellow backpack--in the boys' bathroom of the school and started firing, first into the room and then into an adjacent courtyard. Many students initially thought it was fireworks and moved toward the popping sounds until they saw others falling wounded to the ground.

San Diego County sheriff's deputies, who responded rapidly to the first emergency calls, cornered Williams in the bathroom. He handed over his weapon, which had been reloaded and was cocked to fire again. Six minutes of shooting and 30 rounds left Bryan Zuckor, 14, and Randy Gordon, 17, fatally wounded and 13 others hit. It was the worst school shooting in the U.S. since the Columbine massacre two years ago.

As the town of Santee buried the two dead children last weekend, parents, teachers and counselors were struggling to understand what had turned the baby-faced Williams into a stoned, smirking gunman who had changed their life forever. Doctors said all 13 wounded victims were set to make full recoveries. But slowly Santee started to learn things about itself that it didn't like to hear--that despite street names such as Peaceful Court and Carefree Drive, it was far from the idyllic, pacific suburb that many of the adults in Santee imagined.

"There's a lot of hate around here," says Gentry Robler, 16, a sophomore at Santana High. He reels off the high school cliques: the gothics, the freaks, the dorks, the jocks, the Mexican gangsters, the white supremacists. "This is a school that was waiting for something like this to happen." But who would have guessed that it would be the skinny, jug-eared, timid freshman wearing a silver necklace with the name MOUSE on it who would make this happen?

Williams came to California less than two years ago from a town in rural Maryland. After a spell in the town of Twentynine Palms, his dad got a job as a lab technician for the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, and the two moved to Santee (pop. 58,000). Williams was instantly picked on by the bigger, more streetwise kids there. Laura Kennamer, a friend of Andy's, saw kids burning their lighters and then pressing the hot metal against his neck. "They'd walk up to him and sock him in the face for no reason," she says. "He wouldn't do anything about it." Jennifer Chandler, a freshman, saw the same pattern of torment: "Kids were mean to him. He'd slack it off. Like he kept it all inside."

Things weren't great at home either. Williams' parents had divorced when he was 5, and he rarely saw his mother after that. Several friends said he would automatically call their mothers Mom. Williams lived with his father Charles Jeffrey in a dank stucco apartment house about one mile from the high school. Adrianna Aceven, a fellow freshman and one of the few friends whom Williams invited back to his apartment, said the father was distant, disappearing to work on his computer when the kids walked in.

On weekends the senior Williams is said to have stretched out on the floor, sipping beer and watching the sports channels. "I never saw Andy go anywhere with his dad," says Shaun Turk, 15. "Andy would call him and say it's raining and beg him to give him a ride home. But you could hear his dad yelling into the phone, 'Get your ass home!'"

So Williams sought out another place to belong. He ended up with a band of dope-smoking skateboarders who hang around Woodglen Vista Park, a short walk from the school. "When I first met Andy he was, like, a good Christian boy from Maryland," says Aceven. "But he started hanging with a different crowd, getting into trouble, ditching school, acting different."

Aceven called Andy's new friends the Grommits, a term that eludes meaning even for her. The kids would sit at the tables behind the park toilets, smoking marijuana and drinking tequila they would shoplift from the Albertson's supermarket opposite the school. One of the tables has a graffito of a marijuana leaf.

Williams fell into a troubled teenage world, where Columbine has become a legend, where getting stoned on superstrong weed like "bubblegum chronic" is for some a daily deed and where ditching school to rub shoulders with the Aryan Brothers gang in the skate park is an unexceptional life choice.

The scene at the public housing complex next to the park, another hangout, is dissolute. Single parents fill ashtrays the size of dinner plates with cigarette butts, indifferent or oblivious to a preteen daughter sharing with a reporter her tales of hallucinogen abuse or a 15-year-old son boasting of his near-death experience from alcohol poisoning. At night drug-crazed kids run rampant around the buildings, screaming and banging on windows like demented Valkyries. The city ran out of money before Christmas to pay for security guards for the apartment blocks, and the cops are so weary of the complex that residents claim that sometimes they don't even respond to emergency calls.

It was there that Williams met and befriended Josh Stevens, who lives there with his mother Karen and her boyfriend Chris Reynolds, 29. Williams and Stevens soon became inseparable, with Stevens always in the lead. "Andy was a follower," says Dawn Hemming, 32, a hairdresser who is the aunt of one of Williams' close friends. "Josh could manipulate Andy because Andy wanted to be In."

And he was In with that crowd, to some extent. Andy dated girls and had a week-long relationship with Ashlee Allsopp, 12, who scrawled I LOVE ANDY on her sneakers. She came to the park to see him. "We would just sit there and smoke weed. Bong loads, pipes, joints, you name it--he smoked it."

Williams continued to be picked on, sometimes even by his newfound friends. "I made fun of him--I regret it now," says John Fields, who said he left Santana High earlier in the school year for frequent truancy and is part of the skate-park group. As recently as the Thursday before the killings, Kathleen Seek, 15, a former girlfriend of Williams' back in Maryland, received an instant message from him saying he didn't want to go to school that day for fear of being bullied. But few of Williams' friends ever really understood what was going on inside the youngster's tormented mind. "Andy didn't speak about his problems. He kept them all in. Maybe a fuse finally blew," says Analisha Welbaum, a 14-year-old freshman.

Stevens, however, thinks he knows what finally unleashed Andy. "He was pushed to the edge," he says. "Listen to In the End, track eight on Linkin Park's CD. That was the song that inspired Andy." The metal hip-hop hybrid screams alienated angst: "In spite of the way you were mocking me/ Acting like I was part of your property/ Remembering all the times you fought with me/ I'm surprised it got so far..."

Williams apparently wanted the taunting to go no further. He told Stevens of his plan to take one of his father's guns from a locked cabinet inside the apartment. "Andy took the key off the chain when his dad was sleeping," says Stevens. It's unclear whether Williams' father noticed the theft of the gun--a rare, German-made Arminius .22-cal. long-barrel revolver with an eight-shot capacity. But after the shooting, police retrieved seven other guns from the cabinet, which they said was properly locked.

For young Williams, it seems, talking about the plot to his friends was a big part of carrying it out. People at least took notice of him. Three weeks ago, Hemming heard that Williams and Stevens were planning to shoot up the school. "Two days later," she says, "I confronted Josh. I said what the hell are you and Andy planning? I said this is serious shit. He said they were just kidding. I said, 'You have to tell someone.' He said, 'I'm going to tell my mother's boyfriend [Reynolds], and he is going to have a talk with Andy.'" Hemming, who called the police after the shooting to tell this story, says she now regrets leaving the matter in the hands of Chris Reynolds. "I thought, well, he's a role model; he's a male." Thinking back on it now, she realizes, "Chris was a buddy."

Reynolds is not a popular figure among the adults at the apartment complex. In an environment where many of the teens desperately need a father figure, Reynolds instead plays the role of older brother, horsing around with the credulous younger boys. He took Williams and Stevens paintball shooting--friends said they called themselves the Terror Squad and went downtown in San Diego to aim at drunks, though Reynolds said they only looked for paper targets. Still, he concedes, "Sure, sometimes I don't always give them the best advice."

On the Saturday before the shootings, Williams, Stevens and some other friends were hanging out at Stevens' apartment. Williams had been silent earlier in the evening, as the boys sat around a small bonfire in another friend's driveway. "He was in his own little world, staring off into space," says Stevens.

Later, though, he opened up about his Columbine plan. Reynolds later caught wind of the conversation: "They were in the living room all Saturday night. I heard he was going to go to school and start shooting people. I had the smallest little details. I asked him if it was true, and he said no, he was just joking around."

Stevens and Williams had also discussed stealing one of their parents' cars and driving down to the border to find a new life in Mexico. Others started goading Williams. "They talked him into it," says Stevens. "Two people said, 'Oh, yeah, just like you're running away to Mexico. You're a pussy. You won't do it.' But they were trying to get him to."

On Monday morning, Williams smoked a joint with some friends at an apartment complex on Carefree Drive. Then he hung out with Shaun Turk, John Fields and Mike Wolfe outside "the Jack"--the Jack in the Box fast-food restaurant across from the school. The only unusual thing was that Williams told them, "I got to leave when it is 9:06." Says Turk: "We usually never leave the Jack until 9:15." Analisha Welbaum saw Williams there on her way to class and said he was "really calm; he wasn't shaking; he wasn't stuttering." Minutes later, she was walking across the school courtyard when she heard gunshots. "I looked down the hallway and saw him--he was about 100 feet away--and he turned and looked me in the eye. Then he turned around and shot some others."

Last week police were saying little about their investigation into what Williams' friends and associates knew or did not know in advance about the shooting. They have questioned many who knew Williams, including Stevens and Reynolds. Reynolds says, "It's being reported I am the one to blame for this. I can blame myself. But other people knew way before I did."

Kristin Anton, the chief deputy district attorney in charge of the case, said two days after the shooting there were no plans to charge anyone else in the affair. But late last week, Reynolds and Stevens each hired criminal-defense lawyers. Stevens' attorney denies that his client was involved in the shootings.

In the blood-splattered bathroom at the school, Williams, to indicate there were no other shooters, told police, "It's only me." And so it was when he appeared for his first court hearing two days after the killings. None of his family members was present. His mother was avoiding the public eye.

His father told lawyers he was too distraught and did not want to face the media. He also said his "financial situation was very tight" and that he was unable to pay for a lawyer to represent his son. So Andy was alone in court, puffy-faced and solemn, represented by a public defender, saying nothing as the prosecutor read out charges that could result in 500 years of prison time.


50 Years To Life For School Shooting

Teenager Killed Two, Wounded 13 Others At California High School

EL CAJON, Calif., August 15, 2002

(AP) The teen who killed two students and wounded 13 others at a high school last year was sentenced Thursday to 50 years to life in prison after he tearfully apologized for the shooting rampage.

Charles "Andy" Williams didn't explain why he opened fire with his father's handgun at Santana High School in Santee on March 5, 2001 but said he felt "horrible about what happened."

"If I could go back to that day, I would never have gotten out of bed," the 16-year-old said, his voice breaking.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence of 425 years, saying Williams coolly planned the assault at the suburban San Diego school and shot classmates as they ran in terror.

Deputy District Attorney Kris Anton said the harassment Williams said he suffered, such as having his skateboard stolen or being knocked in the chin, did not justify the shooting rampage.

"The defendant is the bully. He took a gun to school and shot innocent kids," Anton said.

Judge Herbert Exarhos called the attack vicious and fiendish, but noted that Williams had endured a difficult home life and had no prior history of criminal behavior. He said the question of why Williams committed the attack remain unanswered.

"In all likelihood, it is a question the defendant will be struggling with daily to answer for himself," Exarhos said.

In June, Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. The assault at the 2,000-student campus killed Bryan Zuckor, 14, and Randy Gordon, 17, and wounded 11 other students, a teacher and a campus monitor.

Ray Serrato, a student who still has a bullet lodged in his back, said he has forgiven Williams, but continues to suffer emotionally.

"I not only lost my best friend, Randy Gordon, I lost my innocence, my security," Serrato said. "Fifty years is not enough."

The teen's father has said his son, then 15, was the victim of frequent bullying after moving to Santee from Twentynine Palms, a desert community east of Los Angeles. Previously he had lived in the small town of Brunswick, Md.

The judge had said Williams will go to state prison but won't be housed with adults until he turns 18.

The attack, which came nearly two years after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, was the first of two shootings in two weeks at schools in San Diego suburbs.

On March 22, 2001, Jason Hoffman, a student with a history of mental illness, wounded five people at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault, then hanged himself in jail. He was 18.



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