SANTEE, Calif. -- For the past month, Andy Williams, the pale, slight Santana High freshman, repeatedly told friends he was going to take one of his father's guns to school and shoot people. Friends all said they thought he was joking.
The threats were frequently made to Williams' buddies who hung out at the Woodglen Vista Skate Park. "You guys just watch, I'll do it," he said.
"Everybody would just laugh and tell him to shut up," said Dustin Hopkins, a friend. "Then Andy said, 'OK, I'll show you one day. It'll happen.' "
"I didn't take it seriously at all. None of us did. I never thought he was like that."
The park was a big hangout. The kids from the neighborhood, and as far away as El Cajon, came there to skate, and more. Williams' crowd drank alcohol when they could find it -- beer, tequila, whatever they could steal or get somebody to buy. They smoked cigarettes and marijuana, according to Jessie "Red" Cunard, 18, a former Santana High student who also hung out at the park.
One recent night, police patrolling the park found Williams in possession of several 40-ounce bottles of beer. He later told an adult acquaintance, Junior Sanchez, "They just told me to go home."
Friends and acquaintances give this account:
--Saturday night, Feb. 18: A bunch of kids at the Skate Park pay Williams' girlfriend, a 12-year-old eighth-grader, to go down to Albertson's and steal a fifth of tequila. She does it and everybody drinks; the girl gets very drunk. She and Andy Williams go off by themselves. Some time later, Josh Stevens, Andy Williams' best friend, finds the girl passed out near a creek in the park. Williams is nowhere to be found. Stevens attempts to carry the girl home.
The girlfriend's mother and a friend find Stevens and the girl and notice her belt is partly undone. Among the things they suspect is some misconduct by Williams.
Sunday, Feb. 19: Word spreads about Williams and his girlfriend, although by then her mother thinks there was no foul play. She just didn't buckle up very well, the mother says.
That week, Williams breaks up with the girl. Rumors continue to spread. "I heard it was a bad breakup," says Samantha Davis, 17, a senior at Santana High.
One night, Williams and Kimberly Roberson, 13, a neighbor, hang out in front of their apartment building, "eating Skittles on the stoop," she says.
--Saturday, Feb. 25: At the Skate Park, Williams is accused of trying to sexually molest the girl. One of the boys beats Williams. "He pounded him badly, punched him in the face four times," says Tony Friends, a Skate Park regular. The beating leaves Williams with "a fat eye," according to Friends.
--Last week: One day Williams and Stevens fill water pistols with urine and squirt students in the school hallways.
--Saturday, March 3: Andy Williams and another boy sleep over at Josh Stevens' house. Williams repeats the threats, then says he's joking. The three boys stay up until 3, listening to music and playing guitar.
--Sunday morning: Chris Reynolds, Josh's mom's boyfriend, hears about Williams' threats. He confronts him. Reynolds says he questioned Andy's seriousness in making the threats. Josh repeats he was kidding. Reynolds says, "You better be. Or I'll have your ass arrested before you even get to the school."
--Sunday, midday: Reynolds tries to call Williams' father, to tell him about the threats. There is no answer. He tries again later, he says, but the line is busy.
--Sunday afternoon, 4:00: A bunch of kids go to a place they called Summit, near the Skate Park, to ride their bikes through the impromptu jumps they built or found there.
Katie Hutter, 12, of Cahon Park Junior High, is one of the bike riders. Williams starts with his threats again, she says. " 'Tomorrow, I'm going to have a bunch of guns and I'm going to shoot a bunch of people. I'm going to shoot people down and you're going to watch,' he said. We were just making fun of him, just mocking him," Hutter said.
--Sunday night: Williams repeats the threats to Neil O'Grady, a friend. "I thought he was just messing around. He told me he was going to take a gun to school and shoot people. He told me to stay home."
--Monday, 7:30 a.m.: Andy Williams calls Josh Stevens' house, as he did most mornings, to see if Josh is ready to go to school. Josh is still asleep. Chris Reynolds tells Williams that Josh isn't going to school with him today.
--Monday, 8 a.m.: Williams goes to Santana Village Mall, across Magnolia Avenue from the high school. This is a morning ritual. As many as 30 students gather daily at the Jack-in-the-Box there. The ones who want to be mistaken for grown-ups drink coffee. Everybody else chugs cokes, one student says.
Andy's friends take his threats from the weekend seriously enough to search him for weapons. They pat down his habitual blue Navy Seals sweatshirt and jeans. They find nothing. They neglect to look inside his yellow backpack.
--Shortly after 9 a.m.: The group drifts off to school. They go not en masse, but in trickles.
--9:20 a.m.: Andy Williams walks into the Santana High School quad, a campus gathering spot for late-start students and others on break from their first classes.
John Schardt is on the telephone with his mother. She is going to bring his lunch. Sophomore Heather Noble, who carries a teddy bear along with her books, walks down the hall, just past the bathroom. Wes Clonts heads to second-period biology. Dustin Hopkins, a friend of Williams, enters the quad with their mutual friend, Trevor Edwards.
The first shots are muffled, slight pops, like firecrackers, say several students. At first nobody knew what they are, but as people start falling, as a food cart is shot up, as blood flows onto the ground, it is apparent.
Dustin Hopkins looks as his friend Trevor is shot. Then he looks across the quad and sees little Andy Williams, grinning wildly, with the gun.
Schardt, a junior, says: "Everyone was running around screaming. The food cart was shot out and there was a boy crouched down bleeding looking for someone to help him."
Schardt says the shooter then emerges suddenly from the bathroom and fires off at least two more rounds. He holds the gun, shooting and smiling. "It was sadistic."
The suspect returns to the bathroom.
"People were tripping over tree trunks, throwing backpacks and screaming, running. There were a lot of 'Oh-my-Gods.' People were running all over the place like when you drop water on ants. That is what it look like ants," says Heather Noble.
--9:22 a.m.: The first call to 911.
--9:30 a.m.: San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Ali Perez and his partner, Pat Burns, respond. Nervous students point them toward the restroom in the 200 building. Off-duty San Diego police Officer Robert Clark, on campus to enroll his daughter, is already there.
They enter the boy's restroom. Williams is there, kneeling, the gun raised over his head, but pointed to the side. They confront him and demand he drop the gun. They repeat the demand several times.
Perez tackles Williams and yells for his partners to check the stalls for accomplices.
Williams tells Perez: "It's only me."
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