SALEM, Ore. - Sentencing 15-year-old Kip Kinkel to 111 years in prison for 1998's Thurston High School shooting was not cruel and unusual punishment, a Marion County judge ruled Thursday.
Kinkel and his attorney sought to reduce the prison term for the shooting rampage that killed students Ben Walker and Mikael Nicholauson and injured 25 others. Kinkel also murdered his parents, Bill and Faith Kinkel.
Betina Lynn, one of the students Kinkel shot that day in May 15 years ago, said she supports Kinkel's original sentence.
"The judge sentenced him to so many years per criminal act, both to impress upon Mr. Kinkel the gravity of his actions and to acknowledge our deep pain and suffering," said Lynn, who suffered gunshot wounds to her back and foot. "To reduce that sentence is to reduce his accountability for the terror and trauma he inflicted upon us."
Lynn's mother Rebecca said their and other Thurston families still carry the scars of Kinkel's shooting rampage. She said Kinkel's attempts to reduce his sentence tear at those wounds.
"It's really an outrage that Mr. Kinkel believes it's his right to continue to harass all those affected by the shooting at Thurston High School back in 1998, time after time after time," she said. "Old wounds torn open only to be processed again and again through our minds, our hearts and our children. I for one am very tired of having this wound picked open."
Kinkel's crimes started May 20, 1998, when Thurston High School expelled him for bringing a handgun to school.
Back at his Springfield, Ore., area home, Kinkel shot and killed his parents, Bill and Faith Kinkel. He later told police he wanted to spare his parents, both Spanish teachers, the shame of his expulsion.
Early on the morning of May 21, Kinkel drove his mother's car to Thurston High School. He entered the school in a trench coat with two handguns, a rifle, a knife and more than 1,200 rounds of ammunition.
At 7:50 a.m., Kinkle entered the school and shot Ryan Atteberry and Ben Walker in a hallway. Walker died later at the hospital.
Kinkel walked into the cafeteria filled with 200 students and started firing, wounding two dozen students.
One of the bullets killed Mikael Nicholauson.
When Kinkel stopped to reload his gun, students Jake Ryker and Adam Walburger tackled Kinkel. Several boys piled on, holding Kinkel down until police arrived.