Tyrone Mitchell was an American man who fatally shot two students and wounded 12 others who were leaving 49th Street Elementary School in South Central Los Angeles, California, on February 24, 1984. Take a look below for 27 more interesting and scary facts about Tyrone Mitchell.
1. Mitchell committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a double-barreled shotgun.
2. He was born to Lee Charles and Annie Lee Mitchell in Alabama.
3. Mitchell grew up in a South Central Los Angeles home that was later razed to build the 49th Street Elementary School.
4. Mitchell and his family were members of the Reverend Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple, and they followed Jones, without Mitchell, in 1977 in Jonestown in Guyana.
5. Mitchell lost both of his parents, four sisters and a brothers in the mass murder-suicide that took place at Jonestown on November 18, 1978.
6. According to Mitchell’s fiancee, 29 year old Marylou Hill, who would also later join the Peoples Temple, Mitchell suffered a nervous breakdown after his parents, four sisters and brother committed the murder-suicide at Jonestown.
7. Mitchell was a student at California State University, Long Beach for several years, where he attended a variety of classes.
8. His fiance, Marylou Hill, worked as a preschool teacher.
9. At 2:23 PM on Friday, February 24, 1984, about 100 children of the 49th Street Elementary School had just emerged from their classrooms and onto the school’s playground when Mitchell opened fire from the bay window of his house, located just across the street.
10. Mitchell shot 39 rounds from an AR-15 rifle and 18 rounds from two shotgun down into the crowd of students.
11. A team of paramedics rescued several children while Mitchell continued to fire from his second-story window.
12. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedic Jack Frye and his partner drove directly onto the schoolyard and pulled children into their ambulance.
13. When the gunfire stopped minutes later, the school, which enrolled 1,164 students, was evacuated, and Mitchell’s house was surrounded by police.
14. After the school shooting, a siege ensued, during which Mitchell’s fiance arrived and asked police to allow her to enter the house to try and talk with Mitchell. However, the authorities refused her pleas, fearing that she would be taken hostage.
15. The siege ended when a four-man SWAT team stormed the house minutes after 6 PM.
16. The SWAT team fired at least 16 canisters of tear gas into the house before the SWAT team entered.
17. Mitchell was found laying face up on the floor of his second-story bedroom. He was dressed in camouflage pants, a khaki shirt and jungle-style combat boots, an empty knife scabbard attached to his belt.
18. At the time of the shooting, Mitchell had injured 14 people mostly children. Most of the children were treated at local hospitals.
19. One of the first children to die from the attack was 10 year old Shala Eubanks.
20. A funeral service for Shala Eubanks was held at 11 AM on Wednesday, February 29th, at Roger Williams Baptist Church. Over 1,000 people filled the church on West Adams Boulevard.
21. Carlos Lopez, 24, had been walking past the school on his way to a nearby park for his daily jog when the shooting erupted. He suffered gunshot wounds to the abdomen. Even though he underwent surgery, he died on April 13, 1984.
22. The funeral for Carlos Lopez was held on Saturday, April 21. About 100 friends and relatives throughout the Los Angeles area, most of them factory workers like Lopez, gathered at Park Lawn Cemetery in the City of Commerce.
23. Mitchell’s motives still remain unclear.
24. According to Willie Lee Mitchell, Tyrone had been in the house all day on the day of the shooting.
25. Many people believe that Mitchell’s actions were linked to the deaths of his immediate family in the Jonestown incident.
26. A toxicological study of Mitchell’s body fluids postmortem by the Los Angeles County coroner found no PCP or other illegal drugs, and only a small amount of alcohol.
27. During his entire life, Mitchell never held down a steady job.