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This Day in History: Richland High School shooting 9/28/1984 Richland, TX (Barry Wayne Shaw)

Richland HS

Richland High School
And also that same year…here was our school shooting:
Heavily armed man opens fire in high school foyer
Principal disarms gunman in school
Gunman, Wanted In Murder, Opens Fire At School
Ex-student sprays school foyer with bullets
Barry Wayne Shaw v State of Texas 1987
Jury rejects $11 million lawsuit in gun case

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16 Responses

  1. I was a student at the time of the shooting and I was in the Foyer at the school on the day of the shooting.

    I had just gotten off the buses (they let you out in front of the school) I was talking with friends and I heards the noise coming up the hall that still to this day gives me shivers “CLICK CLICK CLICK” I saw a guy with guns and he started shooting at the glass doors I was sitting next to, I thought it was a homecoming joke ( I was a freshman and rumors of high scholl pranks were told to me for years so I half expected it to be a joke) I realized i was in danger when the doors fell like a sheet. ..the gun man whisteled at us I was told later to tell us he was aiming at other areas of the room but all I could here was the echo of the guns and people yelling…when the gun man was not looking I ran out the doors he was shooting at

  2. I am not sure who Dawn Balck is, but I am going to have to call BS to her story.

    1. Richland High School DID NOT have Freshman. In 1984 there were only 3 grades in this school. 10th, 11th, & 12th. All Freshman were still at the Jr. high Schools.

    2. Mr. Shaw NEVER shattered any doors or as Ms. Black puts it “doors fell like sheets”. Mr Shaw never shot at the doors, he was aiming up at the ceiling and hit some of the windows that were 15+ feet over the front doors.

    • Scott,
      Your correct it was my 10th grade year and I was there so calling B.S. is a waste of a good call.

      I was in the lobby, the door on the far right of the school entrance shattered, I ran out the door on the far left that was untouched as I recall, I was a scared kid at the time and some of the things that happened may be confused in my head but I was there, it was scary and I am glad we all lived threw it,

  3. You have the year wrong – it was 1985

  4. Actually, it WAS 1984. t was the 1984-1985 school year (my senior year). The windows in the top of the foyer were shot, not the doors.

  5. Ms, miss, Mrs Hazel is correct! Not to mention a “coke” machine (I think) and a trophey case or two. Thank God, he couldn’t find Mrs. Ball!! She had changed her classroom location from the previous year. I was on the other end of the school at the time…… But you can bet I wlked by later.. Coach Cowan let us use the phone in the gym to call our parents> The media gave too much credit to the “Rev.”, “PHD”, “Dr”, “Principal” Williams”

    • This is Dawn Black- Known then as Dawn Mcnamara
      I was mistaken it was my 19th grade year and I was in the lobby by the front doors I had a trophy case shot over my head and I ran out the last door on the left as Shaw whistled and turned toward the back part of the school. I too had coach Cowan! and I agree the principal received way to much credit!

  6. They left the bullet hole windows for years after it happened. I was 87-90 and remeber seeing them. during my time in RHS. Twas creepy. I don’t remember if they were there my last year but, I know they were there in 87. And yes, RHS was Sophomore through Senior.

  7. I was in the first freshman class at RHS, starting in ’89. Before that it was 10-12th grades. Don’t remember seeing the bullet holes, but the shooting was definitely RHS lore!

  8. I was there that day….
    We were in the cafe having breakfast like we always did after working out, and we heard what sounded like firecrackers. If I remember correctly, it was homecoming time-frame and thought this was related somehow.
    We all got up and went to the foyer to find a gunman shooting wildly. Needless to say, we all turned around and went back through the cafe and exited through the rear of the kitchen. I remember it like it was yesterday, I guess some things you never forget.
    This could be just rumor, but I heard later that he was looking for Mrs Ball, and old teacher of his, but she had moved to a different classroom and he couldnt find her…..
    And yes, there were bullet holes that remained for years in glass, as well as, the ceiling in the foyer.

    • I thought it was homecoming related too

    • Don … you and I were together that morning. At some point, we split up. I was with Shane Reuther and we were walking the halls to go to English class when everything went down. We later heard the bullets whizzing down the hallway. Sounded like someone throwing rocks at the walls. We didn’t think much about it. In fact, we had no idea that a gunman was in the building until well after it was all over.
      What a day that was. We were SO fortunate.

  9. I work with Barry Shaw at NOV. He is a supervisor in the night shift. No one likes him. He is called the terminator because he fires everyone. I was just curious what had happened. He wears a parole monitor around his hip and an ankle monitor. Reading these comments has made me like him even less.

  10. The school shooting is only part of the story. If you will search his full name-Barry Wayne Shaw, you will find the cold blooded murder and attempted murder he committed on September 24th, 1984. This occurred 4 days prior to the school shooting. It is beyond belief that this man is out of prison. Our justice system failed miserably in this case.

  11. I was there that day as well and Mrs. Ball was my english teacher. I was a Junior and was in the foyer that morning and saw this maniac come running into the foyer, It was homecoming and the banners were up all over the foyer. He started firing into the air and did take out the coke machine. I do remember that Dr. Ray Williams, principle, came pushing past students that were trying to run out of the foyer. He froze when he saw it was a gunman. Shaw was facing away from him, turned around pointed the gun at Dr. Ray. Dr. Ray was just standing there, and Shaw looked at him, looked at his gun and then lowered the gun. Dr. Ray was credidted with “Verbal Apprehension of the gunman” and the school district instituted a Dr. Ray Day. What was the craziest thing that happened this day is that they didn’t close the school. School stayed open. They didn’t even send Mrs. Ball home. I had class later that day with her and she was crying throughout the entire class. Thank goodness they changed the classrooms around that day. I think that he stormed into Mr. Ballards, History Class, thinking it was Mrs. Ball’s old class.

    • Sorry for the typo. They changed the classes that year not that day. I believe it used to be alpahbetical and they changed it to areas of study. Mrs. Ball was a great English teacher. Probably one of the best teachers I ever had.

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