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Posted inAsAmNews

35 years later, Stockton still remembers Cleveland Elementary School shooting

Mike Vann remembered Jan. 17, 1989 as a foggy day. He was a seven-year-old second-grader at the time, nervous about an upcoming math test that morning.

As the recess bell rang, children poured into the playground, each claiming their favorite spot. Vann had returned from the water fountain and was standing by a door, deep in thought about his math test, when the sound of fireworks erupted across the playground.

Vann had no idea what exactly was happening at the time when he lined up and went back to the classroom, nor when his parents gave him the biggest hug after the police released the kids from school.

It turned out that those weren’t fireworks—instead, what Vann had heard was the Cleveland Elementary School shooting in Stockton, Calif., on Jan. 17, 1989. Five children lost their lives, and over 30 were injured. Among the children who lost their lives, four were Cambodian and one was Vietnamese. The shooter took his own life. Mike Vann is a survivor.