School Gunman Applied for Gun Permit, 9 Years After Shooting

A man who as a child helped gun down four middle school students and a teacher applied for a concealed-carry permit under a different name but was denied, police said Wednesday.

Andrew Golden, 22, applied for the permit under the name of Drew Grant, listing a home address in Evening Shade — only 55 miles from Jonesboro, where he and classmate Mitchell Johnson lured students into gunfire in 1998 during a fake fire drill, police spokesman Bill Sadler said.

Golden changed his name after his release from prison last year. In a recent ruling, Craighead County Circuit Judge David Burnett barred lawyers from releasing Golden's new name or home address.

Fingerprints provided with the concealed-carry permit matched those given by Golden at age 11 in the aftermath of the shooting, Sadler said.

"Early on in the application process, some red flags went up with the identity of the applicant who had listed his name as Drew Grant," Sadler told The Associated Press. "After some further checking, there was a determination made that he was one and the same as Andrew Golden."

Sadler said state police investigators notified the sheriff of northern Arkansas' Sharp County, where Evening Shade is located.

There were no telephone numbers listed under the names Drew Grant or Andrew Golden in Evening Shade. Danny Glover, who is representing Golden in a civil suit brought by one of the victim's families, declined to comment.

Regulators sent Golden a letter within the last week noting several reasons why his application was rejected, Sadler said. One was "dealing with a 1998 incident," while the other involved previous addresses where Grant said he lived.

"At least two previous addresses that were known to the department ... were not listed," Sadler said. While Sadler did not offer specifics, those two addresses likely were the state's Alexander Juvenile Correctional Facility — where Golden was held until his 18th birthday — and the federal prison where he served time until he turned 21.

Sadler said Golden has 10 days to appeal the rejection after he receives the denial letter, sent by certified mail. He said investigators were examining whether criminal charges were warranted over the accuracy of the rejected application.

The electronic edition of The Arkansas Times, a Little Rock weekly newspaper, first reported the denial Wednesday night.