History

Bee history, 1992: Eight hours of terror at Lindhurst High

Law enforcement officers assist in the evacuation of students at Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst after heavily armed former student, Eric Houston, took hostages on the campus on May 1, 1992. Houston killed teacher Robert Brens and three students, and wounded 10 others.
Law enforcement officers assist in the evacuation of students at Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst after heavily armed former student, Eric Houston, took hostages on the campus on May 1, 1992. Houston killed teacher Robert Brens and three students, and wounded 10 others. Sacramento Bee file

May 2, 1992: A school dropout reportedly angry at his former history teacher surrendered to authorities Friday night after shooting 15 people, killing four, and taking about 80 people hostage during eight hours of terror at Lindhurst High School.

The gunman, identified by authorities as 20-year-old Eric Houston, walked calmly into the high school campus in this farming town north of Sacramento and opened fire in one classroom, striking three people, including a teacher whom he apparently blamed for his failure in school, before walking upstairs to corner another group of students.

He gave up, said Yuba County sheriff’s Capt. Dennis Moore after the siege ended at 10:30 p.m. He is in the back seat of a patrol car in handcuffs. A 12-gauge shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle with a pistol grip were confiscated.

The dead were found after the surrender and as authorities conducted a grisly search of the school.

They were identified by family members and authorities as history teacher Robert Brens and students Judy Davis, Beamon Hill and Jason White.

Brens, who was shot in the chest, taught history for four years. Davis was a student in Brens’ class.

Eleven other people were wounded by gunfire, and most were taken to Rideout Memorial Hospital.

Authorities said Houston, an unemployed assembly line worker who had dropped out of Lindhurst High, reportedly sought revenge for his troubled high school days by calmly walking through a classroom building and opening fire.

Jim Mayer, Chris Bowman and Lisa Lapin

Cartoon Corner

1938
A 1938 special legislative session created the State Lands Commission to regulate drilling for offshore oil. The Bee asserted on the last day of the session that lobbyists for the petroleum industry would probably get their way anyway. Cartoon by Newton Pratt

1886: Horse with Sacramento pedigree wins Kentucky Derby

James Ben Ali Haggin
James Ben Ali Haggin owned most of Rancho Del Paso in northern Sacramento County and used its 64 square miles to develop what became the world’s largest and most successful horse breeding farm. Bee Archives Bee Archives

1886: Ben Ali, owned by James Ben Ali Haggin, wins the 12th Kentucky Derby. Haggin owned most of Rancho Del Paso in northern Sacramento County where he developed a successful horse breeding farm. At one time he owned 1,000 thoroughbreds.

Haggin was the son of Ferah Temple Haggin, a prominent Louisville, Ky., attorney. He came to Sacramento in 1850, and by 1860 was a successful attorney in San Francisco.

His partner and brother-in-law, Lloyd Tevis, was sued in 1862 by the owner of 44,374-acre Rancho Del Paso. Tevis won and he and Haggin acquired the land, which is bordered by the American River, Northgate Boulevard, Manzanita Avenue-Fair Oaks Boulevard and Rio Linda’s U Street. They sold it in 1910 for $1.5 million.

Haggin’s legacy here is very apparent: Ben Ali Temple and Activity Center, across from Hagginwood Park; Ben Ali School; and at least seven Haggins or Hagginwoods, including Haggin Oaks Municipal Golf Course. And streets are named for his horses – Frienza, Dixieanne and Salvator.

1885: Flowery tribute for Crocker gallery donation

DS MARGARET CROCKER
Margaret Crocker, wife of Edwin Bryant Crocker, in a photocopy of portrait from the Crocker Art Museum collection. Dick Schmidt Sacramento Bee file

1885: Sacramento stages a flower festival to honor Margaret Crocker for her donation of the family’s art gallery to the city. A crowd of 20,000 presents Crocker hundreds of flowers.

Here is an excerpt from the May 7, 1885, edition of The Bee:

Mrs. Crocker, her face wreathed in smiles of happiness, arose and bowed to the audience, which returned the courtesy with cheers and the slapping of thousands of hands. Then she addressed Mayor (John Q.) Brown, handed him the keys of the Art Gallery, and spoke as follows:

“Mayor Brown: In the midst of this sweet atmosphere of love and fragrance, and upon this occasion, one of the happiest days of my life, it affords me great pleasure to make a formal delivery to you of the E.B Crocker Art Galley, in the bestowal of which I feel as sure I am but carrying out the wishes of my late husband ... It almost overpowers me to contemplate the magnificence of this beautiful display of floral elegance.”

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