34 Years Later, Winnetka School Shooting Victim Reflects on Uvalde Massacre: ‘We Don't Have to Live Like This'

NBC Universal, Inc.

As the nation mourns the loss of 19 children and two teachers fatally shot at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, many have looked to the countless tragedies that preceded it and wondered: How have we allowed this to happen yet again?

Before Uvalde, before Parkland, before Sandy Hook, before Columbine, before so many school shootings, there was Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka.

On May 20, 1988, Laurie Dann walked into the North Shore grade school and opened fire, killing one child, 8-year-old Nicholas Corwin, and wounding five more.

Amid the scattered pencil boxes and art projects, the young students learned a terrifying lesson that day that shattered their innocence.

After fleeing the school, Dann invaded the home of Ray and Ruth Ann Andrew. There, she wounded one more victim, the couple's teenage son Phil Andrew, before she killed herself.

"We don't have to live like this," Phil Andrew said Wednesday, calling the events in Uvalde heartbreaking.

"But really, it goes to the lost opportunity of the last 34 years where we as a society, as a country, have not done what we have to do to keep our children safe," he added.

Phil Andrew had a long career with the FBI and now works as a consultant in security and crisis management. He said he believes the nation has to do more to keep lethal weapons out of the hands of those who pose a danger to others, like Laurie Dann and so many who owned their guns legally, but never should have had them.

Phil Andrew argues that there are ways to write those laws.

"It's going to look like a universal background check that includes diving into mental health," he said. "It's also going to include red flag laws, a national red flag law that allows law enforcement to take weapons temporarily from folks that are a threat to themselves and others."

The question remains: When will we be hurt enough to finally start working on that solution?

"The nonsense needs to stop," Phil Andrew said. "The nonsense where we're not looking at the facts, we're not looking at the data, and we're not thinking about the impact this has on the lives of our community and our children."

Contact Us