Return to Headlines

25 years later: Thurston High School Shooting

May 21, 2023 marks 25 years since the Thurston shooting. As we reflect on the continuing impacts from that day, we wanted to again share the message from the memorial that sits on the southwest portion of the Thurston High School campus:

“This memorial shall stand forever in memory of Mikael Nickolauson and Benjamin Walker.

With comfort to those who miss them; with encouragement to those who are shooting survivors and are learning to overcome both physical and emotional wounds.

On May 21, 1998, our community suffered a great loss. Mikael and Benjamin were killed and 25 students were wounded in the school breezeway and cafeteria.

Seven students helped disarm the student gunman. Were it not for those students, the THS students and staff who rendered immediate assistance and the combined efforts from Springfield Police, local area fire departments, EMTs and extended local law enforcement, more lives may have been lost.  

Appreciation is extended to the community for opening their hearts and offering help in so many ways; from assistance provided by local medical facilities and personnel to donations and continued support.

The courage and strength shown by the victims and families has inspired all, and has given hope and encouragement to continue with life after tragedy.

Let this memorial stand as a reminder that we all were impacted on that day, with hope and understanding, helping comfort each other for what took place.

May we all understand the life changing impact of violence, and may this place extend the comfort, strength and hope that comes from a caring community, state and nation.”


Thurston Memorial Plaque