Cokeville, Wyoming Bombing Anniversary-May 16, 1986
Do you remember the hostage situation at the Cokeville Elementary School?
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the incident in western Wyoming where more than 150 hostages were taken and two people were killed.
On a Friday afternoon, May 16, 1986, David and Doris Young took 154 hostages into a small classroom at the Cokeville Elementary School and held them for 3 hours. The former residents of the small town on the Idaho and Wyoming border had planned to hold the children hostage for a ransom of $2 million each.
David Young had a gasoline bomb attached to him with the rest of it in a grocery shopping cart along with an arsenal of other weapons. The couple had gathered students, teachers, staff and visitors into a small first grade classroom.
About 4 p.m., David went to the restroom, he had attached the bomb to his wife while he was gone, and the device went off, engulfing her in flames and burning many nearby children. He returned and shot his wife, who was in great pain. He then shot at a music teacher who was escaping. Young then returned to the bathroom where he shot himself.
The only victims of the hostage situation ended up being David and Doris Young, the hostage takers themselves. The music teacher, John Miller, survived and many of the children suffered burns from the explosion and fire.
Recordings were made of the Cokeville bombing survivor's memories of the incident. Audio from these sessions are available to listen to for free. This is thought to be one of the first violent incidents to occur at a school in the United States.