Survivor of Notorious School Massacre Now Murder Suspect

Sarim Chabb survived a 1989 massacre at Cleveland Elementary School.

December 4, 2013, 12:42 PM

Dec. 4, 2013— -- As an elementary school student in Stockton, Calif., Sarim Chabb was shot in the leg when a gunman used an assault rifle to spray bullets at a schoolyard full of students at recess. The Stockton shooting in 1989 was one of the worst mass shootings the country had ever experienced up until then.

Now a quarter of a century later, Chabb, along with her brother, is accused in the shooting death of a man.

Joseph Silva, public information officer for the Stockton Police Department, said police received a report of shots fired from inside an apartment complex on Saturday, Nov. 30.

When officers arrived, Silva said they found Marshawn Black, 22, who had been shot to death.

He declined to say what evidence led police to arrest Chabb, 31, and her brother, Sarth Chabb, 27, on Sunday. However, he said Black and Sarim Chabb knew each other.

"It was basically just good old fashioned police work," Silva said. "Just going to the apartment, talking to people and piecing the events that led up to the shooting together in a fast manner, which led them to the suspects."

Sarim Chabb, who was 7 years old, was enjoying her lunch recess with hundreds of other students at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton on Jan. 17, 1989 when a gunman opened fire. Chabb is of Cambodian descent and nearly all of the children in the playground were Cambodian and Vietnamese.

Patrick Purdy, 26, sprayed the playground with 106 rounds from his assault rifle. The terror lasted for three minutes before Purdy killed himself.

Among the carnage were five dead children, while at least 29 students and one teacher were wounded.

Chabb, who was a first grader, according to news reports from the time, was shot in the left leg.

Sam Behar, Chabb's public defender, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from

He told ABC News' Sacramento affiliate the connection was "interesting, but irrelevant" to the current case.

Chabb and her brother are due back in court on Dec. 17.

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