Police were immediately dispatched. Moments later they found themselves faced with risking their own lives in order to save others.
As Spencer continued her wanton gunfire, officer's commandered a garbage truck to use as a shield and drive into the line of fire to rescue innocent children. Countless lives were saved.
The spree ended sixteen minutes later.
The entire seige lasted seven hours.
After firing thirty rounds, Spencer found her house surrounded by SWAT and the Emergency Negotiations Team. Despite Spencer having barricaded herself inside and threatening to, "come out shooting" she ultimately surrendered peacefully.
In the subsequent search of the house, officers found beer and whiskey bottles cluttered throughout the rooms however they noted Spencer did not appear to be intoxicated.
When asked why she committed the shooting Spencer later replied, "I just did it for the fun of it. I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day. I have to go now. I shot a pig (policeman) I think and I want to shoot more. I'm having too much fun (to surrender)." She also said, "I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun. It was just like shooting ducks in a pond. " They [The children] looked like a herd of cows standing around; it was really easy pickings."
Due to the seriousness of her crime, the young sniper was tried as an adult.
It was noted she mentioned the attacks months before when she told friends: "One of these mornings, you´re gonna look for me. No one understands me. You don´t have to wait very long to see what is going on with me."
Neither her parents nor her friends paid heed to these statements.
After becoming eligible for parole, Spencer was denied four times, including on August 13, 2009, and will not be eligible again until 2019 - 40 years after the incident.
In 1993, Spencer claimed that she had been under the influence of PCP and alcohol when she opened fire, adding that the state and her attorney conspired to hide her drug test results. Both former prosecutor Charles Patrick and Spencer's attorney Michael McGlinn vehemently denied that any evidence had been hidden in her case.
At a parole hearing in 2001, Spencer claimed that her violence was a result of an abusive home life in which her father beat and sexually abused her. The parole board's chairman, Brett Granlund, expressed doubt about Spencer's allegations, saying that Spencer had never discussed the allegations with counselors.
When 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer opened fire on Cleveland Elementary School in the San Diego bedroom community of San Carlos, the incident marked the first high profile mass school shooting in the United States.
Spencer later became infamous for her quote, "I don't like Mondays," which inspired the song of the same name by The Boomtown Rats. The song was a UK number one single for 4 weeks in 1979.
Born in San Diego on April 3, 1962, Spencer purportedly took an early liking
to guns and to stories of violence. For Christmas in 1978, her father, Wallace Spencer, gave her a semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle.
Neighbors claimed Spencer had a history of petty theft, drug abuse, and truancy. Classmates alleged that the week before the shootings Spencer said that she wanted, "to do something big to get on TV."
That statement became prophetic when, on the morning of January 29, 1979, Spencer posted herself by a window in her home and began randomly shooting across the street toward the school just as children were waiting outside for principal Burton Wragg to open the gate.