Michael McLendon (Michael Kenneth McLendon)

Michael McLendon

Michael Kenneth McLendon (September 19, 1980 – March 10, 2009) was born in southern Alabama to Lisa McLendon (née White) and her husband. After his parents divorced, he was largely raised by his aunt and maternal uncle, Phyllis and James White, of Samson, Alabama. He attended local schools. An “A” student in high school, he was known for being quiet; he graduated in 1999. Unmarried, McLendon lived with his mother at her home in Kinston. This area of southern Alabama has had a depressed economy following the relocation of textile jobs overseas several years before. McLendon’s work history showed a pattern of short tenure at jobs. He worked briefly with the police department in Samson, but failed to complete basic training at the state academy, washing out after a “week and a half.” He had worked at the Reliable Products warehouse in Geneva, where he was asked to leave in 2003. He and his mother had worked at Pilgrim Foods, a poultry plant, and had filed suit with other workers when they were suspended in 2006. Most recently, Michael McLendon worked at Kelley Foods, a sausage factory, but quit the job abruptly the Wednesday before the shootings. Supervisors there said that he was a team leader and well-liked. Michael McLendon began his attacks about 3:30 p.m. on March 10, 2009 at his mother’s house where they lived in Kinston, a town of 540 residents. McLendon shot and killed his mother and their three dogs, and set the interior of the house on fire. He drove to his uncle’s house in the small city of Samson, population about 2,000. There he shot his uncle, two cousins, a neighbor, and said neighbor’s infant daughter, all of whom were sitting on the porch of his uncle and aunt’s house. His aunt escaped the shooting uninjured because she was inside the house, while the neighbor’s four-month-old daughter survived her gunshot wounds. McLendon went next door and shot and killed his maternal grandmother.

Michael McLendon left his grandmother’s home and started driving, shooting at people from his car. The first to die was 43-year-old Sonya Smith, a gas station attendant. McLendon next shot and killed Bruce Malloy, a 51-year-old motorist who drove past him. The last fatality was 24-year-old James Starling, whom McLendon shot in the back as he tried to get away. McLendon also shot and wounded four other persons trying to escape his attack. He drove along Highway 52 toward Geneva, continuing to shoot from his car, and eventually leading police on a 24-mile chase. Law enforcement officers at one point used the PIT maneuver on the suspect’s car, but he shot at them with a rifle, wounding Geneva police chief Frankie Lindsey in the arm, and kept going. McLendon reached Reliable Building Products, owned by Ruskin Company, where he had worked in 2003. After engaging in a shootout with police, he committed suicide inside the building. He had so much ammunition in his car that he appeared to have intended to kill many more people. The shooting spree lasted about an hour before McLendon was found dead at 4:17 p.m. He was found to have been armed with a Soviet-made SKS and a Bushmaster. He also had at least one .38 caliber pistol, police said. He fired more than 200 rounds, police said at a news conference.” A large amount of ammunition was found in his car.


  • September, 19, 1980
  • USA
  • Alabama


  • March, 10, 2009
  • USA
  • Geneva County, Alabama

Cause of Death

  • suicide by gunshot

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