By Evelyn Goble Steen


On Saturday, March 11, 2001, about 750 mourners gathered at Pathways Community Church in Santee, California to remember 17-year-old Randy Gordon Burke, who was shot in the back and killed during a mass shooting at Santana High School on Monday, March 5, 2001.

Randy Gordon Burke

Randy was one of two students killed, while thirteen other people (11 students and two adults) were wounded in the shooting.

Randy was a distance runner on the school track team, a senior with a B average who doted on his half brother and half sister. He was shot in the back between a row of lockers and dragged himself around a corner. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later. Pastor Phil Harrington, who conducted the hour-long funeral service, memorialized Randy as bright and ambitious. He said, "Randy had signed with the U. S. Navy with a desire to serve in intelligence and dreamed of being an FBI agent. He devoured books on the Navy as well as Tom Clancy novels."

Randy was a very popular student at Santee High. His fellow students remembered him as a "good person" who "always gave" and who "will be missed very much."

Friends remembered Randy on Saturday and watched a photomontage played to the theme from the submarine thriller "The Hunt for Red October," one of the young man's favorite tunes and a nod to his plans to serve in the Navy.

After Randy was laid to rest, dozens of relatives gathered at a private reception in El Cajon. Dale Goble, Randy's great-uncle, flew from Japan to join them. He remembered asking Randy several times when he would cross the Pacific for his first visit. "Someday" was always the answer. Just recently, that exchange made Goble think about buying Randy a ticket as a graduation gift. Like the watch his mom, step dad and siblings bought Randy for graduation, it will never be given. "But," Goble said, tapping his heart twice, "I'm taking him home with me right here."

Charles Andrew Williams, a 15-year-old ninth-grader who apparently fired more than 30 shots in the school Monday with a .22-caliber long-barreled revolver will be charged as an adult for this violent crime.

Randy's father was Edward James Burke. His mother and stepfather were Mari Gordon-Rayborn and Stan Rayborn. His Goble ancestry is from our "Southern Goble" tree as follows:


Randy Gordon Burke, Edward James Burke, Betty Jo Goble Burke, Everett William Goble, Robert Alonzo Goble, Jacob L/C. Goble, Corban Goble, Corban Goble, John Goble.


  • Information provided by Corban Goble and By Matthew T. Hall , Union-Tribune Staff Writer

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