Brenda Spencer, 16, was too small to be scary.
That was how one high school classmate described the 5-foot-2, 89-pound sniper Monday, hours after the girl allegedly opened fire on a crowded San Diego elementary school. The shooting spree killed the principal and custodian and injured at least 8 children.
"She was just this very weird girl," said Terry Sizemore, a senior at Patrick Henry High School where Spencer attended classes as a junior.
"She'd shoot birds and cans. She had this long, straggly red hair. She was really scrawny -- pretty crummy looking.
"She's a real little girl -- real thin," Sizemore continued.
"She got in trouble a lot for being truant and not doing her work. She was different, that's for sure. But she never really bothered anyone."
The portrait of Brenda Spencer that emerged in interviews with classmates was that of a lonely, friendless girl whose one interest seemed to be guns.
Last year, Spencer got into trouble for shooting out the windows of Cleveland Elementary Scholl, site of Monday's shooting spree, with a BB gun.
"You'd always see her walking around by herself at school," said Jolene Davis, a junior at Patrick Henry.
"I don't think she had any friends. But it wasn't like she was real sad or anything. You'd see her smiling and laughing sometimes. She just had this thing about guns."
Classmates said that Spencer had won marksmanship medals and was trained to shoot by her father, Wally.
Despite the talk about guns, students her said that they never were afraid of her or thought she would harm anyone.
Jolene Davis said Spencer had told her that her father wouldn't let her dress like a girl. "She was always talking about her father -- how mean he was. That and the gun, that was pretty much all she talked about."
Davis also remarked that Spencer "liked old war movies and liked to play war."