Mitchell Johnson walked free from prison Thursday, seven years after he and another student opened fire outside a Jonesboro middle school killing four students and a teacher.
Johnson, who was tried as a juvenile, left a Tennessee facility on his 21st birthday - his record wiped clean.
The release angered many in Jonesboro and opened fresh wounds in a small community still coping with the deadly attacks.
"I'll never forget what he did to our school, our friends and our teachers. He's changed our lives completely. We don't even know what a normal life is really," shooting survivor Brandi George said, reports CNN.
According to Guardian, the Jonesboro shooting was the first major schoolyard assault in which teenagers attacked their classmates.
Less than a year later 13 died, along with two young gunmen, at Columbine High School, Colorado, while in March this year 10 people were killed when a student opened fire at a school on a Native American reservation in northern Minnesota before turning the gun on himself.
Dale Haas, the sheriff at the time of the shootings and now a judge in the town, believes Johnson and his accomplice are getting off too lightly. "We forget what they had done," he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "They killed somebody with malice ... Would you really want them as your neighbors?"
Kenneth Heard, a reporter who covered the shooting and the trial, said: "This town is hurting. It is bringing back a whole load of bad memories for a lot of people."