Kody Austin Lott (January 7th, 1996 - ) is an American from the Wichita Falls, Texas area who, on September 2nd, 2016; shot and killed 13-year-old Lauren Landavazo and injured her friend Makayla Smith in the process. In September 2018, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.
Lott had a history of mental illness before the crime, being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, a notable example being that he said the Devil made him commit the shooting; he was also probably a pedophile as he was additionally charged with child pornography as well as being attracted to a young girl like Lauren. He was a known drug user who got in trouble with the law, and an ex-girlfriend claimed that he was extremely abusive; even Lott's father said that his son had mental problems.
Lott was born on January 7, 1996, in Wichita Falls, Texas, to David and Kristi Lott, and spent much of his childhood in the nearby Ringling, Oklahoma, where David said his son was an exceptional and kind boy who always made good grades; however, Kody’s behavior took a turn for the worse when his parents divorced around the mid-2000’s, as he started to become more violent, which was worsened by him starting to take illegal drugs at the age of 13. Kristi remarried to Bryan Roland.
In 2010, Lott began high school at Archer City High School where he began a relationship with classmate Hailey Clayton, a relationship that lasted 2 years during which time Kody abused her, pushing her down stairs and choking her with seatbelts. In 2012, Hailey moved to Colorado to live with her mother, and Kody (having presumably dropped out of school) moved with her, only to be sent back to Texas by the mother because of his abusive behavior; Hailey didn’t move back to Texas until 2013 because of her fear that Lott would kill her. Hailey met another man, had a baby boy with him, and the couple became engaged; but this new family of three found themselves stalked by Lott, who even text messaged a threat to torture Hailey and the baby to death in front of the new fiancé; Lott would continue to harass them for 3 years until the day of the shooting.
Lott’s drug use increased, and he was arrested 4 times in 2014 in Wichita, Baylor, and Wilbarger Counties for drug possession and property theft. By 2015, Lott was living in Seymour with his grandmother where he was involved in a police standoff, and soon sent to a mental health facility in Houston where he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Evidence of this illness is clearly shown on Lott’s now unused Facebook page, mostly involving paranoia about the Illuminati; furthermore, what is all the more scary is that Lott had probably been planning a shooting murder for about two and a half years before he actually did it, as in May 2014 he shared in article about historical mass shooters and their Illuminati connection.
Starting in 2015 is when, from his mother and stepfather’s apartment in Wichita Falls, Kody would see middle school student Lauren Landavazo walk home from school and watched her for about a year, growing jealous upon learning Lauren had a boyfriend, and being convinced that the Devil was telling him to kill her.
On September 2nd, 2016; Lott’s mother and stepfather went on vacation to Arizona for a Foreigner concert, and he saw this as an opportunity to commit his sadistic deed, but not before sending one last threatening text to Hailey. He drove into the alleyway where Lauren, Makayla Smith, and a group of friends were walking home, and fired at them, hitting Lauren 14 times and Makayla once. For two days, the small city of Wichita Falls was on edge as a police manhunt was underway for the killer. On September 4th, based on a Crime Stoppers tip, Lott was pulled over on a routine traffic stop in a shopping center, where illegal brass knuckles were found and he was arrested. After being questioned as a person of interest, he at first attempted to blame his stepbrother for Lauren’s murder, but ultimately confessed soon after, citing the Devil made him do it.
Lott was in the Wichita County Jail for 2 years, during which time child pornography was found on his cell phone and he was additionally charged with this crime. Because of intensive news coverage in the Wichita area, Lott’s trial took place in Fort Worth, where he and his defense team attempted to use the insanity plea. But ultimately, Lott was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, with his first parole hearing in 30 years.
On November 30th, 2018; Lott was transferred out of the Wichita County jail and sent to prison by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.