Atlanta Police and SWAT waiting at the Price Middle School during crime school investigation. Photo courtesy WXIA.
By KATE BRUMBACK / Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) -- Atlanta's police chief says an armed officer working at a city middle school where a teen was shot was able to disarm the suspect moments after the shooting.
Authorities say a 14-year-old boy was shot in the back of the neck Thursday at Price Middle School and his injury does not appear be life-threatening. The suspect is also a student at the school and has been taken into custody.
Chief George Turner says multiple shots were fired, and only the 14-year-old was wounded. A teacher received minor cuts in the aftermath of the shooting in the courtyard of the school.
Police spokesman Carlos Campos says investigators believe the shooting was not random.
Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis says the school has metal detectors and officials are looking into how the gun got on campus.
A 14-year-old boy was wounded outside a middle school Thursday afternoon and a fellow student was in custody as a suspect, authorities said. No other students were hurt.
Police swarmed Price Middle School just south of downtown Atlanta after reports of the shooting at 1:50 p.m., while a crowd of anxious parents gathered in the streets, awaiting word on their children. Students were being kept at the locked-down school some two hours after the shooting but television footage showed some of them being dismissed.
The wounded boy was taken "alert, conscious and breathing" to Grady Memorial Hospital, said Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos. Atlanta Public Schools said on their website that the suspect also was a student at Price.
Calls to the school district were not immediately returned.
Atlanta Fire Cpt. Marian McDaniel said the teen was shot in the back of the head and a teacher was treated at the scene for minor cuts.
Shakita Walker, whose daughter is an eighth-grader at the school, said she received a text from her that said "Ma somebody's shooting and somebody got shot." Walker, who works at another school, said she jumped in her car and was thinking "just hurry up and get there."
Walker said her daughter called to tell her that they were being kept in the gymnasium, but she said she was anxious to see her to make sure she was OK.
The fear and anxiety was palpable in the crowd, as one person yelled "Does anyone know what happened?"
Mayor Kasim Reed condemned gun violence in a statement shortly after the shooting and said counselors were already at the school to meet with students, faculty and family members.
"Gun violence in and around our schools is simply unconscionable and must end," Reed said. "Too many young people are being harmed, and too many families are suffering from unimaginable and unnecessary grief."
Outside the school, Laquanda Pittman said she still hasn't heard from her sixth-grade son. She said she heard the news of the shooting on TV and immediately came to the school.
"All types of stuff went through my head. I'm wondering whether it was my child who got shot, is my child OK, did he see what happened?" Pittman said.
She said she just wants to see her son.
"As a parent, you just think you can send your child to school and you hope they come home OK," she said.