ATLANTA – A 14-year-old student has been shot in the head at a middle school in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon.
Police descended on Price Middle School just south of downtown Atlanta after reports of the shooting at 1:50 p.m. Televised helicopter images on local news reports showed a crowd of frustrated parents gathering outside the campus waiting to hear about the safety of 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.
Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said the wounded boy was transported “alert, conscious and breathing” to Grady Hospital. It’s thought his injuries are not life-threatening.
Atlanta Public Schools said on their website that the suspect, who has been taken into custody, was a student. Calls to the school district were not immediately returned.
Atlanta Fire Cpt. Marian McDaniel said the teenager was shot in the back of the head and a teacher, who may have been trampled in the confusion following the shooting, was treated at the scene for minor cuts and bruises.
Local television networks are reporting that there may have been an altercation in the courtyard of Price just before the shooting.
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?”
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.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has issued a statement in response to the shooting. Officials are also expected to hold a press conference.
The shooting is just the latest in a spate of shootings on a school campus in recent weeks.
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