Greif counsels and extra security will be on hand Friday as students at Price Middle School return to classes following a scary shooting incident on Thursday. As Atlanta Police continue investigating the January 31st shooting, Atlanta Public School officials are trying to determine how a middle student was able to slip a gun pass the school’s metal detectors resulting in the shooting of one student.
The bullet grazed the back of 14- year old Telvis Douglas’ neck, hitting the soft tissue area. He was treated and released from Grady Memorial Hospital Thursday evening. But angry Price Elementary School parents says they were left in the dark and for more than two hours after dismissal trying to find out if their children were O.K.
It all happened about 1:50 in the afternoon at the campus located on Benjamin Weldon Bickers Drive. Atlanta Police Chief George Turner told the media during a Thursday’s evening press conference that multiply gun shots were fired and that the incident occurred between one building and the school’s detached gymnasium. One report indicates that the shooter, another Price Middle School student, and Telvis Douglas were involved in an ongoing dispute which leads to the shooting. Shortly after the shooting occurred, an off duty police officer who is also an APS School Resource Officers apprehended the alleged shooter, taking away the handgun. There are several reports of chaos from students who were right in the area where the shooting took place. One female paraprofessional was trampled during the commotion of students running for cover. She received minor cuts and bruises.
School officials told parents that the situation was under control and urged them not to flood the school trying to pick up their children. But many parents, had already received text messages from their children and were watched the news. Parents were understandably upset with school officials when students were not immediately released so the parents could see that their children were fine. The Price Middle School students remained in the gym and later were to taken to a neighboring church where they were reunited with parents. As part of the early investigation, the nearby centers of Caver High School and Slater Elementary were also on lockdown, and the streets surrounding Price Middle School were closed to traffic.
In response to the parents’ concerns, School Superintendent Erroll Davis told the media that he understands parents’ anxiousness saying, “We can never release the students as quickly as the parents would like to see them released.” Davis said the protocol in a situation like this is to conduct a “hard lockdown”, where law enforcement search the school room by room to ensure complete safety and unfortunately this takes time.
Charges are pending against the alleged shooter. In a statement, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed denounced the gun violence and called for an end of, “Young people being harmed, and families suffering from unimaginable and unnecessary grief.”
The Atlanta Public System will meet on Friday to review its security measures as a community reflects on another school shooting.