14-Year-Old Shot at Atlanta Middle School Thursday

11:02 AM, Feb 1, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Friday morning, extra security was on hand at Price Middle School, just one day after a 14-year-old boy was shot in a courtyard at the school.

The boy, 8th grader Telvis Douglas, was hit in the back of the neck and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment before being released Thursday night.

A teacher suffered some minor cuts and bruises in the confusion following the shooting. The teacher was also taken to Grady.

Friday morning, the Atlanta Public Schools placed a crisis team and two additional counselors at Price. School superintendent Errol Davis was also at the school Friday.

Atlanta Public Schools public information officer Steve Alford said the shooting suspect was apprehended by police. The suspect was identified as a 14-year-old fellow student at Price Middle School. His name has not been released.

Price Middle School, along with nearby Carver High School and Slater Elementary School, were placed on lockdown following the shooting.

Price parents were asked not to go to the school to avoid confusion in the hours immediately following the incident. Students were taken to nearby Emmanuel Baptist Church for pickup after about 5 p.m.

Many parents who gathered outside the school grounds expressed their frustration the overall situation at Price Middle School to 11Alive News.

One mother, Crystal Gray, said she was furious about the overall safety situation at Price.

"We don't have enough security at this school," Gray said. "This has been a problem since the beginning of the school year and nothing's been happening. So the question at this point is why did this even have to happen? If APD - if the school system - if the board were doing their jobs, this would not have even occurred. My child has come home twice this week to say that there were children at the school with weapons; there were children at the school with drugs. I report this to the counselors, and nothing happens."

The perceived lack of communication by the school system was also met with much frustration by many parents.

"Parents just want to feel comforted," one mother said. "They want to know that they have people actually working in the schools who care about them. We go through all this - we've been waiting, trying to see what was going on, and he comes out and talks buses! A few kind words, perhaps? Anything but a bus schedule."

In a Thursday afternoon news conference, Atlanta School Superintendent Errol Davis said a school resource officer was on the scene and able to immediately take the suspect into custody following the shooting.

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said in the same news conference that the suspect fired multiple shots, but that only Douglas was wounded. Atlanta Police spokesman Carlos Campos said police investigators believe the shooting was not random and that something occurred between Douglas and the suspect that may have led to the shooting.

Davis said the school has metal detectors, and that school system officials are looking into how the gun got on campus.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he is very concerned about the incident in a statement released from his office.

"Gun violence in and around our schools is simply unconscionable and must end. Too many young people are being harmed and too many families are suffering from unimaginable and unnecessary grief. I pray that the student who was shot today at Price Middle School in southwest Atlanta recovers quickly and can return home to family and friends. A suspect has been taken into custody. I would also like the students, faculty and families of the Price Middle School community to know that they have the full support of the City of Atlanta as they heal and move on from today's terrible incident. The city's Employee Assistance Program counselors are already at the school providing guidance for students, faculty and family members."

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell was also concerned about the shooting. His office released a statement late Thursday afternoon.

"I was disheartened to learn of the shooting at Price Middle School earlier today. I will continue to pray for the student and teacher victims of today's incident, both of whom are recovering. I commend the swift action of the Price Middle School staff, the leadership of the Atlanta Public Schools and the Atlanta Police Department to ensure the safety of all other students. Gun violence connected with our young people has, yet again, taken an unfortunate toll on our community and our sense of safety. We are past the tipping point for action."

The neighborhood where the school is located is in what was once the Carver Homes Housing Project. The projects were razed and replaced with homes and apartments. Price Middle School and Carver High School were both built in recent years in the same area.

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