Atlanta Police, Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta School officials held a news conference Friday afternoon to release more information on the shooting that happened on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 at Price Middle School. Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said when officers arrived, they found 14-year-old Telvis Douglas, a student at the school, with a gunshot wound to the back of the neck. Douglas was taken to the hospital for treatment.
A 15-year-old suspect, also a student at the school, was taken into custody by off-duty Atlanta Police Officer, Inv. Solomon Bibbs, who was working as a School Resource Officer for the Atlanta Public Schools system. Police say Inv. Bibbs heard gunshots, responded to the scene and immediately ordered the shooter to drop his weapon which was a .380-caliber handgun with a six-round capacity magazine. Police recovered three spent shell casings, but are still investigating how many total shots were fired.
Police Chief Turner says the gang unit of the Atlanta Police Department is investigating the shooting after it was determined that the gunfire erupted after words were exchanged outside of the school between two groups of students who are possibly affiliated with local gangs.
Police say it is still unclear if the victim was the specific intended target of the shooting. Police are still investigating where the shooter obtained the gun, and how it got onto the school campus. Investigators are also working to trace the gun.
The shooter has been charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and possession of a firearm on school property. The juvenile suspect could be charged as an adult.
Mayor Reed pledged to support a video integration system on the city’s school campuses to secure the safety of students.