A 15-year-old student opened fire on fellow students, killing three and injuring several others. Many wounded students are in critical condition with severe gunshot wounds. Police received the call and rushed to the school within minutes and found the gunman swiftly upon arrival.
The suspect submitted to the police and was taken into custody where he is now. His parents have already called a lawyer and exercised their Fifth Amendment rights during the investigation while their son remains on suicide watch at a local juvenile detention center.
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What We Know
It’s unclear whether the shooting was targeted or random and whether the suspect had a motive for opening fire on his classmates. Police are in the early stages of an investigation which means we still don’t have a lot of answers to our pressing questions.
At this point, parents, students, and the community are in shock. Some students have cooperated with news outlets to provide a clear picture of events, and they recount the terrifying events that led to the deaths and injuries of their peers.
How Students Prepare for School Shootings
Unfortunately, school shootings are a uniquely American concept that has terrorized millions of students for the last two decades. Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, elementary, middle, and high schools and universities have implemented safety measures and policies to protect students from horrific violence on campus.
Active shooter drills usually take place at least once a year for grade school students. During these drills, teachers lock the classroom door, turn off the lights, and usher students into the safest part of the room. Students are encouraged to pick up textbooks, calculators, staplers, and other items to throw at a shooter if they enter the classroom. This is meant as a distraction and a way to incapacitate the shooter before they can cause harm.
Universities often have active shooter training and campus security measures that ensure the security and safety of the campus at all times. Reporting is a crucial part of these policies – reporting violence and the potential for violence. This is in light of the Virginia Tech school shooting in 2007, where a gunman went on a spree, killing 32 and injuring 17.
Other students and professors later reported that the student displayed disturbing signs of violence. Since then, there has been a push for early detection and “see something, say something” policies at universities.
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What Happens Now?
Now that the suspect is in custody, police will continue to take witness testimonies and collect evidence relevant to the case. The suspect has an attorney, so he is not necessarily required to answer every question, but he has been cooperative so far.
It’s unclear whether the suspect will be charged as a juvenile offender or an adult. If there is evidence to suggest premeditation and an understanding of the scope of his actions, he could be tried in adult court. On the other hand, his young age may discourage the courts from trying him as an adult.
We don’t know much at this time, but White Law PLLC, will continue to stay updated on this case and the legal ramifications.
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