Actually it was bang, bang, bang but it was not the
fireworks welcoming a new year. In the first week of school
after returning from the holiday breaks, three separate school
shootings took place.
January 2, 2007
The first one was on January 2
in Fayetteville, North Carolina where students were fired upon as they left their
Westover High School Parking lot. The three students in the car were
not injured. Apparently there was a fight among several students at a
recreation center across the street earlier that prompted an
unidentified male to step into the street and fire at the black car as
it departed the school parking lot. School officials believe it may
have been a case of mistaken identity.
"Our student had a black car and there was another black car involved
we are thinking that he just saw a black car and fired," Bruce
Morrison, a school official, said.
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Police have arrested a 14 year old as the shooter.
He is not a student at Westover. For now, he is in Juvenile Detention
charged with attempted murder. Other incidences since February
- A student said he took a 9mm handgun to Westover High School in
February to protect himself from other students.
- A student was charged with taking a handgun to Westover High in
June. Investigators reported that the boy said he brought the gun
because he had been threatened.
- A Westover High football player was accused of shooting another
student with a BB gun on campus in August.
January 3, 2007
The following day, January 3, 2007, across the country in Tacoma,
an 18 year old student gunned down a classmate in the
hallway of Henry Foss High School. Police said he admitted to killing
Samnang Kok, but refused to say why. He was being held on $1 million
Witnesses said that the shooter approached Kok with a handgun and shot
him in the face. He then stood over the body and fired two more shots.
Police have learned that the shooter has a history of mental illness
and was hospitalized two years ago for suicide attempts. He takes
medication to control schizophrenia. In an interview with police he
said that the meds help but do not eliminate his symptoms.
Students reported hearing what they thought were firecrackers. The
teachers started yelling at everyone to go to the gym, then they
climbed up on the tables in the cafeteria and started screaming for
the students to go to the gym. Law Enforcement converged on the School
with Officers and their
Mobile Command Post. The school was placed on “lock down”
then the students were released for the day. Security was increased
for the students to return. While admitting to the shooting, the
shooter entered a not guilty
January 9, 2007
One week after the first shooting, two students were injured by
gunfire January 9 in the
the parking lot of Western High School in Las
Vegas, Nevada. One of the wounded students had been in a vehicle that
nearly collided with a Ford Mustang at a convenience store a few
blocks from the school. He said the Mustang's driver followed that
vehicle to the school parking lot and fired at least five shots before
A male student in the car that was targeted, was struck in the ankle
or lower leg. A female student who walking through the parking lot was
struck in the stomach by the gunfire. Both were taken to University
Medical Center for treatment. There was yellow tape and police
everywhere, but classes continued as close to normal as possible.
These shootings were an eerie reminder of a series of three shootings
within a week about 90 days ago. First in Colorado, then Wisconsin and
finally in Pennsylvania. Two of those shootings were perpetrated by
people who were not members of the school. Similarly, two of these
recent three involved shooters who were not part of the school, while
in both sets, one was perpetrated by a student with known behavioral
issues. Perhaps the greatest concern is how, after all these years of
dealing with school shootings, can someone walk into a school,
apparently anywhere, with a weapon and start shooting. Secondly, once
the shooting has started, what actions can students and staff take to
survive, aid the wounded and assist law enforcement in resolving the
Schools across America routinely conduct fire drills. The result is
that no student has been injured in a school fire in over 10 years.
About 25, 000 school students and staff are injured annually in
incidents of violence yet many schools never conduct any type of drill
or exercise dealing with violent acts. Many schools do not address
violence contingencies in their
Crisis/Emergency Response Plans. The
Mission of Keys to Safer Schools.com is help schools provide a safe
and secure learning environment for students and staff. If you are not
sure if your school is prepared, or if your school needs help in
planning or drilling, contact Keys today.
If your school needs help in establishing
policy or implementing procedures for a violence prevention
Safer Schools.com today for assistance from the
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