Four Students Shot in Parking Lot of Benjamin Mays High School

A police officer from Atlanta Public Schools responded to shots fired in the parking lot of Benjamin E. Mays High School in southwest Atlanta, injuring four students.

That discovery was made during a joint press conference with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, who representatives from the Atlanta Public Schools Police Department and the City of Atlanta Police Department joined.

Police Said the Shooting at Mays High School Began With a Fight

A fight erupted at 4 p.m., just after pupils were discharged for the day. Officials said this resulted in gunshots being fired.

Four pupils, three 17-year-olds and one 18-year-old, all male, were evacuated to a nearby hospital and are expected to recover.

The school district said that no additional students, faculty, or staff were wounded.

“There was an officer on scene while those shots were being fired, he broadcasted over the radio, requested additional support,” stated Atlanta Public Schools Police Chief Ronald Applin.

The campus was rapidly swamped with APS and APD officers, as well as firefighters and medics.

Off-campus, officers began looking for a suspected car observed in the parking lot during the incident.

“The information they were able to provide early on, was critical in us being able to quickly get a vehicle stopped at Baker Road and Commercial Drive,” said Atlanta Police Major Ralph Woolfolk.

A 35-year-old mother, a 17-year-old girl, and another guy were in that automobile, which had come to a stop around five miles from the school.

Four Students Shot in Parking Lot of Benjamin Mays High School

All three were brought to Atlanta Police Headquarters for interrogation. Major Woolforlk stated that all three were cooperating and communicating with investigators.

Back on campus, officers faced the problematic chore of questioning witnesses.

Major Woolfolk stated, “We had to work through several students that were on-scene. We began with approximately 100 students that were here.”

More than four hours later, almost two dozen of those youngsters remained in the school cafeteria, awaiting police questioning.

Officials say they brought in food for the students and wanted to deliver it to their parents soon.

Outside, in the college parking lot, forensic investigators worked until late in the evening to collect evidence and document the scene around 4:35 p.m. Wednesday, SKYFOX 5 flew over the scene and noticed multiple markings that normally signify expended gunshot casings.

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Investigators also spent the evening going over the high school’s security footage, attempting to piece together a timeline of events.

No charges have been made, and the identities of those involved have not been disclosed.

All after-school activities were canceled. The school system claims that the safety and security of its kids and staff are “paramount.” Classes are planned to resume on Thursday as scheduled.

The school is situated near Benjamin E Mays Drive SW and Fairburn Road SW.

Mays High School Shooting Happened on 6th Anniversary of the Parkland Tragedy

Andre Dickens, Atlanta’s mayor, graduated from Mays High. During a press conference Wednesday evening, he reiterated his commitment to ending teenage violence and removing the stain left by the shooting.

“Incidents like today, where young folks can have access to a gun, this is concerning and dangerous,” Mayor Dickens said in a statement.

The incident took place on the tragic anniversary of another school shooting. On February 14, 2018, a 19-year-old gunman entered Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, which is just outside of Miami, Florida.

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In total, 17 individuals were killed and 17 others injured. It was the most deadly high school shooting in US history.

While everyone is expected to escape Wednesday’s Atlanta school shooting, Mayor Dickens finds it deeply distressing.

“I’m shocked and heartbroken. This is the place where I spent four years of my life as a student and I climbed this hill every day, going to class,” the mayor stated. “I feel sorry for the young people that have been impacted by this, both directly that have been shot, and those indirectly that were around to witness that, and those right now that are being inconvenienced.”

The mayor said he hopes people can sleep well knowing that APS and APD officers are working hard to keep them safe.

He also stated that he wants parents to understand that both agencies take student safety seriously.

“They’re interested in their future and a couple of bad actors have just disrupted this day, but they’re not going to disrupt their dreams, and we’re going to help them get to where they’re going in life,” the mayor was quoted as saying.

The mayor stated that he would ensure that the school and its pupils do not suffer any negative consequences as a result of the incident.

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What is Atlanta’s Year of Youth?

On Thursday, the mayor announced that he will boost security at the southwest Atlanta high school.

“In the hallways, outside, as they come into the school, very visible, so they feel much more comfortable when they come into school,” stated the chief of police.

The mayor addressed parents directly, informing them that Atlanta Public Schools will be on Christmas break next week.

He adds Atlanta’s Year of the Youth program offers suggestions, free programs, and other resources to assist keep children out of trouble.

He stated that while crime is decreasing throughout the neighborhood, teenage crime remains a serious worry. Combating begins at home.

Parents can access information by visiting atlyouthengage.com.

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