A shocking reminder of how students, faculty, and parents need to be on alert for dangerous and suspicious behavior, came all too suddenly Wednesday in a Portsmouth high school – shots rang out in both a classroom and a crowded cafeteria at Woodrow Wilson High School – no one was injured in this scary incident.
City officials have requested the ability to try the suspect as an adult, according to the Virginia Pilot.
The arraignment was held this morning in a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, but the 15 year old suspect’s name has not been released due to his age. Allegedly, he brandished a weapon to gain entry through a locked door, then entered a classroom and discharged the weapon. He later allegedly discharged the weapon again in a crowded cafeteria two times before fleeing the area.
According to information obtained from the hearing, the Pilot reported that the suspect’s record includes time spent at the State Department of Juvenile Justice, released on probation two years ago.
The next scheduled court hearing is set for May 17. Students interviewed, according to the Pilot, expressed shock and fear. Although no one was injured, the matter obviously could have brought with it much more devastating consequences. Thus, the school officials are concerned with how this situation could have happened in the first place. One official expressed his frustration – “I don’t think we can afford to place someone at every door…[that would be like] having a marshal on every plane” – The superintendent believes another “kid” let the alleged suspect in the building.
Staying on high alert is critical for all school students and faculty members, as is reporting any suspicious behavior.