UPDATE @ 06:15 PM WEDNESDAY
ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – The juvenile suspect in Tuesday’s shooting at Erie High School turned himself in to police Wednesday.
No other details were immediately available. Police said the investigation is ongoing.
ORIGINAL @ 09:20 AM WEDNESDAY
ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Police have identified and charged a juvenile who is not in custody following Tuesday’s shooting at Erie High School.
The suspect and victim are both students at the school, according to Erie Police Deputy Chief Mike Nolan, who also called it an “isolated, targeted incident” and not a “random act of violence.”
Multiple shots were fired just after 9:20 a.m. inside the building at 3325 Cherry St., which caused the school to go into a hard lockdown. Officers arrived at the scene 90 seconds after it was reported, and all of the Erie Police Department’s officers were called to the scene, Nolan said.
Police located the gunshot victim who was being treated by a staff nurse. That person was taken to the UPMC Hamot for non-life-threatening injuries and, at last word, is in stable condition. The hospital’s emergency department was briefly placed on lockdown.
It happened in the school hallway, and other students were in the vicinity at the time, Nolan said. Security video shows one shooting suspect who left the school immediately afterwards but before police arrived.
Students were dismissed classroom-by-classroom about an hour after the shooting once the school district and police officers searched and secured the building, Erie’s Public Schools said in a statement. The Blue Coats assisted with the reunification of students.
Police said a 9mm firearm was used, and more than one shot was fired. Several sources told Erie News Now the victim was hit twice in the upper leg.
The suspect is under the age of 15 and could not be charged as an adult under the Fisher Bill, according to the district attorney. As a result, the name and age is not being released, police said.
We also learned no metal detectors are being used for security at the school.
Erie News Now has obtained new video showing police entering one of the classrooms while responding to the school shooting.
A student who was getting help from a teacher with an assignment told Erie News Now he heard eight gunshots.
“All you hear is shots go off, and my teacher ran to the door,” the student said. “He looked out the door and he just tells everybody to jump out the window and tried to take cover behind his desk, and we just jumped out his window.”
Classes have been canceled for the rest of the week for Erie High School students, and the district will be observing spring break the following week, according to Erie’s Public Schools. More details on the return to school will be released in coming days.
Erie’s Public Schools superintendent Brian Polito also released a statement, calling for youth violence to be addressed in the community.
“We are devastated and angered by this senseless tragedy, and we are all hoping for the full and speedy recovery of the student involved,” said Polito in a statement. “I want to thank district and city police for their very prompt and thorough response.”
“Incidents like these are a reflection of a troubling rise in youth violence in Erie,” Polito said. “As we ask the entire community to come together to address this challenge, we are working on a comprehensive plan for students and staff to safely return to school. The wellbeing of our students and staff is and always will be our priority, and we will take every measure possible to ensure their safety and security.”
Counselors and other professionals who are trained to help with emotional needs will be available at the Erie Center for Arts & Technology, 650 East Ave., for students, staff and parents. Other locations for support services may be announced in the near future, according to school district officials.