Concerned parents gather at LeFlore High School Tuesday after a shooting wounded two students. The Mobile County Public School System said it was never an active shooter situation. (Arthur Mack/Call News)
By ARTHUR L. MACK
MOBILE — A suspect in the shooting of two LeFlore High students on the school’s campus Tuesday afternoon surrendered to police after originally fleeing the scene, police said.
Mobile police chief Paul Prine told the Call News the two wounded students were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and added his department is trying to determine the cause of the noontime altercation. Prine said a female juvenile believed to be 16 pulled out a weapon and shot the 15-year-old.
Prine said the 15-year-old suffered a superficial wound and a 17-year-old student who was not involved in the argument was struck in the side by the same round. He added the school went into lockdown immediately after the incident.
“There was no threat to any of the other students,” Prine said. “The person responsible for the shooting fled the school.”
The suspect later surrendered to police with the assistance of her parents, police said.
Upon hearing news of the shooting, worried parents came to the school to check on their children. Traffic was cleared to allow school buses to take riders home and classes, normally dismissed at 2:45 p.m., were dismissed 20 minutes early.
Mobile County Public School System spokesperson Rena Phillips confirmed the school went into lockdown immediately and said it was not an active shooter situation.
“We’re always looking into how we can improve and increase our security measures,” she said. “We’ve hired extra resource officers. We have also brought into a partnership with the sheriff’s department. We’re doing all these things to improve protection. This is what a lot of schools across the country are facing right now.”
One parent, who did not wish to be identified, said there were no resource officers at LeFlore at the time of the shooting.
“If there had been a resource officer there, we wouldn’t have had this incident,” he said.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson, who was on the scene not long after the incident occurred, was disturbed by the shooting.
“We can’t police our way out of these challenges,” he said. “It’s going to take the community, it takes the church, it takes everybody. We need the community’s help in solving these kinds of challenges.”
Phillips agreed community involvement is needed to help prevent such shootings.
“We need to work together as a community to help with our teenagers,” she said. “We need to make sure that guns are not available for them. We need to talk with them, we need to provide positive role models. We train every day for situations like this. When this happened, the staff was able to act very quickly.”