A student at Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County was shot Monday, just before 10:45 a.m., in the school’s cafeteria by another student, the Baltimore Sun is reporting.
Reports said the 15-year-old student who fired the shots was in police custody almost immediately after the shooting. It’s a standard procedure in Baltimore County to have police at the school on the first day, the Sun reported.
The name of the shooter was not immediately released, because authorities were not sure if he would be charged as a juvenile or as an adult.
Before police arrived, a guidance counselor at the school wrestled the shotgun away from the shooter and stopped the shooting, several students said. The counselor, identified as Jesse Wasmer, put the shooter in a bear hug and pinned him against a vending machine, the Sun reported. Other teachers were also said to have intervened in the cafeteria.
One student who spoke with WBAL-TV said the shooter was being teased in the cafeteria and that he eventually stood up and said to someone that he was going to “kill you.” The student said the shooter then left the cafeteria, came back with a shotgun, and started shooting.
But Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson said the suspected shooter fired a shot randomly, meaning the victim wasn’t targeted.
“From early indications, it does appear to us that had it not been for the bravery and heroic acts of Perry Hall staff and faculty members, this would have been a lot worse,” WBAL-TV quoted schools Superintendent Dallas Dance as saying. “It was the faculty, staff, and an individual in particular, who really stepped in to make a situation less severe.”
The 17-year-old victim was air-lifted to the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma, where he was reportedly in critical condition right after the shooting. His name was not immediately released, and as of Monday evening, there were no further updates on his condition in several news outlets in Baltimore.
The school was placed on lockdown as the shooting occurred, and no other people were hit with gunfire.
Today was the first day of school in Baltimore County. The high school, the county’s largest with about 2,200 students, was in the news just last week, when US Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited the high school to talk to English teachers about morale, teacher pay, and career education for students.