One D.C. high school student shot another as classes were letting out for the day Wednesday after an argument earlier between the teenagers, officials said.
The shooting happened near a football field behind Calvin Coolidge High School in Northwest around 3:18 p.m., about three minutes after classes ended for the day. The shooting suspect was taken into custody shortly after the incident, police said.
“Our understanding is there was a verbal altercation earlier in the day and that one student left the building, came back at dismissal, and that is then when the shooting happened outside of the building,” said D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, who called it an isolated incident.
Both the shooting victim and suspect were described as males in their late teens. The victim was shot multiple times in the lower extremities, but his injuries were not considered life threatening, Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said. Officials were hesitant to release many details about the students involved since it has not been determined if they are juveniles.
The suspected shooter was taken into custody shortly after the shooting and police spokesman Officer Paul Metcalf said a weapon was recovered from the scene. Chief Newsham said there was no indication a gun was ever brought inside the school.
“People can rest assured that children that were in the building were safe. It happened outside and the security officers, police who were here, were able to make sure we got the person responsible,” Chief Newsham said.
Shortly after the shooting was reported, police said they had one man in custody but were looking for a second suspect. Chief Newsham later clarified that only one suspect was involved.
The school, located at 6315 5th Street Northwest, was locked down after the shooting was first reported in order to keep students who had not yet left for the day out of harm, Ms. Henderson said. Counselors will be at the high school Thursday to speak with students about the incident, she said.
“I do want to reiterate this seems to be an isolated incident,” Ms. Henderson said. “Our parents should feel safe sending their children to Coolidge tomorrow.”
While on her way to the school campus Tuesday, D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, said she could not recall any previous violence of this caliber at Coolidge.
“There’s never been a shooting on the grounds that I’m aware of,” she said.
In 2010, a fight that boiled over to involve students’ parents prompted a mediation group to provide help at the school, said Frederick Grant, a local Advisory Neighborhood Commission member.
“It’s been very successful as far as I’m aware of,” Mr. Grant said. “It’s been relatively quiet for some time.”