JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 17-year-old was said to have serious injuries after he was wounded in a shooting Wednesday afternoon near the campus of Andrew Jackson High School, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
According to Lt. Silcox, with the Sheriff’s Office, the teen’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. Police were dispatched to the area just before 3 p.m.
Silcox said investigators determined a light-colored SUV pulled onto West 28th Street. He said the victim was walking down the sidewalk and multiple shots were fired from the SUV. The teenager was struck.
“I was walking to get my things from a class and all I hear is somebody saying ‘they’re shooting’ and kids started running inside the building,” recalled Shedricka Allen, a senior of the high school.
The teen, Silcox said, ran into the high school and 911 was called. The school was placed on lockdown and students were eventually dismissed.
A friend of the 17-year-old confirmed it was a student of the school, He said his friend had surgery and was recovering.
Another student, who asked not to be identified, said she was in the hallway and about to head home.
“People were coming towards me, and I started asking, like, ‘Hey, what’s going on? And people were screaming, like, ‘They’re shooting — they’re shooting,’ and I started running because I was scared as well,” she said.
She hid in a classroom until the lockdown at the school was lifted.
Greg Burton, Duval County School Board police chief, said additional security is planned for students Thursday, including additional officers and bag searches out of an abundance of caution.
“What I want the parents to know is: Your students are safe in our schools,” Burton said. “We don’t believe that the school is in immediate danger at all.”
Later in the evening, Truitte Moreland, the school’s principal, issued a voice recording to parents of students.
“I hope that you will also join me in thoughts and prayers for the victim of the shooting that occurred on the sidewalk outside of our school during dismissal today,” the principal said.
He said enhanced security measures will be in place “for the foreseeable future.” Additionally, state and AP testing will be postponed Thursday. Crisis counselors will be available.
“Today was tragic for our school community, but I can honestly say that I was touched watching how students, staff, and families came together in the aftermath,” Moreland said.