ATLANTA, GA -- A 17-year-old student shot herself in the upper leg Wednesday morning on the grounds of Grady High School, in what police are calling an accidental shooting.
The shooting occurred on the Grady High School campus in the courtyard outside the buidlings.
Police identified the student as Morgan Tukes. She faces charges of Carrying Weapons within a School Safety Zone, Reckless Conduct, Possession of a Pistol by a Minor and Disruption of a Public School.
In Georgia, 17-year-olds charged with felonies are treated as adults by the court system. However, 17-year-olds cannot legally posess handguns and are referred to as minors in the case of that statute. After receiving medical treatment, Tukes was taken to the Fulton County Jail.
Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said units responded to a shooting call at the school around 9:40 am.
"Preliminary information is that the gunshot was accidental and self-inflicted," Campos said, who added that the student was transported to Grady Hospital in stable condition, and the weapon has been recovered.
"At this time there is no reason to believe there is an active shooter on campus or other injuries to students," Campos said.
Police said they seized a pink colored .380-caliber Taurus handgun.
Around 11:45 a.m., APS released the following statement: "The school immediately moved into crisis management mode, alerting parents and working hand in hand with the APD. Parents were contacted via phone call, text and email, twice, within one hour of the incident. Normal classes will resume at 12:00 noon and normal dismissal procedures will be followed."
Students were given the option to leave for the day and numerours students and parents were observed leaving.
Police had the school's entrance on 10th Street, and 8th Street between Charles Allen Drive and Vedado Way, blocked off until around 11:15 a.m. when parents were allowed in the school. Before such, several parents said they were anxious to hear more details as they waited outside the school.
“I’m afraid, not just for my daughter but because we don’t know who that gun was intended for,’’ said Tara Taylor, who has a senior at Grady. “Was she showing off or was it intended for a person? What was she thinking? Is there someone else waiting in there now and now they see that they can’t get away with it and are just sitting in there? What’s really going on?”
APS school board chairman Rueben McDaniel came upon the scene at about the that time parents were allowed in the school.
“Quite frankly, my stomach sickens every time I hear anything that happens to a child like this. And to me that that’s the first place where the tragedy is – what’s going on with the child or this group of children.”
McDaniel said that he didn’t have all the facts of Wednesday’s incident, but indicated the APS board was committed to continue working on ensuring students’ safety.
“Every time something happens you evaluate more, but after the last incident at Price (Middle School) you lockdown hard. So we’re looking at other things, but we don’t want to have a police-stated school. That’s not what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Last month, a student was shot and a teacher injured at Price Middle School in southeast Atlanta.
Grady High is a school that usually makes headlines for high achievement, including its award-winning debate students, robotics team and student journalists.