2018 School Shootings


via Flickr

A poster in remembrance of the 17 victims of the Florida school shooting

Barely a month of 2018 has passed, and there have already been 14 school shootings.

The most recent shooting occurred on Thursday, February 1st, at San Castro Middle School. A 12-year-old female student had brought a semiautomatic handgun to her 7th-grade classroom and, around 9 A.M., the firearm discharged, hitting two students directly and causing minor injuries to three others. One of the students affected by the firearm was shot in her wrist, and another was shot in his temple. However, the shooting was labeled as accidental by the Los Angeles Police Department, who described the occurrence as, “the negligent discharge of a firearm.” One student witness of the event also believed the shooting was not intentional, explaining, “Someone decided to bring a gun, I guess someone was accidentally playing around with it. They thought it was a fake gun.” Fortunately, by Thursday afternoon, all people injured during the shooting were in a stable condition and expected to recover.

A few weeks before this situation, a separate school shooting had occurred at California State University, San Bernardino, only miles from where this most recent shooting took place. A gun was fired at the wall of the university building, but no one was injured. Many similar shootings resulting in no injury have taken place throughout America in the past month, sites including: New Start High School (Seattle, Washington), Grayson College (Denison, Texas), Wiley College (Marshall, Texas), Murphy High School (Mobile, Alabama), and Dearborn High School (Dearborn, Michigan). These schools are fortunate not to have been severely affected by school shootings, but, sadly, others have suffered from serious student injuries and casualties after coming under gunfire.

For example, on January 20th, a shooting occurred during a sorority event at Wake Forest University. One 21-year-old student was shot at the event venue and, later that night died in the hospital. Only two days after the incident, another shooting occurred at Italy High School, Texas. A 16-year-old male teenager used a semi-automatic .380 handgun to shoot a 15-year-old female student, who was airlifted to a hospital. The victim survived, and the shooter is now being charged with two counts of aggravated assault as a minor.

About 3 hours after this situation on the 22nd, a separate shooting took place in NET Charter High School, where a dark pickup truck drove by the school during the school lunch period and shot at the students eating by the parking lot. Luckily, the only injury done to the students was a superficial abrasion gained from a bullet grazing a student’s skin, so there were no major injuries or deaths. The next day, however, a shooting at Marshall County High School, Kentucky, ended with an extreme result of 2 deaths and 15 injuries. At 7:57 A.M., a student entered the school and opened fire with a handgun as other students were walking to class; Junior Taylor Droke described the scene with, “You could see students dropping their bags and just start running, pushing past each other. Everyone in cars started turning around and driving away. Kids were jumping the fence around the school and running through the woods.” The 15-year-old male shooter is currently on trial for two counts of murder and 12 counts of first-degree assault.

The final, most recent shooting that resulted in another’s intentional injury occurred on January 31st, Lincoln High School, Pennsylvania. Ralph Kennedy, a 32-year-old father, was shot and killed in the parking lot during a school basketball game. Police believe there was an altercation outside the school between parents of the rival teams and that Kennedy was caught between the conflict. No suspects have been found, and investigators are actively working to arrest the offender.

Two other school shootings that have also occurred in 2018 have been classified a different “type” of shooting, being “Attempted or completed suicide” (as stated by ABC15). The first shooting of 2018, on January 3rd at East Olive Elementary School, Michigan, falls into this category. Around 1 P.M., a 31-year-old retired army veteran suffering from PTSD was found in the parking lot of the school and, after hours of negotiation with the police, shot himself later in the evening. As there were no students in the school and roads were closed around the site of the incident, the situation was able to stay in control. Though the occurrence was unfortunate, press coverage of the event caused more awareness on the need for veterans’ mental and physical health in the community. Seven days after this event, on January 10th, a student committed suicide at Coronado Elementary School, Arizona in the school bathroom. Early in the day, the school was put on lockdown after the report of a shooter on campus and authorities later found the student’s dead body with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In a social media post, the school district commented on the situation with: “Our hearts go out to the family as they grieve during this time of great loss.”

As 2018 progresses, America will hopefully be able to see the safety of its schools and students while taking action to ensure similar situations never occur again.