OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A school shooting in east Oakland that wounded a 13-year-old boy and left another student in custody wasn’t intentional, police said Tuesday.
“Evidence shows the incident was not a deliberate school shooting. At this time, it does not appear that the victim was the intended target,” a Police Department tweet said.
No other details were supplied.
Reports of a shooting sent officers to Madison Park Academy in the Sobrante Park neighborhood about 1:30 p.m. Monday.
They found a 13-year-old boy with a gunshot wound, and a 12-year-old boy ran away after the shooting but was quickly taken into custody, authorities said.
The wounded student was hospitalized in stable condition. The other student was booked at Juvenile Hall on suspicion of assault with a firearm and other weapons charges.
The shooting took place in an open quad area at the school, which both boys attended, authorities said. The gun was recovered.
The school, which has about 750 students in grades six to 12, was evacuated but reopened Tuesday with counselors available to students and staff.
Yarelin Espinoza, 17, said she was in a physical education class when some students burst in crying and yelling: “There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter.”
“All of a sudden, we got into a state of panic, because we didn’t know what was going on,” she told the Bay Area News Group.
Many students weren’t in class on Tuesday, the senior said.
“It’s really distressing and disappointing — I thought we were making a change in our community,” she said. “It’s the one place we thought was safe to be around. Turns out, it’s not.”
She also said gunshots are a common occurrence in East Oakland, where many of the year’s homicides have taken place.
“We hear gunshots almost every day,” Espinoza said. “It’s been going on so much in the community, it’s becoming normalized. It should never have come to this point.”
Meanwhile, the police chief and other community members gathered at City Hall on Tuesday to condemn ongoing violence in Oakland that included six homicides since last Thursday. Most were shot.
“Give us a break. Give this community a break,” Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said. He was joined by peace advocates and mothers of people who were killed, all of them urging people to become more involved in reducing violence.
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