UPDATE | The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office tells us that the alleged suspect in Wednesday’s shooting inside Josey High School has turned himself in.
The 16-year-old is charged with Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime, Possession of a Handgun under 18 and Carrying Weapon(s) on School Property.
Original article below:
AUGUSTA (WJBF) – The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting at Josey High School.
It happened around 11:00 am, Wednesday morning.
Law enforcement says the shooting happened inside the school cafeteria after an altercation between two students.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree tells us that one person was injured, sustaining a gunshot wound to the hand. They were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
A juvenile suspect has been identified. Investigators are currently searching for them.
“I had a hamburger and I just went to get some ketchup and stuff for my burger and I heard some shots,” said Stanly Umana, a student at Josey High School.
Josey students on the second week of school dodging bullets during lunch. Parents rushed to the scene looking for their kids, hoping they were safe.
“My son told me he was right next to the shooter, shooting during the time it happened. I was called for my child’s safety, but I wasn’t able to get into the schoolhouse,” said Tracy Jones, a parent of a Josey student.
“It don’t make no sense. They need to try to go to school and try to learn something instead of going to school and playing with guns,” said Brian McClendon, a grandparent.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office responded to the shooting shortly after 11 a.m. Parents were contacted and told to report Josey’s football stadium in order to see their kids.
“We as parents have to do a better job. We are more responsible for this than anybody else. We have to raise our kids right. We have to instill in them moral values,” said Joe, another Josey parent.
Sheriff Roundtree arrived too, sharing with media that resource officers were already at the school. Both Josey and nearby Murphey Middle schools were secured.
“We have identified a potential suspect. We are looking for him now,” said Sheriff Roundtree. “He is believed to be a student at Josey. We are in the process of trying to locate him now. The victim suffered on gunshot wound to his finger but it’s not life threatening.”
“They need metal detectors, know what I’m saying?” said McClendon.
If you have any information on the suspect, you’re asked to contact Richmond County Investigators at 706-821-1080.
The Richmond County School System sent out a notice at 5:34 P.M. informing the public that Josey High School, Murphey Middle School, and Marion E. Barnes Career Center will be closed on Thursday “out of an abundance of caution and to provide students and staff an opportunity to begin to recover” from Wednesday’s incident.
School officials are asking for teachers to report on Friday, August 18th, while students will remain at home.
Normal operations will resume on Monday, August 21 for both students and staff at both schools.
A decision regarding athletics will be made on Thursday.
The Richmond County School System and the Sheriff’s Office held a joint press conference at 3 p.m. to address the shooting. You can watch a full replay below:
The Richmond County School System has issued the following statement to parents:
Two students were involved in an altercation at TW Josey High School where one student was shot. The campus was secured under a lockdown, and Richmond County Police responded. The injured student is in stable condition and is receiving medical attention. The shooter is not in the area around campus. Out of an abundance of caution, Murphey Middle School was also secured. The incident is under investigation by Richmond County Police.RCSS
Wednesday afternoon, Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson has released a statement addressing recent ‘youth violence’ in the Augusta-Richmond County community.
“As Mayor, I do not have jurisdiction over law enforcement or our courts. However, I can work to
strengthen programming initiatives for our youth. We need to create safe havens for our children, including expanding after school and summer programming offered by our recreation centers.”
You can read his full statement HERE.
Count on NewsChannel 6 for more details as they become available.