Aiken County Superintendent addresses new security enhancements

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AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – A suspect has been charged for the shooting at South Aiken High School.

18-year-old Rakish Jenkins is being charged with 3 counts of Attempted Murder and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime.

On Friday, Jenkins was denied bond on those charges.

Jenkins will go back to court in May.

Following that shooting, school leaders implemented new security measures in an attempt to keep students safe.

Shock waves ran through the community after a shooting outside of South Aiken High School injured three people.

For all athletic events the school hires officers from the Aiken Department of Public Safety to provide security, in addition to staff.

In this case, 6 officers were present at the basketball game Friday.

Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford says the current security procedures were executed exactly like needed.

Still, he says the incident is an opportunity for growth.

“Will we have standard metal detectors as people walk in the front door? No absolutely not,” Alford told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “But we will ask individuals to please, if you would, place your bag on this table. We will do visual review of that. We will ask people to put heavy over coats or whatever the case may be, would you please lie that on the table. Run the wand over the coat, things along those lines.”

With the help of the community, investigators were able to zero in on two suspects, but Lieutenant Jason Mahoney says this investigation is far from over.

“So as far as getting information from the public you would ask that they continue?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“Absolutely! This is not time to relax. We are still looking for any information, any witnesses who may have something to offer which may help lead to the identity and the successful prosecution of the suspects involved.” Mahoney said.

Moving forward, each middle and high school will have a law enforcement officer on the campus during all major sporting events. This is so the officer can monitor hallways, commons areas, and parking lots.

Before entering the game, school staff will be visually inspecting all bags and jackets.

The biggest change will be metal detectors that will only be used as deemed necessary by staff monitors.

On Friday, Dr. Alford shared a message for parents that may still have some lingering concerns.

“Hey why don’t you come with them. Come enjoy that experience, but yes you certainly don’t have to feel uncomfortable.” Alford said.

If you have any information about the shooting please call Aiken Public Safety at 803-642-7740 or Crimestoppers of the Midlands at 888-CRIME-SC.

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