A Georgia high school teacher is in custody after authorities say he barricaded himself inside an empty classroom and fired a handgun while students stood outside the door.
The shooting, which took place around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, led to a frantic lockdown at Dalton High School that resulted in only a minor ankle injury to a student as she was running down the halls, police said at a press conference.
Dalton police spokesman Bruce Frazier said the teacher, identified as social studies teacher Jesse Randal Davidson, 53, had locked himself inside of the room, refusing to allow students inside.
“When the principal put a key in the door to try to unlock the classroom, Mr. Davidson apparently fired a shot from a handgun through an exterior window of the classroom. It does not appear that it was aimed at anybody,” Frazier said.
“Obviously at that point, [the principal] locked down the school, he called all the police in, the school resources in,” Frazier said at an earlier press conference.
There was a school resource officer present at the time of the incident, Frazier said, though the officer’s exact location wasn’t immediately known.
The teacher, who had been employed by the school since 2004, was taken into custody about 45 minutes later without further incident and is expected to face charges, Frazier said.
Frazier added that the news of gunfire at the school had “absolutely” left him rattled.
“It jacked up my blood pressure by several points,” he said of his response to hearing the news on a police scanner. “I’m really impressed by how our people responded.”
The frightening incident came the same day that classes resumed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, two weeks after a lone gunman stalked its halls and killed 17 people.
It also followed heated debates on gun control across the country.
President Donald Trump, who met with survivors of the Parkland shooting last week, has suggested arming teachers and other faculty members to help prevent school shootings. As an incentive, he suggested giving faculty members extra pay if they agree to be trained to use firearms.
Florida’s House and Senate have also gotten behind the idea, with the state’s legislature advancing bills this week that would train teachers to carry guns in classrooms.
The idea of arming teachers and other faculty members to prevent school shootings led to renewed ridicule on social media following news of an armed teacher creating the kind of scare that the nation is trying to avoid.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.