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Student shot, injured at Dallas' Wilmer-Hutchins High School

Dallas Fire Department ambulances and trucks near a fire at former Iglesia Adventista Del 7th Dia Lovefield Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Dallas.
Yfat Yossifor
Dallas Fire Department ambulances and trucks near a fire at former Iglesia Adventista Del 7th Dia Lovefield Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in Dallas.

A Dallas student at Wilmer-Hutchins High School was shot in the leg by another student at the campus and hospitalized Friday.

Both students are enrolled at the high school, Dallas ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

The student who allegedly shot the other student is in custody.

Dallas Fire-Rescue and police responded to the scene around 10:30 a.m. and secured the campus, according to statements from Dallas Fire-Rescue and Dallas ISD.

The student was shot in the upper leg and transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Elizalde said.

Jason Evans, Dallas Fire-Rescue public information officer, said Dallas Fire-Rescue dispatched six ambulances, six heavy apparatus and a number of support personnel to the scene.

Wilmer-Hutchins High School students were able to reunify with their parents and guardians just before 1 p.m.

Dallas ISD had counselors onsite for anyone who needed support.

"We understand this is a difficult time and ask for your patience," Dallas ISD officials said in a statement posted to X.

Elizalde said the district is investigating how the weapon — a handgun — passed the school's metal detectors, which were in operation the day of the shooting.

"We know that there are vulnerabilities," she said. "There are so many entrances to schools. So that's one of the areas that the chief will be working with the school to identify those vulnerabilities."

Albert Martinez, Dallas ISD police chief, said police would investigate reports of faulty metal detectors and look at security camera footage to determine if students were intentionally moving their bags away from the detectors.

"We will utilize our state resources, the FBI is already called as well," he said. "So whatever resources we need to examine and really analyze those videos, we will to determine how this came about."

Martinez said the incident was contained to the two students involved.

Maxie Johnson, Dallas ISD Board of Trustees member, also spoke during Friday's conference.

He said public schools were single-handedly trying to solve problems in their district while underfunded.

"We have a governor that is obsessed with vouchers, and this is a problem," he said. "Public funds belongs in public schools."

Johnson's remarks follow a year of Gov. Greg Abbott pushing for school vouchers to pass in the Texas Legislature. Opponents of vouchers are concerned that money given to students for private and charter schools will divert funds from public schools.

In a statement Rep. Jasmine Crockett said that while it was a "blessing" the incident did not escalate, the shooting underlined how gun violence has become commonplace in classrooms.

"It is a tragedy, and the impact of this on the academic success and mental health of our students is devastating," Crockett said in the statement. "Guns have no place in our schools, full stop."

School officials across Texas have also raised concerns about what they say is an unfunded mandate to staff every school with an armed person as part of the legislature’s recently passed school safety law. That law, House Bill 3, also requires mental health training for some school employees.

Elizalde said families should not have to worry about sending their students to school.

"I know that we are a strong and resilient community and we will come together. I know we will heal, I know we will grow, I know we will get better," she said. "And yet I have heard my colleagues and I say these words too many times. It cannot be the normal response."

Got a tip? Email Megan Cardona at mcardona@kera.org.

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Megan Cardona