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Gun violence in the US

Student detained after classmate shot dead at Alabama high school

Charge likely to come as detectives believed the shooting to be intentional

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 March, 2018, 12:28am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 March, 2018, 1:28am

A student is in custody and is likely to be charged after a classmate was killed an Alabama high school shooting, police said on Thursday. Officials didn’t identify the student, but indicated detectives found evidence the shooting was intentional.

Courtlin Arrington, 17, was shot and later died at a Birmingham hospital. Earlier reports indicated a student who was shot in the leg was questioned overnight at a Birmingham jail.

Authorities initially believed the Wednesday shooting was an accident, closing down Huffman High School for a thorough safety sweep on Thursday.

“Charges are pending a review of the case by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office,” the police department said in a statement to local media.

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Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said Arrington was a senior, about to turn 18 and had been accepted at college, with “aspirations and dreams to be a nurse.”

“We are not just talking about some person, we’re talking about losing a part of our future. Our hearts are heavy,” the mayor said.

The school cancelled classes Thursday as it grapples with Arrington’s death.

School Superintendent Lisa Herring said Wednesday night that officials would review security procedures at the school Thursday.

“The magnitude of this event causes us to pause,” she said. “However, we want to assure our parents, students, staff and community that safety and security are a top priority for Birmingham City Schools.”

Governor Kay Ivey said she is “praying for the family of this young lady who has tragically lost her life way too early … it reaffirms that there is no place for students to have firearms or other weapons on campus.”

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The shooting happened the day after Ivey created a school safety council to make recommendations on security in Alabama’s schools, including updated threat plans and training for students and staff on emergency situations.

Alabama lawmakers have proposed multiple measures in response to last month’s killings of 17 people at a Florida high school. Republicans would arm either teachers or volunteer security forces in schools. Democrats would limit or ban the sale of assault weapons. All these proposals face a tight deadline before the end of Alabama’s legislative session this election year.