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Archive for Wednesday, April 11, 2007

2 injured when gun discharges at school

April 11, 2007

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— A high school student was passing a handgun to a classmate Tuesday inside a Chicago classroom when it accidentally discharged, striking both in the leg, police said.

One boy, Jodale Woodfork, 14, was listed in good condition at John H. Stroger Hospital and was expected to be released Tuesday night, a hospital spokesman said.

Police and school officials said the teen who brought the gun to school was 15 years old but did not release his name. A call to University of Chicago Hospitals seeking the boy's condition was not immediately returned.

The boys were sitting in the back of a science classroom at the Chicago Vocational Career Academy on the city's South Side around 2:15 p.m. when one boy passed it to the other and the gun discharged, said Robert Lopez, an assistant deputy police superintendent.

One was struck in the thigh and the other near the knee, Lopez said.

The teen who brought the 9 mm pistol to school panicked, ran outside the building and dumped the gun near the front of the building, Lopez said. He said there was no magazine, or clip, in the gun, and the student may not have realized there was a bullet in the chamber.

A police officer assigned to the school confronted the student as he re-entered, and the student led him to the gun, police said.

Police had earlier said the student had shot a classmate in the leg, with the bullet apparently ricocheting and wounding the shooter.

While the school has metal detectors, students are chosen at random to go through them because it would take too long to scan each teen, Lopez said. The teen who brought the gun did not go through the device, he said.

Chicago Public Schools spokesman Michael Vaughn said all students are required to pass through metal detectors.

"How the weapon got into the building obviously is a main concern for us," Vaughn said, adding that additional security measures would be used to help screen students.

School officials planned to interview the students involved and review footage from the school's surveillance camera system, he said.

Lopez said there would be charges against the teen who brought the gun to school, but he had no details.

It was the second shooting in less than a month at the school.

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