WASHINGTON, DC – A lack of humanity was shown recently in Washington, DC where there was a school shooting in one of the bathrooms.
Waiting for my son to be released from lockdown at Magruder High School, where there was a shooting. His friend was badly injured.
Hug your kids tonight.
— Patrick Sanders (@1patricksanders) January 21, 2022
The shooting incident occurred on January 21st after a school security guard for the Magruder High School found the 15-year-old victim in critical condition and bleeding from his wounds.
The security guard then called for additional assistance and a nurse to respond. The school has no school resource officer as they eliminated the position last fall.
When police arrived on scene, the school was placed in lockdown while they worked to determine exactly how the victim was shot.
During their investigation, they learned that there were several students who were present when the shooting occurred, but never called authorities.
Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones spoke about the incident during a news conference:
“We later discovered that there were some students who we believe who were possibly present in the bathroom who began to tweet out that a shooting had occurred and in fact gave the subject and the victim’s information over Twitter.
“Those very same students did not notify any MCPS [Montgomery County Public Schools] staff, nor did they notify 911 that one of their classmates had been shot and was suffering from his wounds in the bathroom.
This student, the victim, was actually located during a hall sweep by MCPS school security during a change of classes at that particular time.”
Detectives were able to identify the suspect in the case, 17-year-old Steven Alston, Jr, who was not in his assigned classroom as police began searching for him. Chief Jones reported that detectives were able to determine Alston’s location in a different classroom and developed a tactical plan to remove him without causing panic or additional injuries.
The Chief did not elaborate on how they contacted Alston, but they were able to safely take him into custody without incident. Alston appeared before a judge and was ordered to be held without bond pending any further court dates.
Chief Jones alleged that officers located a gun which was in Alston’s possession when they arrested him. The gun was reportedly no longer able to function as it had been disassembled into three different parts.
Chief said that the frame of the gun was on the floor while the slide of the gun was in Alston’s backpack. The magazine was reportedly recovered from one of Alston’s socks. Alston was charged as an adult with attempted second-degree murder, felony assault along with other weapons violations.
THERES a shorter in my high school rn, magruder… we’re all in the class with the lights off, some kids were crying and others were praying, scary asf, apparently a kid shot someone else cuz they was fighting and now the place is surrounded by cops.
— Niko hernandez (@MillieBbrowSIMP) January 21, 2022
During the hearing, prosecutors in the Maryland District where Alston appeared alleged that Alston had purchased a ghost gun online so that he could shoot the victim.
The alleged shooting was over some type of feud between the two of them.
Whether the children who went to Twitter instead of notifying authorities of the shooting face criminal charges or not remains to be seen. Chief Jones has decided to leave it up to the school to make the decision, at least for now.
Chief Jones said:
“It is wiser to get people the help started that they need rather than being the superstar on Twitter that day. That’s a reality we need to have a real conversation with our young people about. There is a place for social media. But then there’s a time and a place when we need to help our fellow man.”
Following the Chief’s comments, the Interim Superintendent Monifa McKnight stepped up to the microphone to announce that there would be police presence at the school for the week following the shooting. Mental health counselors would also be in attendance to help anyone process the shooting event.
UPDATE: The Montgomery County SWAT Team is now at Magruder High School.
SWAT members are wearing full tactical gear, armed with long guns and marching into the school.
It's unclear if the suspect is still on school property or not.
Magruder remains in lockdown as of 2:50p. pic.twitter.com/6g1epqJN0M
— Kevin Lewis (@KevinLewis7News) January 21, 2022
Despite the apparent need for law enforcement to be present an available at any school, McKnight believes that it is unnecessary at this point without more evaluation. In speaking directly about the school resource officer program, she said:
“I don’t want to see any particular program come back that we have learned there are dynamics of the program that doesn’t work. And that’s what we learned from the SRO program.
“Yes, there were positives to that program, but there were also negatives. It’s more about looking at what type of environment do we want to create in our schools that’s a safe one and built on the premise of relationship building. And it is incumbent on us to build the right program.”
This time, the alleged suspect in the case was intoxicated when she struck then drug a Harris County deputy to his death before fleeing the scene, according to police. Prosecutors in the case called the suspect “too intoxicated” to care.
On January 24th, Harris County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ramon Gutierrez, was conducting traffic control for oversized machinery on East Sam Houston Parkway North at Tidewell just after midnight when the incident occurred.
Sergeant Gutierrez’s marked police motorcycle was on the highway with all of the lights on while he was standing in front of the area directing traffic. He was wearing his police-issued reflective traffic vest at the time.
Sean Teare, the Harris County Vehicular Crimes Division Chief, reported the suspect, identified as Lavillia Spry, was driving in the area and bypassed the police motorcycle that everyone else in the area had avoided and continued towards Sergeant Gutierrez.
Sergeant Gutierrez attempted to jump out of the way of Spry’s car but was unable to do so. Teare said:
“At the very last second, he [Gutierrez] tried to get out of the way. He couldn’t do it and she struck him. She drug him for quite a while and then just continued on as if nothing happened.
We had another one of the deputies who was escorting that rig who subsequently chased her for over a mile and was finally able to stop her, bring her back to the scene.”
Medics arrived on the scene and tried to revive Sergeant Gutierrez who suffered traumatic injuries from the crash. Sadly, despite the best efforts of all involved, Sergeant Gutierrez succumbed to the injuries he received.
Officers who were able to stop Spry noted signs of intoxication when they encountered her. They requested that she perform field sobriety exercises to determine if she was safely able to operate a motor vehicle which she failed.
Spry was taken into custody and a bodily search warrant was authored so that they could take her blood to determine her level of intoxication. The warrant was approved and the blood was seized. Teare said:
“She [Spry] performed really badly on the field sobriety test. We got a search warrant. We took her blood.”
Teare noted that he has known Sergeant Gutierrez for several years as he was the officer on his first vehicular manslaughter case. Teare noted that knowing the victim in the case made it harder to prosecute. He said:
“The Vehicular Crimes Division of the Sheriff’s Department had to investigate this crash knowing that Ramon was either on death’s door or already deceased. It was emotional for me. It was incredibly emotional for every single one of them that were working there.”
Teare also expressed frustration knowing that the Sergeant’s death was completely avoidable, had Spry allegedly not driving while intoxicated. He said:
“He’s dead because she acted in an incredibly selfish manner to even turn the key and start the car, but then, just continue to act in a selfish manner by deciding she wasn’t going to go to the next exit, she was going to drive around the police.”
“There had been numerous cars that heeded his [Gutierrez] warning and not come down that exit, but sadly, Ms. Spry was too intoxicated to pay attention or quite frankly to care, and Sergeant Gutierrez is dead because of it.”
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez spoke about losing another deputy in the county in just a week. He said:
“Our hearts are broken. There just isn’t really a word, any words when we lose a hero, a law enforcement officer in our community. It’s not only a loss to our agency, but also a loss to the community at large.
“It’s been tough for law enforcement to start the new year. We also had the untimely death of Deputy Crowder last week. I know NYPD also suffered a loss. A young police officer was gunned down responding to a domestic disturbance call and the second is battling for his life.
“It really hits home when we step away from the job sometimes and just see the impacts that they had in the community and in service, with their families. It just really leaves a large gap in our hearts. And that’s why we say it’s a commitment we make that will never be forgotten.”
Sergeant Gutierrez is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter that is scheduled to get married in just two months.
Rest easy Sergeant Gutierrez, we have the watch from here.
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