Moments before the dismissal bell, Grant went on lockdown after a student was shot, as Valley College followed suit.
By Annette M. Lesure, Staff Writer
A drive-by shooting outside Grant High School left a 16-year-old male student shot around 3:25 p.m. on Wednesday. LAUSD released a statement that the student is in stable condition.
Family members of Grant students reported hearing seven shots. No one else was injured. Both the high school and Valley College entered a lockdown after the incident. Witnesses saw four perpetrators speed off in a green Honda. Parents picking up their kids assisted the bleeding student who was shot in both legs.
“We ran after him to see if he was okay,” said Tagui Kodjanian, the parent of two female students. “We gave him a belt and tied his leg because he was bleeding very badly.”
Parents fought back tears while waiting for their kids to be released as yellow police tape surrounded the school and blocked off Oxnard Street between Ethel Avenue and Coldwater Canyon Avenue. Valley was shut down for the rest of the evening as students were to attend the final week of the spring semester. In addition, childcare services were winding down for the day.
“Administration decided to close the campus,” said Valley’s Sheriff’s Department security guard Daniel Romero. “Everything was a Grant [High School] situation, but it spilled over with parents trying to pick up their kids. We have the Child Development Center and the day camp, so that was our main concern.”
Families of the high school expressed that their worst fears had come true after last week’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas that left 19 children and 2 teachers dead. LAPD officers assisted families by reassuring them that there was no longer an active shooter.
“I got a text saying: ‘Mom, we are on lockdown. There’s an active shooter around the school.’ I called him right away but they wouldn't let him talk so that there was no noise,” said Silva Dishikrikyan, a parent of a 15-year-old student. “For some reason, I had this gut feeling today in the morning when I dropped my son off. I thought: ‘God, please help them.’”
Students were finally allowed to exit through the back of the campus and were reunited with their families at 4:30 p.m., nearly an hour after the lockdown began, and an hour after school was supposed to be out. Grant students must now return to campus for finals next week.
“I was on the soccer field coming out of PE to go home when suddenly they made us go inside the gym and they were locking everything,” said 15-year-old Stephanie Cano. “Later on, one of my friends got a message from his friend saying he got shot in front of the school. I was in shock that it was someone I knew.”
Grant employees would not comment as students vacated the premises. The LAPD was unable to comment on the active investigation, as well.
According to a campus-wide email, Valley students who had their finals affected by today’s shooting will receive guidance from their instructors after Academic Affairs provides faculty with more information.