A 14-year-old student was taken to the hospital Monday after someone fired at least three shots outside an alternative high school in Gentilly, according to police and school officials.
New Orleans police said the shooter pulled up to the Net Charter High School on Franklin Avenue in a dark-colored pickup about 1:30 p.m. and fired in the direction of several students who were standing in a campus parking lot on their lunch break.
One was taken to Children’s Hospital with a minor abrasion to his elbow, NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said. His injuries weren’t consistent with a bullet or graze wound.
Net Charter, 6601 Franklin, caters to students who have not been successful in a typical high school setting, including those who have been expelled or who have dropped out.
Both police and school officials said they weren’t aware of any altercations among the 150-member student body that would have prompted a shooting on or near the campus.
Harrison said the incident forced officials to put the school on lockdown for several hours. No other injuries were reported, and by late Monday, police still did not have a suspect.
Sharome Price said her nephew, Cito Eliott, had been brought to the hospital after his arm was injured during the incident at the school.
“A shooting, in a school, it’s ridiculous,” Price said. “It’s just sad.”
Eliott, however, is 17 years old, she said.
When questioned about the victim’s age, police reiterated that the juvenile was 14, but couldn’t confirm the student's identity. Principal Elizabeth Ostberg said she could not immediately confirm the student’s age.
As police investigated, they found a student who tested positive for gunshot residue on his hands. Harrison said police didn’t know if the student had been inside the dark-colored car or if more than one gun had been fired.
Another student was arrested for being in possession of live ammunition, though it was unclear if the ammunition played any role in Monday’s incident, Harrison said.
Several parents, who milled around outside the school, said they were frustrated they had received so little information about the shooting and the status of their children.
“They’re not telling us anything, and that’s really upsetting,” said Sherie Thomas, who was worried about her 22-year-old son. “Who’s to say this isn’t going to happen again tomorrow?”
But Ostberg said officials “followed protocol” by putting the school on lockdown, separating the children who had been outside from others and calling police immediately.
Pattrin Richardson, a 17-year-old Net Charter student, said he was scared after hearing gunshots and ran inside the school.
He also said didn’t know anything about the students being questioned because he purposely keeps to himself.
“I don’t mess with nobody,” he said.