Suspect in Mays High School shooting turns himself in, police say

Students return to class at Benjamin E. Mays High School on Feb. 15, 2024, the morning after shooting that left four injured. (John Spink /

Credit: John Spink /

Credit: John Spink /

Students return to class at Benjamin E. Mays High School on Feb. 15, 2024, the morning after shooting that left four injured. (John Spink /

The suspect charged with aggravated assault in this month’s shooting at Benjamin E. Mays High School turned himself in Wednesday, Atlanta police said.

Because the suspect is a 14-year-old juvenile, a name has not been released, Atlanta police said in the announcement on its website. The investigation is still ongoing, officials said.

The shooting occurred on Feb. 14 after a fight in the school parking lot as students were being dismissed, according to an initial incident report. The victims were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, APS officials said.

Atlanta Public Schools Police Chief Ronald Applin announced last week that a warrant had been issued for the suspect’s arrest. He was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm by a minor and one count of possession of a firearm on school grounds, officials said.

Mays High School Principal Ramon Garner addressed the shooting, but not the arrest, during a community meeting Wednesday evening.

“My number one job is to make sure and ensure that we send all of your kids and all of our staff ... home the same way that they came, if not better, and that didn’t happen on February 14,” he said.

Benjamin E. Mays High School Principal Ramon Garner answers questions from members of the press on Wed., Feb. 15, 2024, a day after four students were wounded in a shooting in the school's parking lot.
(Miguel Martinez /

Credit: Miguel Martinez

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Credit: Miguel Martinez

Garner added that the four students who were shot are recovering at their homes. He also unveiled a new security plan that includes an additional school resource officer, bringing the total number on campus up to three. Mays has also updated its dismissal process so that the campus is cleared earlier after dismissal each day, Garner said.

School staff has started taking active shooter training to shorten emergency response times.

“Though the response from the district and APD was swift, there are things we ... could have done better and we have provided training to our staff for that,” Garner said.

Mays will also host single-gender student summits to provide students with mentors. Garner said school administrators made the decision after meeting with students about the incident.

“They said, ‘We want people (who have) made it out of this community and are doing well to come back and show us,’ ” he said.

Garner, who is new to Mays this year, also reviewed the school’s academic strengths and weaknesses. After the meeting, parent Dawn Brockington-Shaw said she appreciated Garner’s authenticity.

“I was actually really happy, really hopeful,” she said. “I just like the fact that he didn’t try to avoid or deflect, but he just responded to everyone and answered the questions and talked about things that were good and things that were not so good.”