Suspect in Douglas County high school assault surrenders

A student who fled a Douglas County high school Tuesday morning after allegedly assaulting another student turned himself in to authorities Tuesday evening.

A spokeswoman for the Douglas County school district said the suspect, who has not been publicly identified, surrendered at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office just before 7 p.m. His charges were not immediately clear.

Local deputies and school police spent much of Tuesday searching for the student following an incident at Alexander High School.

The alleged assault happened near the school’s cafeteria about 8:30 a.m. and prompted a swift and complete exterior and interior lockdown. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of a puncture wound, according to Chief Tracey Whaley with the Douglas County School System police.

Police had not confirmed by late Tuesday that the victim was stabbed.

Video appeared to show the suspect exiting the school immediately after the alleged attack and running into nearby woods, school officials said. School resource officers and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies searched the area afterward but did not find the suspect.

“This is something that may have originated off campus and may have continued on our campus today,” said Portia Lake, a spokesperson for the school system. “We are going to continue working our hardest to keep our school community safe.”

The injured student’s condition was not released.

When Nathan Jackson’s daughter sent him a text asking him the best way to defend herself against a knife attack Tuesday, he said he knew something was wrong.

This wasn’t the first lockdown his daughter, who is a freshman at the school, has had to go through, but it was by far the most worrying, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via phone. While his daughter remained silent with a few other classmates and a teacher in the band room, law enforcement searched each classroom looking for the suspect, Jackson said.

The lockdown was lifted about 10:15 a.m., and students were allowed to leave campus beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Jackson’s daughter was promptly picked up from school. Although she will be returning to class Wednesday, he said he is always slightly nervous when she’s not with him.

“I do have concerns anytime my child is not in my direct custody, and we have seen far too many deaths of children occurring at schools,” Jackson said. “There’s an inherent feeling of concern. However, I balance that by having taught my daughter to be very aware of her surroundings and we have gone over multiple times what to do in a variety of situations, at least involving firearms in the school.”

— Staff writer Caroline Silva contributed to this article.