Authorities mum about ID in Lithia Springs school shooting  


Authorities mum about ID in Lithia Springs school shooting  

More than 24 hours after a veteran teacher shot himself in his Lithia Springs High School classroom office, authorities have released scant details about the safety threat that closed school for the day. 

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has not released the name of the teacher who shot himself with a handgun in the school Thursday morning. Authorities also have not said whether the shooting was intentional or accidental. 

The Douglas County School System does not let teachers  have weapons in its schools. Lithia Springs does not have metal detectors. 

A sheriff’s office spokesman said it was conducting a criminal investigation. 

Neither the sheriff’s office nor school district provided more shooting details Friday, despite requests. 

Douglas County deputies gather at Lithia Springs High School after a teacher shot himself inside the school Thursday morning. Classes resumed Friday, but authorities have yet to release additional information about the incident. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM John Spink

School safety expert Ken Trump said Thursday it’s key for officials to “get out quickly and transparently” in such cases. The president of the Ohio-based consulting firm National School Safety and Security Services said it’s important to “be very transparent with their parents and staff and students” because of the way rumors fly in social media. 

The teacher was in stable condition Thursday after he was taken to an undisclosed hospital. 

Sgt. Jesse Hambrick said Friday he did not know the teacher’s current medical condition. 

Officials said students did not see the shooting, which took place at 7:15 a.m. Thursday. School starts about 8:40 a.m. Students were ushered to the gym to wait for returning buses or for their parents to pick them up. 

After shooting himself, the teacher made his way from his office to another area of the school, where a school employee came to his aid. Another colleague called 911, Hambrick said.  

A district spokesman had not responded to a Friday request to speak with Superintendent Trent North.

The superintendent expressed appreciation for the community’s support and concern in a written statement Thursday. 

“We are very sad that one of our employees at Lithia Springs High School sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound this morning. We consider all employees of the Douglas County School System as family, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of this employee, his colleagues at the school, and the students,” he said. 

Lithia Springs enrolls about 1,500 students. Classes resumed Friday with counselors available to meet with students and teachers, the district said.

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