Parents ask questions of DeKalb County School District officials during a meeting at Wynbrooke Elementary School on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (MARLON A. WALKER/MARLON.WALKER@AJC.COM)

Student safety, communication focus of DeKalb meeting after school shooting

Tuesday night, several parents called for better communication from the DeKalb County School District in the wake of last week’s pellet gun shooting at Wynbrooke Elementary School where 10 students were injured.

More than 100 parents and students attended an informational meeting with district officials, where they asked questions ranging from whether the shooting suspect was in custody to why they learned about the incident through news reports.

“I know the No. 1 priority is to secure our kids, but I do believe there should have been some better ways to let us know what was going on,” one parent said from a microphone positioned in the middle of the school’s cafeteria.

Arrest warrants have been issued for a teenage male accused of injuring 10 Wynbrooke students who were outside the school for recess late Thursday morning. Officials searched a home last week where they believe the teen was staying and retrieved a pellet gun.

Wynbrooke Principal Jermain Sumler-Faison said students initially were treated for scrapes they could have received playing on the playground. A school nurse later alerted her to the fact that the wounds could be more serious than originally thought.

“It wasn’t until law enforcement arrived and started looking at the wounds ... that we were clear what was going on around us,” she said. “The wounds looked different. They looked like scratches. Then, on some of the students, it was a puncture.”

DeKalb County Schools Police Department Chief Bradley Gober said silver pellets were retrieved and are being examined to determine the material from which they are made. He said it could take months before the Georgia Bureau of Investigation could determine as much.

Superintendent Steve Green told parents the district’s department was doing everything it could do to help apprehend the suspect. After the school’s police department secures a warrant, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is tasked with taking the suspect into custody.

“I don’t like it, either,” he told a frustrated parent. “I agree with you. We’re committed to doing everything we can do. The system is bigger than us. We’re helping the other jurisdiction do what they need to do. “

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