A DeKalb County Crime Scene Investigator carries her tools back to her vehicle outside of Wynbrooke Elementary School in Stone Mountain, Thursday, April 25, 2019. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM
Photo: Alyssa Pointer
Photo: Alyssa Pointer

DeKalb school police say they’ve ID’d suspect, have pellet gun

A day after children at a DeKalb County school were shot with a pellet gun as they played after lunch, police have identified a suspect.

DeKalb County School District Police, who are leading the investigation, said Friday they obtained a search warrant, searched the suspect’s residence and retrieved the gun they believe was used in the Thursday shooting at Wynbrooke Traditional Theme School.

The name of the suspect wasn’t released, and the brief statement did not give the suspects’ age or sex or say if it was a student at the school or whether officers had talked with the person.

“The response time of our dedicated law enforcement professionals — both on the scene and pursing all leads — is a testament to the fine individuals working in and around our schools,” said DeKalb Superintendent R. Stephen Green.

Parents who dropped off their children this morning noticed an increased police presence — three more police units and undercover officers — after the incident that put the community in a panic.

The school police did not say where the house they searched is.

Thursday, police activity was concentrated on Orchards Way, a street where about a dozen homes sit on the same side of the road as the back of the school. A band of trees stands between those houses and the school’s playground for kindergartners and first-graders. There weren’t many police at the other playground, designated for older students, on the front side of the school, Thursday. The school goes up to fifth grade.

It had not been clear Thursday whether the shots came from a pellet or BB gun. Today’s statement called the weapon police confiscated a pellet gun.

Nine students from the Stone Mountain school had been taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston and one was picked up by parents, according to hospital spokeswoman Ayana Isles. She said none had to stay in the hospital overnight.

The incident didn’t deter officials from allowing the children outside at the school on Friday. DeKalb County School officials said they treated the day as any other and let children use the playground.

One student, Gregory Cannon, told Channel 2 that he had recess indoors.

“It was kind of boring,” he said.

A parent who said his son was one of the children hit posted on social media Thursday night, “He is doing good, released from the hospital.” The parent expressed concern that once fear subsides, the issue will be forgotten and the kids will be at risk.

A local activist group, Stephenson Community Angels, has set up a “solidarity gathering” for 6 a.m. Wednesday, May 1 at the school, 440 Wicksbury Way, Stone Mountain, to discuss ways to keep kids safe. “When we organized (this group) we knew we were answering a call bigger than us,” wrote Portia Gray, one of the founders.

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