Teacher intentionally shot self in classroom, police say

Douglas County Sheriff's authorities say a Lithia Springs High School teacher intentionally shot himself once in the head prior to the opening of school early Thursday morning. 

"It is not believed there was any intent to injure anyone, other than himself," said Douglas County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Jessie Hambrick.

The teacher, identified as Jonathan Freeman, was airlifted to the hospital, where he is now recovering.

Freeman has taught math for 18 years. He is said to be popular and well-respected by students and staff. Authorities say it's unknown what may have prompted the incident.

"We are sad to say this is a personal matter that he brought to his place of employment. This incident doesn't involve any matter related to his employment with the school system, or any issue he was having with an employee, student or administrator at the school," Hambrick said.


Authorities said the shooting occurred in the teacher's office adjoining his classroom. No student observed the scene nor heard the shots.

Investigators say they are looking into possible charges connected to the gun.

"This case will remain as an open case. The case revolves solely on the possession of a firearm on school property," Hambrick said.

Authorities said their first priority is the teacher's recovery. A person who knows the teacher told Channel 2's Tom Regan that Freeman did not suffer a catastrophic injury from the gunshot and hopefully can be released from the hospital soon.

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