WTOP News has reported that a shooting occurred at the Colonel Zadok Magruder High School located at 5939 Muncaster Mill Rd, Derwood, MD 20855.
A community engagement officer at a nearby elementary school was alerted to an injured student at approximately 1 p.m. on Friday, January 21, 2022. The officer arrived seven minutes later to determine a shooting had occurred. The 15-year-old victim was found in the bathroom during a security sweep. Although unwilling to share the information, the officer realized the shooting happened in the school bathroom. The school was then put on lockdown.
Allegedly, another student lured the victim into the bathroom and shot him with a ghost gun. Later it was determined that the suspect held the gun to the victim's head but was shot in the pelvis as the victim pushed it away. The suspect is believed to have attempted to dismantle the weapon after the shooting. He then went to a class that was not on his schedule and sat during the lockdown.
When police found the suspect, they also found part of the gun used in the shooting and other parts in his backpack, along with nine rounds of ammunition. The 17-year-old student was arrested and faces charges of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a dangerous weapon on school property, and possession of a firearm by a minor.
Other students were said to have been in the bathroom during the shooting. While many onlookers tweeted about the violent incident, none notified school staff or called 911 to report the shooting.
Attorney contributor Aaron Blank represents victims of school shootings in civil lawsuits. Recently Aaron sat down with Legal Herald to discuss the legal options available to victims of high school shootings. He explained when victims could sue for being shot on a high school campus.
"Schools have a hefty responsibility to provide a safe environment for their students and staff. This includes during regular school hours as well as after-school functions, including athletic events. Schools should implement a safety plan to reduce preventable crime, such as shootings and stabbings on the campus. Schools can reduce the risk of such criminal incidents by monitoring all entrances, hiring on-campus resource officers, and using metal detectors. However, if a school fails to place the safety of their campus first, a court may find them negligent if a crime occurs."
"There are many aspects to investigate during a school shooting. Victims and their families can file a criminal lawsuit against the perpetrator. Additionally, they can file a civil suit against the school if the school is found to have neglected its safety measures. By hiring an experienced attorney, victims can determine if they have sufficient grounds to file a lawsuit. Their attorney will want to prove the crime was foreseeable and the school acted in negligence. When a school has a history of violence but fails to increase its security, crimes that occur may be deemed foreseeable, and they could be held liable. Victims and their families may even recover compensation in the event of security negligence."