LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A student at a Boyle Heights school was shot in the jaw while standing in a lunch line on campus last month, officials confirmed Tuesday.
The boy was shot in the jaw and cheek area on the morning of Aug. 27 at Hollenbeck Middle School from a bullet that appeared to have been fired from off campus, Los Angeles police officials confirmed to CBS2 Tuesday.
The boy had to have the bullet surgically removed, police said. No arrests have been made. CBS2 learned Wednesday that the boy is back in class.
At a board meeting Tuesday night, the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) finally publicly acknowledged that the shooting had occurred, according to the L.A. Times.
The shooting happened Aug. 27 at around 11 a.m. at Hollenbeck Middle School, which is located at 2510 E. 6th St.
The boy reported feeling a sharp pain in his neck and went to the school nurse, police initially reported to CBS2 the day of the shooting. The nurse called his parents, who then drove him to a hospital, where doctors found a bullet in his neck.
"At the prodding of the parents, they did an X-ray and found a bullet lodged in the student's neck," L.A. School Police Association President Gil Gamez testified to the board Tuesday.
Police were not contacted until 3 p.m. that day.
L.A. School Police Chief Steven Zipperman issued a report to the board Tuesday which was then released to the Times. In it, Zipperman said the boy was "standing in line at nutrition/lunch, when another student standing behind him mentioned he was bleeding near the ear/jaw area," Zipperman wrote. "The student apparently also felt something strike him."
"At the time of this incident, no other persons, both students and adults nearby, heard or saw anything unusual," Zipperman noted.
The day of the shooting, Hollenbeck Principal Elsa Bolado sent out phone and email messages calling it "an incident outside the school" and admitting a student had been injured, but not disclosing that the student had in fact been shot, the Times reports.
LASPD does not have police officers stationed at its middle schools, Gamez told the board.
"We used to have police offices at our middle schools, and we do not," Gamez said. "The school grew in size, our department did not. I would hate for the safety of the students be tied to solely budgetary reasons."
Neighbors told CBS2 that there is heavy violence in the neighborhood.
"I know that there is a lot of violence around the community, and that the police is working really hard to take control of this violence, but for me, the school is secure," parent Judith Gomez said.
LAUSD issued a statement Tuesday which read in part:
"We are thankful that the student is recovering. The safety and well-being of our students and staff is always our top priority."
On Feb. 1, 2018, two students were wounded when an unregistered gun accidentally went off while in the backpack of a 12-year-old girl at Salvador Castro Middle School.
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