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Northeast High School principal talks weeks after Philadelphia bus stop shooting

Northeast High School principal speaks out after shooting injured 8 of his students
Northeast High School principal speaks out after shooting injured 8 of his students 03:03

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The principal of Northeast High School spoke out on the two-week mark since eight high school students were injured in a shooting at a SEPTA bus stop at Rising Sun and Cottman avenues shortly after school let out.

"The mood has gone from very somber and very sad to one of students just wanting to get back to normal," Northeast High School Principal Omar Crowder said.

The principal said his school will not be defined by the shooting.

"Despite hurt and fear, our school community has showed up for one another and that will not change," Crowder said.

Two weeks after the shooting, Crowder noted attendance is close to average. Crowder added the high school is partnering with several organizations across the city to help students heal from the trauma.

"I've made it very clear to our students and staff that this narrative belongs to us not to the streets. I will not let the violence on the streets define who we are as a school community," Crowder said.

Northeast High School principal holds press conference weeks after Philadelphia bus shooting 11:10

According to the principal, about 46% of the student body relies on SEPTA to get to and from school. Crowder said the school is working closely with SEPTA Police and Philadelphia Police as patrols in the area have increased.

"We're in constant contact with both agencies and we're also stepping up patrols with our school safety office, as well," Crowder said.

In a media advisory, school leadership said, "Despite our best efforts under Accelerate Philly, the five-year strategic plan, an expansion of Safe Paths, Safety Zones and an upgraded video surveillance system at 150 schools, the violence in neighborhoods continues to impact students across the city, physically and emotionally. Last school year, 199 public school children were shot; 33 passed away. So far this school year, 70 students have been victims of gun violence and seven have died."

On the data, Crowder said: "Although we're being told that gun violence is decreasing, when it happens to kids, it just it feels different, and it's received differently."

Eight Northeast High School students were shot shortly before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, at a SEPTA bus stop in Northeast Philadelphia. Three gunmen and a getaway driver in a stolen Hyundai allegedly fired more than 30 rounds at a SEPTA bus, injuring the students. No one on board the SEPTA bus was injured.

Two of the shooting victims are still hospitalized.

"We've made numerous hospital visits, home visits, we have fundraisers that are happening within our school. We've been able to also provide them with financial assistance as well," Crowder said.

The stolen Hyundai was later found in Philadelphia's Olney neighborhood.

Two weeks ago, police arrested 18-year-olds Jamaal Tucker and Ahnile Buggs for their alleged involvement in the shooting. A third suspect, 19-year-old Jermahd Carter, was arrested on March 12 at a home on the 12000 block of Academy Road in the Parkwood section of Northeast Philadelphia.

U.S. Marshals on Tuesday arrested 17-year-old Asir Boone, the fourth and final suspect wanted in the shooting, in Alexandria, Virginia.

Tucker is believed to be the getaway driver, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

All four suspects have been charged in connection with the shooting, with all facing attempted murder charges..

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