OAKLAND – A 13-year-old student was shot at a school in East Oakland by a fellow classmate Monday afternoon who was arrested, police said.
Around 1:30 p.m., officers were called to the 400 block of Capistrano Drive on reports of a shooting. The address is the location of Madison Park Academy.
When police arrived, they found the 13-year-old victim suffering from a gunshot wound. Officers said they were also able to quickly take the student who allegedly shot the teen into custody and recover the firearm used in the shooting.
School was in session at the time of the shooting, officials said. Additional details about the incident were not immediately available.
The child was transported to an area hospital and is in stable condition, according to authorities.
Following the shooting, sobbing family members waited by the gates at Madison Park Academy, anxious to reunite with their child. It was around 1:30 Monday when students heard what turned out to be a gun shot.
"I didn't now how to react so i just tried to stay as calm as possible," said student Roman Guerrero.
"A loud boom went off," said Zacary Mason-Roa, a 7th grader. "I thought it was firecrackers until I heard the coaches screaming."
"We know it wasn't a joke because the principal, her voice started shaking and it was a lot to take in you know," said high school senior Roman Guerrero.
The students then followed what they learned during their active shooter drills. They blocked the doors and stayed quiet.
"Everybody was scared" said Guerrrero, "We didn't know what to do. They just told us to get under our desks and follow procedures until everything started quieting down."
"They told us to call our parents and they called the police. We were just sitting down and being quiet, I didn't know what to do," said Mason-Roa.
At a Monday news conference, Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong reacted to the school shooting.
"You have heard from me over the last several weeks about a number of shootings and incidents that have happened at our schools and our playgrounds," Chief Armstrong said. "This is impacting every area in our city. Nobody one is immune from this level from gun violence."
"We've proven as a city that we have the ability to destroy one another. There's no doubt about that. Repair, we must turn and find ways to bless one another," said Armstrong.
That may be a difficult task for a community that's has been impacted deeply by gun violence.
Dr. Hilit Kletter, psychologist with Stanford Children's Health believes the first step is to open the line of communication and have the hope for peace.
"It's important to be aware and for the community to come together, have space to be able to talk about the experiences and for people to be able to voice their emotions. Also to talk about what we are doing to move forward," Dr. Kletter said.
Teachers were equally as concerned about the school shooting. The Oakland Education Association released a statement on Monday calling for "continued, comprehensive solutions" to address gun violence.
"Educators are shaken, sad, horrified and stressed after today's school shooting at Madison Park Academy that wounded one student," said OEA President Keith Brown. "Educators have major concerns over the resources that are readily available to support the needs of our students. Our public schools should be safe havens for students, free from the fear of gun violence."
School district officials said in a statement that classes will be held at the school Tuesday.
"Our hearts are with the student who suffered this awful injury and their family," the statement said. "We are intensely focused on providing the utmost support and security for our students, school staff, and the school community. School and District behavioral health and safety staff will be actively providing support to students and staff on Tuesday and beyond."
The statement called the shooting an example of how problems in the community can reach into the schools.
"We must come together to address guns and violence in our Oakland community and with our youth. We will work with our staff and community partners to enhance our efforts addressing violence in our schools."
Andrea Nakano contributed to this report.
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