4 Students Shot Outside Atlanta High School

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Four students were shot in the parking lot of an Atlanta high school on Wednesday afternoon, the police said, in the latest burst of gun violence on an American school campus.

The students were fired at from an “unknown vehicle” shortly after classes had been let out at the end of the day at Benjamin E. Mays High School, Atlanta Public Schools said in a statement. The wounded male students — three 17-year-olds and an 18-year-old — were taken to a hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, officials said.

Chief Ronald Applin of the Atlanta Public Schools Police Department said at a news conference that a fight had preceded the shooting.

“We’re trying to figure out who committed this crime,” Chief Applin said.

The authorities said that a vehicle had been stopped moments after the shooting and that three people in that vehicle, including a 17-year-old girl, her 35-year-old mother and a male, had been detained. They were taken to police headquarters to be interviewed in connection with the shooting.

Photos and videos from the scene showed yellow police tape zigzagged across a parking lot filled with vehicles and police officers.

Mayor Andre Dickens of Atlanta, a former student at the school, said at the news conference that some students had been held back at the school on Wednesday evening to be interviewed about the episode.

“I’m shocked and heartbroken,” the mayor said. “This is the place where I spent four years of my life as a student.”

Parking lots are the most common location of school shootings, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database, a research project that tracks instances in which a gun is fired or brandished on school property. In 2023, there were 346 episodes in which a gun was drawn or fired on a campus, leading to 71 deaths and leaving 249 people wounded, according to the database.

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