Increased security and counselors after school shooting

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Extra security and crisis counselors will be at a Henrico high school Thursday after police say a 16-year-old male student opened fire outside Virginia Randolph Community High School Wednesday afternoon. No one was hurt.

The unidentified teen is charged with attempted malicious wounding and possession of a firearm on school grounds.

School buses and parents will take kids back to school Thursday after an ordeal that still has a lot of people on edge.

Police and the school system say the crisis plans in place proved successful. To increase the comfort level, they're adding security and counselors.

After waiting for an hour after hearing the horrifying news, Karen Hensley was finally allowed to go to the school to pick up her son. Now, she worries about how the sophomore will deal with the aftermath of what she's calling a nightmare.

"Right now, I just want to make sure he's ok with it because he was the one who had to go through the moment of you know, knowing someone was out there shooting," she said.

School officials, understanding those feelings, anticipate some of the hundreds of students who were locked-in for hours will need the help of school counselors and crisis teams.

"A day later sometimes folks need someone to talk to, to understand how this could have happened, why this happened," said Spokesman Mychael Dickerson.

About 100 Henrico Police officers descended on the school in a matter of minutes when the "shots fired" call came in and some will return when classes resume.

"This suspect is in custody. We do think it was an isolated incident with him. We don't think there's any further danger. But just to make them more comfortable we will have some extra officers out here to be visible," said Henrico Police Lt. Doug Perry.

The rapid response and precautions before students return make Thomas Graham feel secure sending his kid brother back to school.

"It's great to know they are on top of everything in the schools now; because right now these days, the way things happen, they are on top of things and not playing," he said.

Police say they'll consult with the Commonwealth's Attorney to figure out if any additional charges should be filed.

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