An 18-year-old student was shot by a fellow student outside the Jeremiah E. Burke High School Tuesday, three weeks after a stabbing at the Dorchester school.
The shooting happened shortly after 9:30 a.m. outside the doors of the building, Mayor Michelle Wu and Boston police said. The victim was rushed to a Boston hospital where he was in stable condition, officials said.
Police arrested the alleged shooter and said they recovered the gun that was used. A 17-year-old boy was arrested and is due to be arraigned on weapon and assault charges, Boston police said. Officials did not identify the student or say what motivated the attack.
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said Tuesday night he will attend the arraignment.
“When you have students packing guns along with their school books it’s perfectly clear how perilous this problem has become. I dearly hope this public crisis will get the societal attention it deserves,” Hayden said in a statement Tuesday night.
At a news conference at the school, Wu said, “my heart breaks as a mom and as a resident of the city.”
“We experienced an incident outside of the school building today but on school grounds,” she said. “This is a community that is strong. They have experienced trauma earlier this year ... What happened today is not okay.”
On Sept. 12, an 18-year-old student was stabbed inside the school, allegedly by another student. The assault left a trail of blood from the second-floor hallway to the nurse’s office, where a large pool of blood was found, police wrote in a report.
A 17-year-old boy has pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in juvenile court. He was not named because of his age.
Boston Police Commissioner Michael A. Cox said the shooting was another instance of unacceptable gun violence in the city.
“This is another example of how guns and young people don’t mix at all,” he said.
Kathryn Davis, 42, waited Tuesday afternoon for her 15-year-old daughter, Ellia, to be dismissed from school so she could greet her and give her money for lunch. Davis said she didn’t even know there was a shooting. Upon seeing Ellia, she asked her about it, and her daughter shrugged and replied, “yeah,” before running off with her friends.
”Usually stuff like that would scare her, but I guess she feels safe here at the school,” Davis said.
She said she didn’t receive any notification from the school about the incident.
”I’m actually shocked because I get all kinds of messages from the school all the time,” she said. “They probably just didn’t want to have any of the parents panicking about it, and everybody coming and picking up their kids from school.”
Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper said, “this is a school. This is where we should be coming to celebrate, be able to see the community that’s here, the work that’s going on in the building.”
“And again, we have violence with youth,” she said. “Our work right now is to support the students that are in the building.”
The school was put into safe mode after the shooting and members of the city’s neighborhood trauma team were outside the school as dismissal time neared.
Connie Forbes, the mother of a 2022 Burke graduate, said that parents she knew at the school are afraid for their children in the wake of the shooting, with at least one deciding to drive their child to and from school going forward — on the belief that students are safe once they’re inside the school.
“The Burke is a community,” she said. “We are really concerned about their welfare and their safety.”
Forbes, who is part of the Grove Hall Alliance of five nearby public schools, including the Burke, also lamented that the attention the school gets for a violent incident can overshadow the positives about the school.
“They have a tremendous impact on the students,” Forbes said. “Sometimes that gets lost at times like this.”
Police closed off the intersection of Washington Street and Columbia Road for several hours while they searched for evidence, reopening it around noon.
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden said his office is ready to prosecute those responsible for the violence.
“Obviously this is not the way we ever want to start a school day,” he said. “We are collectively concerned for this community, for the students involved, for the administration in the school, and we will continue to do everything we can to support them through this tragic situation.”
Security at the school, Davis said, is normally stringent.
“As soon as they all come in, they lock these doors, so nobody can get in — not even parents,” Davis said. “We have to call them to be able to enter once all the kids have gotten into school.”
Louis Elisa, president of the Garrison-Trotter Neighborhood Association, called for members of the community to listen to and support young people, so simmering situations are caught before they erupt into violence.
“Support them so they know they can turn to an adult, or turn to a peer for peer-level counseling, and not act out in terms of violence,” Elisa said. “That’s what we have to do together.”
Elisa expressed sympathy to the family and the community and noted that the school is not alone in facing gun violence — and that it could be much worse.
“This is a challenge for our city. This is a challenge for our nation,” he said. “Thank god it’s only one person, that it’s not massive destruction.”
Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.
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