A social studies teacher in Dalton, Georgia, was arrested after he barricaded himself in his classroom and fired at least one gunshot through a window, sending students running outside or hunkering down in darkened gym locker rooms, authorities said.
Police confirmed that no Dalton High School students were in the classroom when the teacher fired the weapon, but did report that one student hurt her ankle during the chaotic lockdown and evacuation.
One student apparently sustained an ankle injury running inside the school during the evacuation. Student is being treated by EMS at the school.
— Dalton Police (@DaltonPD) February 28, 2018
The teacher was identified as 53-year-old Randall Davidson.
Police spokesman Bruce Frazier said Davidson initially barricaded himself in an empty classroom at about 11:30 a.m. ET as confused students tried to get in.
Shortly after there were then reports that a gun was fired. Davidson surrendered after 30 to 45 minutes, police said.
NBC News reports:
Dalton High School Principal Steve Bartoo said he was called by an assistant principal and told that a teacher wasn’t letting students into his classroom — that he tried to open the door but the teacher slammed it and yelled “go away” and made some “nonsensical noises.
When Bartoo go the the room with a key the teacher slammed the door again and warned he had a gun.
“I put my key in the door and again he slammed the door before I could open it and said ‘Don’t come in here, I have a gun,'” Bartoo told reporters. He said he put the school into lockdown and “it was shortly after that that I heard a gunshot.”
“We thank God that nobody got hurt,” Bartoo said.
Frazier told reporters that a bullet had gone through an exterior window of the room, but it didn’t appear Davidson was aiming at any person.
“It certainly didn’t seem like he had any intention to harm anyone,” Frazier said.
Officials were trying to determine if Davidson’s handgun was in the classroom while he was teaching earlier in the day or if he brought it on campus later.
An armed school resource officer is assigned to Dalton High School, which is about 90 miles north of Atlanta and has about 2,000 students, according to its website. But the resource officer was at a separate junior high when the incident started. He eventually returned and was able to convince the teacher to surrender peacefully, Assistant Police Chief and acting head of the department Cliff Cason said.
Dalton police said Wednesday afternoon that Davidson has been charged with aggravated assault, carrying weapon on school grounds, terroristic threats, reckless conduct, possession of gun during commission of a crime, and disrupting public school.