Authorities say a high school teacher brought a gun on campus and shot himself in his classroom. Fox 5 Atlanta reports that around 7:15 a.m. on Thursday, just before students arrived, a teacher at Lithia Springs High School shot himself.
The teacher, whose identity has not been released, was able to make his way out of the classroom and contact another employee for help. That individual is believed to be a teacher with experience in medical emergencies. She was able to assist the teacher until paramedics arrived.
The teacher was transported to an area hospital in a helicopter, according to Douglas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jesse Hambrick, who added that no one else at the school had to witness the ordeal.
When students arrived at Lithia Springs High School, school administrators directed them to the gym as a safety precaution. Officials with the Douglas County Georgia Schools released a statement via social media announcing the school shooting and assured parents that none of the students were injured during the incident.
They went on to say that classes were canceled and parents or guardians would be able to pick up their children in the gym, and buses would be available to take students to their home.
Douglas County’s superintendent, Trent North, stated that as soon as they were made aware of the Lithia Springs school shooting, they immediately went into “safety mode, which is not a simple process.”
The staff at Lithia Springs High School were reportedly “shaken” by the school shooting as they say the married father had been teaching at the school for 18 years and they considered him family, as well as his wife and child.
Several parents stated that as soon as they learned that a teacher had shot himself in his classroom, they rushed to pick up their child.
“All these kids, I bet, are scared to death. My grandson called me and said, ‘Granny, there’s been a shooting, and the principal said to come after me,'” Betty Murray, whose grandson attends Lithia Springs High School, said.
“My uncle called me to pick up my cousin because he’s at work,” said Yoko Ariza. “Then I found out on Facebook what actually happened.”
By 11:20 a.m, the Lithia Springs High School teacher was listed in stable condition. Information about where the teacher shot himself or if it was intentional has not been released, but an investigation is underway.
The handgun that the teacher allegedly used to shoot himself has been found and secured. Authorities say bringing weapons on school grounds is illegal.
Lithia Springs High School was closed for the remainder of the day following the school shooting, and classes are set to resume Friday morning.
Grief counselors will be available to staff and students for as long as they need it.
[Featured Image by Tim McClean/iStock]