Richmond police are investigating after a fight led to a shooting and a lockdown of several schools in the West Contra Costa Unified School District.
Just before the start of classes Wednesday morning, a freshman student was shot in the leg across the street from John F. Kennedy High School. The boy ran to the school for safety.
"We're obviously alarmed, but we're sort of reassured now that there was no one who had a life threatening injury," said Charles Ramsey, school board president.
John F. Kennedy High School and at least four other campuses within the West Contra Costa Unified School District went into defensive mode.
"We did lock the school down, only out of an abundance of caution. There's no reason to believe there's a threat to the students." explained Richmond Police Captain Mark Gagan. "I understand the concern that everybody has. Schools are supposed to be that pinnacle of safety and parents are very concerned about their safety, but they need to know we're in control of the situation," he said.
After the lockdown was lifted, some students had parents pick them up to go home for the day. Parent, Areceli Martinez, got a text from her freshman son asking her to pick him up from school. "This is just unacceptable. Students should be safe at school, and as working parents, we shouldn't be worried about them," she said.
Another boy who didn't want to be identified said he was going home because he was shaken. "I hear like 10 shots come from behind us." The boy said he was so close to the gunfire, bullet casings bounced off his leg. "I was crying and stuff, because I thought I was shot," he said.
Students at Kennedy High have done lockdown drills. The district's communications director, Marcus Walton, said in this age of school shootings and violence, every school has to deal with a new reality.
"It's not just about reading, writing, and arithmetic anymore. It's about making sure students when they come to us, go home to their parents the same way we received them and safety is of the utmost importance," he said.
On Wednesday evening Richmond Police said they were still interviewing witnesses, but had not made any arrests.