Three people have been shot outside a Williamsburg high school, according to the New York City Police Department.
Shots rang out outside Williamsburg Charter High School on Varet Street at around 2pm on Wednesday, as school dismissal began, according to police. A 37-year-old security guard was grazed in the back of the neck, while two students — a 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl — were shot in the leg and back, respectively. All three are likely to survive, and were transported to local hospitals via ambulance.
Police sources said the incident began after about 15 male students got involved in a physical brawl. One of the students pulled out a firearm and started firing, striking the three victims. Another student reportedly struck someone with a plank of wood.
“All I know is that people were fighting and then it just escalated, and then gun shots and then running,” said 14-year-old DJ, a student at the school. “This is like the second time this happened, but this time it escalated.”
Students were locked down inside the school for about an hour after the shooting, DJ said.
Witnesses said the suspect fled north on White Street following the shooting, according to an NYPD spox. He is described as wearing black Adidas pants, a white or grey hooded jacket, and a brown puffer jacket.
“I heard the shots, about six shots,” said Michael William, who works nearby. “Kids ran out into the street. It was very scary.”
DJ said she believed the staff member who was shot was a security guard. She and her friends were standing outside when the suspect gunman started firing.
“It was horrifying, we ran inside the school,” she said. “It was traumatizing, everybody was running away. Some of my friends ran to the train station. Thankfully none of them are hurt.”
Williamsburg Charter High School is cooperating in the ongoing police investigation of the incident, said spokesperson Katie Manion.
“We are deeply troubled by today’s events,” Manion said in an email. “WCHS leadership will be meeting with government officials this week to discuss the recent uptick of violence in our community and how we can work together to keep our students and staff members safe.”
This is a breaking news story, and is likely to change as more details emerge. Check back for developments.