Randal Davidson, a teacher in Dalton, Georgia, has been taken into police custody after he barricaded himself into a classroom and fired shots out of a window, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Randal Davidson was alone in his locked classroom this morning, during a planning period, when a student tried to enter the room. When the student noticed the door was locked. The principal was alerted and unlocked the door with a key.
According to Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier, Davidson then forcibly closed the door, and a gunshot followed.
VIDEO: Dalton High students running to safety after reports of shots fired. @DaltonPD says the suspect is believed to be a teacher. Suspect is in custody. Video credit Dalton HS Student @wesleycaceres5. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/pFyoBVbtFc— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) February 28, 2018
The police were called and students were evacuated to the school’s gymnasium and locker rooms, before being transferred to Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center. The high school was placed on lockdown and the police warned parents to stay away from the school. They were allowed to retrieve their children from the convention center.
In response to a threat lock down at Dalton High School, students are being relocated to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center at 2211 Dug Gap Battle Road. Parents and guardians should pick up their students at that location. DO NOT go to Dalton High School. pic.twitter.com/qkplhJfjyC— daltonpublicschools (@DPSschools) February 28, 2018
No one was shot, but a student sustained an ankle injury during the evacuation. After a 30-45 minute standoff, Davidson surrendered to police.
“I don't believe we've had any dealings with him before,” Frazier said. Police confirmed that Davidson used a handgun but the type is unknown.
Davidson began working at Dalton High School in 2004, and is known as the “Voice of Dalton High Football” because he gives play-by-play commentary during football games. In 2012, he was recognized as a STAR teacher by one of his students, according to the school website.
This incident comes two weeks after 17 people were killed during a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Since that shooting, there have been calls to arm teachers to prevent future shootings.
Like the students in Parkland, Dalton High School students took to social media to express their feelings about the incident.
I’m a Dalton High School student. Please don’t tell me a damn thing about arming teachers. Please don’t tell me that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.— hillary (@idkhillary) February 28, 2018
@nra my favorite teacher at Dalton high school just blockaded his door and proceeded to shoot. We had to run out The back of the school in the rain. Students were being trampled and screaming. I dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe.— Chondi🌙 (@_omg_chondi_) February 28, 2018
What happened at Dalton High School today was very REAL. My classmates were shoved into dark classrooms not knowing if they’re were going to make it out alive and were literally posting their goodbyes on social media. Don’t you DARE make this into a conspiracy theory.— winter (@demurevogue) February 28, 2018
I’m a Dalton High School student. You can’t tell me that what happened today is fake. You can’t call what happened today a conspiracy. You weren’t there and don’t know the fear I had. To call my feelings fake and the ones of my fellows students is a joke. I was there you weren’t.— :) (@eve_so1is) February 28, 2018
So are we still going to give teachers guns? I'm on the bus evacuating Dalton high school.— 🌸Lilly Rio🌸 (@lillyxrio) February 28, 2018
I’m a dalton high school student and that shit was scary as hell. Anyone who says these things are staged is an idiot. Arming teachers is not a good idea. I was at lunch w ab 300 other students and that was horrible.— David (@DavidFrmColmbia) February 28, 2018