This story has been updated with Principal Martin’s most recent communication.
Administrators found and removed a gun from a student’s backpack today at approximately 1:15 after a video clip showing the gun was posted on Snapchat. Principal Kimberly Martin sent out an email to the Wilson community at approximately 2 p.m.. In the email, she wrote, “The gun has been surrendered to police, and the student is being detained. Students are safe.”
The Beacon is not naming the students involved for privacy reasons.
Junior Story Sullivan was in the fourth-floor math classroom where the incident occurred. “It was a completely normal class, we were learning a new topic,” Sullivan said. Then, all of a sudden, police officers, security guards, and Wilson administrators were outside the classroom. According to Sullivan, the student who was suspected of having the gun was asked to step outside the classroom and did not return. Other students who had been sitting near the suspected student were also taken out of the classroom one by one. Sullivan said that after the students left the classroom, Principal Martin entered and took their backpacks, which they had left behind.
The District of Columbia Police Office of Communications reported that “a firearm was discovered by an alert teacher in the school who immediately took action, seized the gun, and notified the police.”
Sullivan and other students in the classroom were unaware of what was going on at the time until they read Principal Martin’s email. The fifth period bell was delayed by six minutes to avoid chaos in the halls. The students in the class were asked to give their names to police, and then the day progressed as normal.
According to several students, a video showing the student holding the gun underneath their desk was posted on Snapchat by a fellow student before the first student was detained.
The student’s intentions with the gun and specific details about the incident are still unclear. A press release from District of Columbia Public Schools says that “DCPS is reviewing security protocols to ensure that all students and staff are safe.”
A second email from Principal Martin, received by Wilson community members at 7:25 this evening, included the following:
“One important lesson learned from today’s event is that if you “see something, say something,” which is what brought this situation to a sudden and peaceful resolution. Reporting suspicious activity can aid administrators and deans in handling potential situations in a resolute and expeditious manner. In addition, we inspected all of the more than 50 [fire] doors/entrances and are increasing our daytime coverage of doors during school hours.”
PHOTO BY ZACH ESSIG