Teacher fires gun in class; 3 injured


Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO

A teacher at a Northern California high school accidentally fired his gun inside a classroom, causing minor injuries to three students, but kept teaching while the students sat there, the mother of one of the students said Wednesday.

Dennis Alexander, a reserve police officer, was pointing the gun at the ceiling Tuesday to make sure it was not loaded when it discharged inside his classroom at Seaside High School in the coastal community of Seaside, police said.

Police said no one sustained serious injuries.

Alexander was not authorized to have a gun on campus, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District spokeswoman Marci McFadden said.

District policy says only school resource officers – active law-enforcement personnel employed as armed security at schools – can carry guns on campuses.

Authorities were investigating why Alexander had the gun and if officials were aware that he intended to bring it to school, McFadden said.

Fermin Gonzales, 17, one of the injured students, told KTVU-TV that he saw blood on his shirt after the gun fired.

“Then I wiped my neck, kind of, and a bullet fragment comes off my neck,” he said.

The teen’s mother, Crystal Gonzales, told The Associated Press that no officials contacted parents to let them know what happened and that she was shocked to learn about the mishap several hours later.

“I’m still really upset no one called a nurse or a paramedic to come check on the students,” Gonzales said. “They just sat there until the bell rang.”

The accidental shooting came amid a national debate over whether to arm teachers in the aftermath of a mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

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