Vallejo school resumes after shootings

October 16, 2008 11:58:39 AM PDT
Anxious parents in Vallejo brought their children to school on Thursday, hours after a two-year-old boy was shot across the street from the campus. Counselors have been at the Dan Mini Elementary School. It was locked down for awhile on Wednesday, after a drive-by shooting across the street wounded four people, including the two-year-old.

It was not a normal day at the school. When one kindergartner saw all the police men at her school, she looked up at an administrator and said 'are these police officers going to protect us?'

There are more guidance counselors and police officers at the school then normal, yet fewer children. Educators at Dan Mini Elementary think the absent rate is about five percent higher than normal because of Wednesday's shooting. But those who are at the school will get a chance to talk about their fears.

"We had a meeting this morning with all the teachers and school staff, gave them talking points and just encouraged them to talk with all the kids first thing in the morning, let them know what happened, just kind of ensure that police are here," said Jason Hodge, Vallejo School Dist. Spokesman.

The shooting happened across the street from the school at 5:00 pm Wednesday afternoon. A man on a Ninja style motorcycle shot four people in front of a home on Lorenzo Drive, three men and one two-year-old boy. All of the victims were taken to the hospital; police have not made any arrests. They don't know the motive but they don't think it looks like a random attack.

Students and faculty who were at an after school program heard the attack.

"The children that were here were probably scared to death. I feel sorry for the parents who had to get calls saying their children were in lockdown and there was a shooting across the street," said Mariah Ruiz, Vallejo.

But the parents who did bring kids to school on Thursday said they felt comfortable when they saw the police officers on campus. The four officers will be here all day.

"I feel safe as far as my kids being protected and other kids being protected. For me it's just to reinsure safety for the community," said Danielle Davis, Vallejo.

"We have some staff and students that need to talk to counselors and they're available," said Hodge.

There was one teacher who still felt fragile this morning so she decided to start the morning off by talking to a counselor about those gun shots she heard on Wednesday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vallejo Police Department at (707) 651-7145.


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