San Francisco police assign more officers to tense schools after
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
June 28, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - At least three San Francisco police
officers were within two blocks of a shooting Tuesday afternoon
that sent a 16-year-old high school student to the hospital with
a critical wound to the back, police announced today at a midday
Lt. Colleen Fatooh, head of the school resource officer program,
said an officer on foot patrol had just passed 16th and Church
streets where the shooting occurred, and two more officers were
stationed two blocks away at a San Francisco Municipal Railway
stop just outside Mission High School.
The beefed-up patrol was the result of a call from Principal
Kevin Truitt on Monday, reporting a tense atmosphere on campus.
"Students got the feeling that something was just not right,"
Fatooh said. "We were told that tensions were high.''
But Orla O'Keeffe, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Unified
School District, denied that the tension was the result of students
from all over the district attending an unfamiliar school for
the summer session.
The boy who was shot normally attends Jack O'Connell High School
during the fall and spring semesters, but he was attending Mission
High School for the summer, O'Keeffe said.
"We've had this system for at least a couple of years without
any problems. I don't have any evidence to suggest that it is
causing problems," O'Keefe said.
The unidentified victim was waiting in a crowd of people on a
Muni island around 1 p.m. when the suspect, when possibly another
Mission High School student shot into the crowd and struck the
victim in the back.
He was immediately taken to General Hospital where he is listed
in critical condition, according to police.
According to Trish Bascom, chief of support and operations for
the school district, the victim was not a problem student.
"He was attending class regularly and has had no behavior
problems in summer school ... or at O'Connell," Bascom said.
Police said riders on a Muni J-Church train in the area witnessed
the shooting, and a surveillance camera on the train is helping
the ongoing investigation.
San Francisco police Sgt. Neville Gittens described the suspect
as a black male, 6-foot 1-inches tall, with braids or dreads colored
orange at the tips. He was wearing a brown plaid shirt and a black
backpack at the time.
School officials are trying to calm tensions within the eight
high schools, seven middle schools and 10 elementary schools offering
summer sessions, according to O'Keeffe.
Fatooh said the department will assign more officers to the area
as well as other schools throughout the city. Child Crisis and
the school district's Health Programs Department are providing
counseling for students on an as-needed basis, according to the
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