The suspect in a Philadelphia school shooting has turned himself in, reporting to the local police station accompanied by his lawyer on Saturday. The 17-year-old was taken into custody at around 1 p.m. Saturday.
The shooting occurred at Delaware Valley Charter School about 3:30 p.m. Friday in the school gym. The suspect, identified as Raisheem Rochwell, opened fire with only about seven students in the gym. One victim, an 18-year-old female, was struck in the bicep; the bullet exited her arm and struck the 17-year-old male victim in the shoulder. Both teens were rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center, roughly a block north of the school, and their injuries were deemed non-life threatening.
The school immediately went into lockdown mode following the incident, and students were dismissed after individual searches were conducted. By the time the one-by-one searches were complete, all students had been dismissed by 5:30 Friday afternoon.
Following the shooting, the suspect fled. Based on video footage, the police had taken another suspect into custody for questioning, but cleared him in the case. Another suspect was brought to the police station by his family to meet with police, but that suspect was also cleared. The weapon in the case is still being hunted.
The suspect in the Philadelphia school shooting turned himself in after roughly 24 hours of police searching for the shooter in this case. Rochwell has been charged as an adult in this incident. Rochwell faces charges of aggravated assault, a Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act violation, recklessly endangering another person, having a weapon on school property and other related offences. His bail has been set at $500,000.
City Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey is disgusted with the spate of school shootings that have occurred of late. A school shooting at Arapahoe High School killed two students, including the gunman, on the anniversary of the devastating Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that killed 27. Earlier this week, a 12-year-old boy opened fire at Berrendo Middle School, injuring three.
Ramsey said that schools have long been considered safe zones for students, and school shootings should not even be a thought. Ramsey said that a security breach had obviously occurred while interviewed students noted there had been fights at the school recently, causing parents to become concerned about the safety of their children.
Parents are outraged that another school shooting has occurred, wondering how a teen has, yet again, managed to come to school with an undetected firearm. There is a scanner in place as you enter the school, and parents say the suspect would have to remove his jacket prior to going through the scanner and the office is just a few feet beyond the scanner.
School officials said they intended to continue their commitment to make all area schools S.A.F.E. The acronym stands for Scholarship, Attitude, Focus and Excellence, and officials said they are intent on ensuring that staff and student safety is taken seriously inside and outside the school.
The suspect in the Philadelphia school shooting who turned himself in is the only suspect considered as the shooter at this time. Police have said now that they are able to talk to the victims in this situation, they should be able to start piecing together why this tragedy occurred.
By Christina St-Jean