- Police identified the teacher as 53-year-old Jesse Randal Davidson. He was charged Wednesday afternoon with aggravated assault, carrying a weapon on school grounds, making terroristic threats, reckless conduct, possession of a gun during the commission of a crime and disrupting public school, authorities said.
- The incident at Dalton High School, about 91 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta, sent panicked students running through hallways and alarmed parents who were already on edge in the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month.
- Update Mar 1, 2018 7:12 AM EST: From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
A North Georgia social studies teacher, known as the longtime “radio voice” of Dalton High School football and basketball, is facing charges after he fired at least one shot inside a classroom Wednesday, and he once tried to confess to having someone killed, police said.
The alleged confession was one of two previous incidents involving Randal Davidson and local police.
Dalton police could not verify any of the information Davidson said on March 21, 2016, about having two friends kill someone on his behalf. Police ultimately took him to Hamilton Medical Center because he was having suicidal thoughts, according to a police report. The school was made aware of the incident, police said.
Then, in January 2017, Davidson disappeared from the high school campus after saying he didn’t feel well and leaving early. He was found hours later sitting on a curb about a mile away, unable or unwilling to respond to police, according to the report. He was again taken to the hospital and no further action was taken by officers.
Read more here.
- Update Feb 28, 2018 8:51 PM EST: Police officers will be stationed on the Dalton High School campus on Thursday, according to authorities, while teachers and administrators are on campus. They will have a presence at the school on Friday when classes resume.
- About 11:30 a.m., some students tried to get into Davidson's classroom and he would not let them in, Dalton police spokesman Bruce Frazier said.
They alerted Principal Steve Bartoo. When he came to the door and used his key to try to open it, Davidson forcibly closed it on him, Frazier said.
At that point, Bartoo heard one gunshot. The bullet went through a window and outside, Frazier said. Police have not said what type of gun was used, only that it was a handgun.
- “It’s scary,” Bartoo said in a news conference. “Real scary.”
Bartoo said guns are not allowed on the Dalton campus.
The school has an assigned school resource officer, but at the time of the shooting he was at the junior high school meeting with that school’s officer, according to Dalton police Assistant Chief Cliff Cason.
Frazier said his officers responded within a matter of minutes.
"We had officers inside the building quickly,” Frazier said.
Officers evacuated a hallway and secured the area first. During the evacuation, a female student was hurt, police said. That student is being treated by emergency officials for an ankle injury.
- Officers evacuated a hallway and secured the area first.
During the evacuation, a female student was hurt, police said. That student is being treated by emergency officials for an ankle injury.
- After about 30 to 45 minutes, authorities were able to get the teacher to surrender.
"I don't believe we've had any dealings with him before,” Frazier said.
Cason said his department has interviewed Davidson and police don’t plan to administer a mental health evaluation. “That’s up to the courts,” Cason said.
Davidson, a 53-year-old social studies teacher, has been at Dalton High since 2004. In 2012, he was recognized as the school’s top teacher, according to Dalton Public Schools, which wrote about Davidson’s non-traditional path to teaching in a profile that year.
“He’s a good teacher,” Bartoo said.
- Police said Davidson, a social studies teacher, has been with the school since 2004. In 2012, he was recognized as the school’s top teacher, according to Dalton Public Schools, which wrote about Davidson’s non-traditional path to teaching in a profile that year.
He moved to Dalton in 1995 and became sports and news director at WBLJ-AM radio, the district said.
- The Georgia State Patrol is assisting police with the investigation.
The shooting occurred two weeks after 17 students and faculty members were killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Students returned to the school for the first time Wednesday.
During a listening session last week with parents and survivors of the rampage, President Donald Trump said if one of the victims, a football coach, had been armed “he would have shot and that would have been the end of it.”
He followed that up with a tweet that suggested “armed educators (and trusted people who work within a school) ... should get yearly” bonuses.
“Shootings will not happen again,” he wrote in the Twitter post. “A big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”
- Check back for updates to this developing story.