Student fatally shot while walking to school
(11/28/06 - HOUSTON) -- A 16-year-old boy died after getting shot twice in the chest in a drive-by shooting on the street on the side of his high school Tuesday morning, police said.
He died on arrival at Ben Taub General Hospital, said Evelyn Flouri, an officer with the Houston Police Department. Police were not releasing the victim's name.
Westbury High School was in session at the time of the shooting, said Houston Independent School District spokesman Terry Abbott. No one else was injured, and classes continued.
The student was walking to school with four friends when a vehicle passed by them a couple of times, according to police. The vehicle then stopped, words were exchanged and shots were fired from the vehicle.
Police have not identified suspects or determined if the incident was gang-related.
The school district is planning to beef up security at the campus, which has three full-time officers based at the school and others patrolling around the campus every day, Abbott said.
"This is one of the best guarded schools," he said. "We are going to increase the patrol for the foreseeable future."
Westbury has been involved in a handful of violent incidents in the past year. In April, a school bus taking students home from the high school and a middle school was shot at and two students suffered minor cuts from glass fragments.
In December, 15 Hurricane Katrina evacuees who were attending the school and 12 local students were arrested during a near-riot in the lunchroom.
The school's principal, Eric Coleman, used the school district's new automated calling system to inform parents of the shooting -- much like the recorded messages employed by politicians during election cycles and by cities during disasters.
"We had a tragedy outside of Westbury High School, not on the campus, Tuesday morning," Coleman said in the message, which was delivered in less than 10 minutes to 1,116 households. "Westbury is a safe school. We take pride in giving our students a safe learning environment every day inside the school. And we will do everything we can to work with the community to keep the neighborhoods outside the school safe every day."
Counselors are on hand at the school for students who wanted to discuss the incident.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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