NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A rise in violence has students and parents on Staten Island concerned. There have been at least two incidents involving guns, two days in a row at the same school.
On Wednesday, CBS2’s Leah Mishkin spoke to students about the violence.
“It’s just scary, like you hear of other shootings around the country,” senior Julianna Raimonda said.
Exit doors were secured and students had to stay inside the building Monday afternoon after a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old reported being assaulted near the track/football field.
Police said one of the victims was struck with a gun across the face. He was taken to the hospital in stable condition. No arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation.
“It’s surreal,” senior Evan Lechowicz said.
On Tuesday afternoon, the school went into “shelter-in” mode again after witnesses at the school told police they heard a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot, a few blocks from the school.
“I hope that we have metal detectors every day now. Just keep everyone safe,” senior Alan Pachkovskiy said.
Police said it’s still unclear whether a gun was fired, but a 16-year-old was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.
The Department of Education told CBS2 in a statement its top priority is to ensure the safety of the students going to and from school, so there are extra police officers on campus. There is also an anti-gun violence initiative that showed up with 30 members to talk to the students.
“We’re here because we’re invested. It’s our job to be here. It’s not all about police locking people up. Let’s talk to the young and see what’s going on and try to provide some alternatives to violence,” True 2 Life program manager Mike Perry said.
“We’ve had a ration of gun violence, weapons being brought into our schools, since the beginning of our school year in September and this trend is just continuing,” said Gregory Floyd, president of Local 237.
Floyd said the city is down about 1,800 school safety agents and that has been a contributing factor to why students may be feeling unsafe.
“Some schools have half the staff they used to have to patrol and to combat violence and make sure weapons don’t get into the schools,” Floyd said.
The union leader is calling on the city to hire more school safety agents before the situation turns tragic.
The DOE said it’s working with the NYPD to identify the suspects and is providing support to the victim.
CBS2’s Leah Mishkin contributed to this report.