Six shot after getting off school bus in Las Vegas
December 11, 2007
LAS VEGAS – Assailants shot six young people Tuesday who had stepped off a bus coming from a high school in a midday attack just blocks from two elementary schools, authorities said.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said the incident appeared to have been sparked by a fight at a high school earlier in the day. The fight, which is believed to involve a girlfriend, resulted in three arrests at Mohave High School, he said.
“This was not a random act,” Gillespie said.
An 18-year-old man remained in critical condition with gunshots to the torso Tuesday evening. A 17-year-old male was upgraded from critical to serious condition. Four were treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Gillespie said the shooting did not appear to be gang- or race-related, and was a “carry-over” from the earlier dispute.
Police said gunshots were fired shortly after a group of Mohave students stepped off a school bus in a working-class neighborhood in northeast Las Vegas.
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Two individuals suspected in the shooting, which occurred just before 2 p.m, were waiting at the stop for the bus, police said. The suspects remained at large, Gillespie said.
Based on shell casings found at the scene, a 9-millimeter and a .45-caliber gun were used. Police said they also believed the suspects left on foot.
Afterward, six people were transported to University Medical Center.
An 18-year-old male was in critical condition and a 17-year-old male was upgraded from critical to serious condition, both with gunshots to the torso, said UMC spokeswoman Cheryl Persinger.
Police said they could not confirm if the men were high school students.
Four others had minor gunshot injuries to their arms and legs, including an adult male, and two males and a female all under 18 years old, who were treated and released. The four people released were students at the school, Gillespie said.
Police did not release the names or ages of the wounded.
The three male students arrested after the fight at the high school were about 16 years old, said school district police Lt. Ken Young. Young released no other information about the school fight.
Officials said the school district had activated a crisis-response plan and would be adding security to all Clark County schools.
“I think the number one question on many minds tonight is, ‘Is it safe to send my kids to school tomorrow?”‘ Gillespie said. “The answer is yes. I am a father, I have a daughter and she will be attending school tomorrow.”
Archie Gorai, 22, who lives about a block from the site of the shooting, said he heard about eight gunshots while he was wrapping Christmas presents at his home.
“I told my wife it was gunshots. She thought it was firecrackers,” Gorai said. “We went outside, looked over the wall and the police said somebody got shot.”
He said he had always considered the neighborhood to be safe.
Police blocked off traffic surrounding the shooting, in a neighborhood where homes were decorated for Christmas.
Mohave High School, in North Las Vegas, had some 2,300 students last year, and is one of the larger high schools in the northeast region. About a third of the students are Hispanic, about a third are black and about a quarter are white, according to district materials.
The shooting occurred a couple of blocks from two elementary schools, Woolley and Clyde Cox Elementary Schools. Both were locked down temporarily but were reopened before 3 p.m., Rodriguez said.
• Associated Press writer Ryan Nakashima in Las Vegas contributed to this report.