Following a nearly 45-minute standoff with police officers on Wednesday (Feb. 28), a Dalton High School teacher surrendered himself after firing his handgun inside a classroom. According to the Associated Press, students arrived around 11:30 a.m. at Jesse Randal Davidson’s classroom to begin their lesson. When they noticed the door was locked, they notified Principal Steve Bartoo who tried to sort out the situation. As the administrator began to unlock the door, 53-year-old Davidson “slammed” it and “hollered ‘Go away, don’t come in here.'”
Bartoo’s second attempt was met with the same reaction. Davidson then fired his weapon at a window and sent the students and faculty into a frenzy. One student injured her ankle as she ran from the scene, but no other injuries were reported following the incident.
A student named Chondi Chastain told the AP that Davidson was opposed to teachers having guns on school grounds, a national debate that has since gained steam last month. “It’s our basic student right to feel safe at school and if (teachers were armed), I wouldn’t feel safe,” Chastain said. Davidson reportedly declined to explain his motives to local authorities.
The educator since 2004 now faces aggravated assault, concealing a weapon within a school safety jurisdiction and inciting terroristic behavior.
VIDEO: Dalton High students running to safety after reports of shots fired. @DaltonPD says the suspect is believed to be a teacher. Suspect is in custody. Video credit Dalton HS Student @wesleycaceres5. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/pFyoBVbtFc
— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) February 28, 2018
Earlier this week, Florida’s Republican representatives voted on a bill to arm the state’s teachers with guns. The motion was sparked by a shooting massacre on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 students and faculty were killed. Gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15, an assault rifle that advocates for stricter gun laws wants to be outlawed in the U.S.