L.A. student took a bullet in the jaw, but the district did not disclose the shooting for two weeks


A student was shot in the jaw on Aug. 27 at Hollenbeck Middle College in Boyle Heights, possibly struck by a bullet fired from off campus, an incident that Los Angeles college officials publicly acknowledged for the 1st time Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Unified College District confirmed the shooting just after it was disclosed at a Tuesday college board meeting by Gil Gamez, the head of the college police officers union. Los Angeles police are investigating, a division spokesman stated. The student, who was not identified, is recovering.

Just after Gamez spoke to board members, The Occasions created quick queries and College Police Chief Steven Zipperman immediately place with each other a written briefing for the Board of Education and released the document to The Occasions. An LAPD spokesman stated the division agreed with the information in Zipperman’s report.

Hollenbeck Middle School

Hollenbeck Middle College in Boyle Heights.

(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Occasions)

“A student was standing in line at nutrition/lunch, when a further student standing behind him pointed out he was bleeding close to the ear/jaw region,” Zipperman wrote to the board. “The student apparently also felt ‘something’ strike him.”

Zipperman’s rundown noted that the college nurse treated the student but “it was nevertheless unknown what brought on the bleeding.”

“At the time of this incident, no other persons, each students and adults nearby, heard or saw something uncommon,” Zipperman noted.

With no any clear proof of a shooting or info about what struck the student, “this incident was deemed NOT an on campus-associated crime,” the report stated.

The boy’s mother took him to a regional hospital, Gamez stated.

That day, Hollenbeck Principal Elsa Bolado sent out short telephone and e mail messages to parents saying “there was an incident outdoors the college that brought on a student at Hollenbeck to be injured. Be assured that the student is nicely and all of our students are secure.”

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The principal presented a revised version of events in a message sent out Tuesday evening, just after the disclosures by Gamez.

 Hollenbeck Middle School

Students arrive at Hollenbeck Middle College in Boyle Heights, exactly where a student was shot in the jaw on August, 27th.

(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Occasions)

“We have received additional info that the injury seems to be a outcome of an ‘off-campus’ discharge of a firearm from an unknown place or individual, whereby the projectile came to rest inside the campus perimeter, striking a student,” the principal stated. “As previously pointed out, the injured student is recovering and has been getting the important assistance.”

It was not straight away clear how officials knew that the gun was fired “off-campus” if they did not know the origin of the gunfire.

In his memo, Zipperman told the board that his workplace received an update from Los Angeles police Thursday and that parents would have been apprised Tuesday evening regardless of Gamez’s disclosures.

Hollenbeck is a significant campus, occupying about two blocks atop a brief hill, and serves about 1,000 students. Its white, red-roofed buildings and open spaces are surrounded by a chain-hyperlink fence, which gives separation from the surrounding streets. The outside lunch tables are clearly visible from beyond the fencing.

At Hollenbeck on Wednesday morning, a number of parents expressed concern that the college was not much more forthcoming about the shooting. Nereyda A. Bautista, whose daughter attends the college, stated she went to a “coffee with the principal” shortly afterward, exactly where the problem came up.

Bautista stated that the principal told parents it was not precisely identified what occurred but that the student could have been injured by a piece of flying debris from a vehicle accident off campus. Baustista recalled pondering that this explanation did not make sense.

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“We have been like, ‘Wait, what is that?’ I couldn’t think it,” she stated. “I couldn’t think it. I really feel like it does not make sense due to the fact just a single small piece gets into campus and hits a single boy?”

Principal Bolado, who was overseeing the arrival of students, stated she’d been directed to refer all inquiries about the incident to the college district’s workplace of communications. When asked about the vehicle accident explanation, she stated that she “could not comment on something due to the fact points get taken out of context.”

Parent Felipa Martinez stated that, primarily based on the school’s explanation, she had assumed a student was injured off campus just after college. She was unhappy to discover that specifics have been withheld. She stated she plans to commence volunteering on campus to get a greater sense of how secure it is for her daughter.

Yet another parent, Felipe Alarcon, stated the college should really have supplied much more info, but that he feels his son is secure on campus. He’s had two older kids go by way of the college with out any issue. General, he feels the neighborhood and college atmosphere are safer than when he grew up in East L.A.

“Compared to ahead of, it was gang infested,” he stated. “I never ever saw any type of danger for my son. And I have a extremely very good encounter with this college, you know, absolutely nothing like severe fights or he’s never ever been bullied.”

In an interview just after his comments to the college board, Gamez stated he was not personally involved in the investigation.

Just after Gamez spoke at the meeting, a single board member, George McKenna, expressed surprise that he was just studying about the shooting and asked no matter whether the gun was fired from off campus or on campus. Gamez replied that he did not know.

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No other board member commented on the shooting they immediately returned to the scheduled subject, a discussion about the district price range. The shooting was not additional discussed at the meeting.

Afterward, board member Scott Schmerelson stated in an interview that he’d currently been conscious of the shooting, but only due to the fact he reads everyday incident reports from across the nation’s second-biggest college program. He remembered pondering that it was odd that a student would be shot and it would not be straight away clear to the student and these about him.

The final time a student was injured by a bullet at a Los Angeles middle college was Feb. 1, 2018, just after the apparently accidental discharge of a gun in a student’s backpack. Law enforcement descended en masse upon Salvador Castro Middle College west of downtown. The bullet injured two students and a teacher. Police locked down the whole college and then evacuated students section by section as media and police helicopters hovered overhead.

Gamez raised the problem of the Hollenbeck shooting to argue for much more funding for college police officers on campus. He stated every middle college utilized to have an assigned officer. Now an officer will patrol the region about two or 3 middle schools, he stated.

There also are activists, such as students and civil rights organizations, who are calling for fewer officers and much less policing on campus. Their faction gained ground final year when the college board agreed to cease the random searches of students on some campuses. The activists referred to as the practice dehumanizing and ineffective.

Defenders of the searches, such as McKenna and Gamez, stated the practice had deterrent worth, producing students much less most likely to bring a weapon on campus.

It is not clear that the Aug. 27 incident would provide fodder for either side.