Atlanta: 4 Students Shot Outside Benjamin E. Mays High School

The shooting happened in the school’s lower parking lot shortly after dismissal Wednesday.

Atlanta: 4 Students Shot Outside Benjamin E. Mays High School

Photo: Deronda -

ATLANTA — Three people were detained Wednesday after four students were shot shortly after dismissal at Atlanta’s Benjamin E. Mays High School.

Atlanta Public Schools Police Department (APSPD) said shots were fired from a vehicle in the school’s lower parking lot following a fight, Atlanta News First reports. A district police officer was on scene and responded immediately, broadcasting over the radio to request additional support. All four male victims, described as three 17-year-olds and one 18-year-old, were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The suspects, a 35-year-old woman, her 17-year-old daughter, and another male, were detained after being stopped along Baker Road in Northwest Atlanta following a tip about a possible vehicle description, according to WSB-TV. Atlanta Police Major Ralph Woolfolk said all three were cooperating and speaking with investigators.

Woolfolk said police also interviewed around 100 students. As of 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, about 20 students and their parents remained at the school to be interviewed by police, said Woolfolk. Officials say they brought in food for the families.

Atlanta Police said the district’s police department is the lead agency in the investigation. No charges have been filed and the names of those involved have not been released.

Atlanta Mayor Talks School Safety, Youth Violence

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, who graduated from Mays High School, said during a news conference Wednesday night that there would be an increased security presence at the school Thursday, Fox 5 reports.

“In the hallways, outside, as they come into the school, very visible, so they feel much more comfortable when they come into school,” APSPD Chief Ronald Applin reiterated.

Dickens said while overall crime is down across the community, youth crime continues to be a major concern. In Georgia, an average of 133 children and teens die by guns every year, and 64% of these deaths are homicides, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. In the United States, 58% of all gun deaths among children and teens are homicides.

Across all states, Georgia has the 11th-highest rate of gun homicides in the country. Of all homicides in Georgia, 80% involve a gun, compared to 74% nationally. Data also shows gun deaths in Georgia have increased by 25% in the last decade, which is 8% higher than the national average. Gun-related murders, specifically, increased by 47%.

Specific to Atlanta, in 2022, for the third consecutive year, homicide investigations increased. Atlanta Police Department data shows law enforcement investigated 7% more homicides in 2022 than in 2021.

The mayor also addressed parents directly, noting that with Atlanta schools being closed next week for winter break, Atlanta’s Year of the Youth program has tips, free programs, and more to help keep students safe. During an Oct. 2023 hearing with Georgia lawmakers and law enforcement to discuss escalating youth violence, Special Agent Ken Howard with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations emphasized the increased risk of youth lacking adequate supervision or positive adult role models.

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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