Teen charged in shooting near Pittsburgh high school tied to drug-related fight
Roads leading to Brashear High School in Pittsburgh have been blocked in the wake of a school shooting that injured three. (Source: WTAE/CNN)
PITTSBURGH (RNN) – A 16-year-old high school student has been charged in the shooting at a Pittsburgh high school that injured three students.
Anjohnito "A.J." Willett Jr. was charged Wednesday night with four counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and illegally carrying a weapon as a minor. His arraignment will happen Thursday morning.
The Associated Press reports that Willett Jr. shot three students and fired at a fourth in a parking lot near Brashear High School in retaliation to a drug-related robbery and fight from Oct. 18.
Pittsburgh Police Lt. Kevin Kraus said the school police investigated the robbery and fight that Willett was involved in. Charges were not filed because Willett would not identify his attackers, but said he wanted to take care of the matter himself.
Pittsburgh school district spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said Willett had not attended school since the incident.
The shooting happened around 3 p.m. ET at the Pittsburgh high school shortly after classes dismissed Wednesday.
Pittsburgh police confirmed early on that three students were injured leaving Brashear High School, and their injuries are non-life-threatening.
Two of the students were grazed in the head and one was shot in the arm and foot. All of the victims were black males. Richard said the hospitalized victims are not cooperating with police. Two of the victims were 17 years old, the third was 16 years old.
The victims are in good and stable condition at local hospitals.
The students were walking to a car in a nearby parking lot when an unknown shooter opened fire, Pugh told the Associated Press.
The shooting was not on school property but near it in the parking lot, the spokeswoman said. One of the victims ran back toward the school after the shooting and was pulled in by a school administrator, Richard said.
School was done for the day, but security had increased around the school and the area.
Six people were taken as persons of interest when a SWAT team surrounded a home near the school.
Pittsburgh station KDKA released a statement by Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto's office urging citizens in the area to stay indoors as police search for the suspect.
Brashear High School has 1,416 students enrolled at the school, making it the largest in the Pittsburgh school district.
Brashear is a magnet school for computer sciences and in 2010, U.S. News and World Report awarded the school with a bronze medal in its America's Best High Schools list, according to Pittsburgh news affiliate WPXI.
Pittsburgh public schools superintendent Linda Lane released a statement to Pittsburgh news affiliate WTAE, saying that the Brashear would be open on Thursday. Lane said the school will heighten its security and remain on a "modified lock down," meaning only students, teachers and those with pre-scheduled appointments are allowed on school grounds.
"A modified lock down means that only students, staff, and visitors with a scheduled appointment will be able to enter the school building," the statement said. "We are taking this matter seriously and focusing on the safety of our students. Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims."
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