Shooting at Magruder alarms students


Photo used with permission from Google Commons

Police cars arrive at Magruder after the shooting.

On Jan. 21 at Col. Zadok Magruder High School a shooting occurred in a bathroom in the school that left one student in critical condition. 

According to WUSA 9, at around 12:50 p.m. reports of gunfire in one of the Magruder’s bathrooms made their way throughout the school. A student had been shot during a confrontation in the bathroom and was in critical condition when school nurses and security arrived in the bathroom to help him. The alleged shooter, 17-year-old Steven Alston Jr., had gone back to a classroom when the school went into a lockdown. After the victim was located, he was transported to a nearby hospital for care.

This shooting sent shock throughout the school system, with reports being read over social media in classrooms all across the county. Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland district 8 tweeted, “I’m closely tracking developments at Magruder High School after reports of a shooting this afternoon. Ardently hoping that the hospitalized student rapidly stabilizes and recovers.” 

This shooting was a shock for the Wootton community including sophomore John Wang who said, “It was really bad because it shows a lot about MCPS students’ mental health. There’s also been multiple suicides in MCPS and MCPS should focus more on students’ mental health. They also need to talk and focus on gun safety and consider having a police officer in schools.”

This school year MCPS came to the decision that schools would not have police officers on duty at schools. Students have strong feelings about this decision. Sophomore Evan Geisner said, “If schools had police officers in the buildings, not only would the shooter not have been able to walk back into the classroom like nothing happened, the student who was shot also would have received quicker attention and may not have been in such a life-threatening state.” 

This shooting has also brought up the issue with ghost guns. Ghost guns are guns that do not have to be registered and are purchased and created using the parts of other guns. These guns can be purchased by anyone, without having to register them, and they can be created at home. A ghost gun is the type of gun Alston allegedly used when the shooting took place according to WUSA 9. Due to the fact Alston is 17, he is still considered a minor. However, he has since been charged as an adult with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony/violent crime, possession of a dangerous weapon on school property and possession of a firearm by a minor accorind to WUSA 9. If convicted on all charges he could face up 50 years in jail.