Parents and educators at a Los Angeles public school are calling for a new, stronger version of the school resource officer after the city’s latest fatal shooting.
The shooting of a teacher on Monday morning is the fifth to take place this year at the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The school district announced Tuesday that a fourth person had been arrested in connection with the shooting and another officer involved in the incident had been placed on administrative leave.
In a statement Tuesday, Superintendent Mark Fonseca said the school district would “work with the LAPD to ensure a safer environment for all students and staff.”
He added that the district is committed to “building the safety of our students and working with the law enforcement community to address these incidents quickly.”
The LAPD’s Office of Professional Accountability said in a statement that it has “reviewed all of the available information, including the reports and the video from the incident,” and is reviewing the incident for possible disciplinary action.
FonSeca said he would meet with parents, teachers, and the school’s superintendent to discuss ways to ensure students are safe.
“The district is confident that the safety and security of our district’s students and employees is paramount, and we will continue to work with the Los Angles Police Department and LAPD to implement policies and procedures to enhance our schools’ safety,” he said.
He said the district would also consult with community members on how to best support their children during the crisis.
The teacher was identified as a father and a teacher’s aide who was at the school for about 20 minutes before the shooting.
“It is clear that our teacher was targeted because of her age, ethnicity, and sexual orientation,” FonSECA said.
“She has dedicated her life to educating children, and she has been a valued member of our community.”
He said “we must all be aware of our privilege, and that we must act with dignity and respect when interacting with our fellow citizens.”
The shooting happened just before 9 a.m. local time, about two hours after the shooting of two police officers in Los Angeles.
Fonsseca did not provide further details on the suspect or the shooting suspect’s identity, but said it appeared the gunman had “brought with him a weapon and had been shot multiple times.”
He also said it was unclear if the gunman was armed.
A woman who was among the first students to arrive at the district’s Rosemont campus, a predominantly Latino neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles, said that after the initial shooting, the principal called her into her office and said the shooting was “an act of terrorism.”
“She said that the police are still investigating, and so the whole school is in lockdown,” said Ana Perez, a student at Rosemont.
“So I was like, ‘Whoa, what happened?’
It was so scary.”
Perez said she ran outside the school, and a group of other students ran toward the school to find the suspect.
Perez said her mother told her, “You need to leave.”
“I didn’t have anything to lose,” she said.
After the shooting, Perez said a teacher and a staff member came over and comforted her.
“They just told me they were going to take care of me,” Perez said.
She added that one of the teachers told her that she was in “a good place.”
In a tweet Tuesday, Perez described her fear of seeing a police officer on campus.
“I can’t tell you how many times I have run outside the Rosemont school and been told that police are here,” Perez wrote.
“We are all in this together.”
The incident came after another shooting, on Tuesday, where a gunman killed a security guard at a suburban Los Angeles high school.
A man walked into a gymnasium in suburban Rancho Cordova on Tuesday and shot and killed the guard, who was shot in the head.
Police said the suspect walked into the gymnasia alone and began shooting.