What began as a fight among students instantly escalated at a southwest Atlanta high school when a mother arrived armed with a gun.
It was a typical Wednesday at Booker T. Washington High School until violence broke out during dismissal.
“Everything was normal. “We were in the gym, didn’t hear anything, and when I came out, I saw the camera crews and police,” one student said.
According to Atlanta Public Schools, the mom of one of the students involved arrived on school grounds with a gun and started waving it at students. That’s when police arrived.
APS police told the woman to drop her weapon, and when she didn’t comply, an officer shot her in the hand, according to the school district.
“It was a teenage fight, and an adult got into it and that’s what made my sister feel like she needed to protect her child,” the woman’s family said. “Her gun didn’t go off at all, she did not pull her trigger at all, the only gun that went off was the officer who shot her after she put her gun down when he told her to.”
One other parent told CBS46 that the woman should not have brought the gun in the first place.
“She was putting her hand and her gun at me and my daughter and I’m pressing charges that’s the dumbest thing to do to pull up to a kid fight, pull out a gun and get shot.” Cynthia Leakes said.
The fight was captured on cell phone video, and it appears that several people were involved.
In response to the incident, Atlanta Public Schools released the following statement:
Following a physical altercation between students during dismissal at Washington High School, a parent came to the campus with a weapon and began waving it in the direction of students, employees, and an Atlanta Public Schools Police Officer. The officer ordered the parent to drop the weapon. When the parent did not comply with the order, the officer fired one shot which struck the parent in the hand.
Paramedics were called to the scene to treat the parent’s wound. No students or school employees were harmed during the incident. APS Police and Atlanta Police are conducting a full investigation of the incident, and the parent faces several charges. As this was an officer-involved shooting, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating as well.
The safety and well-being of our students and employees is always a top priority for all Atlanta Public Schools.
The woman who was shot has been identified as 30-year-old Tierra Vachon. She has been charged with:
- Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer with Violence
- Disrupting Public School
- Carrying/Possession of Firearm on School Property
- Aggravated Assault
- Cruelty to Children
- Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor