Gunshot fired in middle school classroom

No one was hurt when a gun went off yesterday at Cole Middle School, hitting an old fashioned radiator and breaking into pieces.

But I can’t imagine what must be going through the minds of parents, teachers and students, knowing what could have happened.

The 13-year-old student accused of bringing the loaded weapon to school is in juvenile hall. Troy Flint, the OUSD spokesman, said it wasn’t yet clear how or why the shot was fired.

A letter went home to parents last night. The school is holding a meeting at 4 p.m. today to answer parents’ questions about what happened.

I just talked to Jumoke Hinton Hodge, the Oakland school board member-elect for the West Oakland district, whose husband is the current board representative. She said there is a fear in the West Oakland community that such an incident will overshadow — in the eyes of the public — all of the school’s accomplishments.

“We’re just devastated,” Hinton Hodge said.  “We’ve taken these huge steps, and that school’s been doing really well.”

Cole Middle School, located near the Port of Oakland, includes only an eighth grade this year. The school is being phased out as part of the school district’s redesign initiative. The new West Oakland Middle School — located on the old Lowell campus, along with KIPP Bridge Academy — is slated to move in to the Cole building next year.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nextset

    These things can happen I suppose. What is known about the shooter? An immature kid who wanted to show off a family gun – or a gangbanger with a grudge – or a kid who found the gun somebody else forgot was in the backpack? News please…

    Sometimes I have to remember to remove the weapons from the car before I have it valet parked or carwashed.. And you never know what is in a ladies’ purse nowadays either. Guns and Tasers for one thing..

  • Katy Murphy

    Hinton Hodge said that the student involved was troubled and implied that he or his family had been in the justice system before this incident.

    I’ll post more information as I learn more.

  • Sue

    “But I can’t imagine what must be going through the minds of parents, teachers and students, knowing what could have happened.”

    Sadly, I don’t have to imagine what’s on their minds. Last year my niece was one of the hostages when a 17-y-o with a gun took over a classroom at Oroville h.s. and shot the ceiling.
    (He eventually pleaded guilty, so at least my niece was spared having to testify at a trial.)

    Guns in schools are terrifying no matter where, and it’s happening in rural and suburban schools, not just in poor urban schools.

  • aly

    the student is a former student where i teach; he was a polite kid with a sad history in need of a lot of support and love. i am grateful that he is okay and no students or staff were injured. my thoughts go out to the staff, students and families of cole who are no doubt shaken by this sad incident.

  • Tracy

    All kids know or have access to guns by eight in some areas of Oakland.
    I am sure he was a polite kid. He still had a loaded gun in the classroom that went off!
    YIKES–That is huge-