HUGUENOT, Staten Island (PIX11) — A 14-year-old student was shot near Tottenville High School on Tuesday afternoon, police said.
The victim was shot in the right leg just before 2 p.m. on Luten Avenue, officials said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Two suspects fled the scene, police said. They were wearing ski masks and grey sweatpants. Investigators found five shell casings at the scene.
Freshman Sophia Shternfeld says students heard several shots and panicked.
“People started rushing out the back, telling us to get down and everything,” the student said. “We were like, what’s going on?”
Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella suggested the shooting may been the result of a dispute that started somewhere else in Staten Island.
“When you have a situation where you can do whatever you want and there’s no consequences, things like this happen,” Fossella said. “Until there are consequences to these bad actions, unfortunately you’re going to have to deal with this.”
Students described the victim as a good kid. They said he’s a JV member of the football team.
Mona Davids, co-founder of the New York City School Safety Coalition, says unarmed school safety agents need more help.
“No community is immune to gun violence,” Davids said. “We need that mobile task force of NYPD officers outside of the schools to ensure incidents like this do not happen.”
The shooting was an unwelcome wake-up call for Shternfeld.
“I always see it on the news. I’m like, everyone thinks it’s never going to happen to us. And today, like a regular day, it happened,” the student said.
The shooting happened off of the Tottenville High School campus, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said. Despite that, the school briefly sheltered in place.
“While no part of this incident took place on school property, we are working closely with the NYPD on their investigation and will be providing additional supports and security to this school,” the DOE spokesperson said. “Student safety is our top priority, and our students deserve to feel safe in their communities at all times. There is also strong mental-health support at all New York City public schools for students who need it, by way of school-based social workers, guidance counselors, and on site mental health clinics.”
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).