SEATTLE — Police were searching Wednesday for a 14-year-old boy who allegedly hit two students outside Nova High School on Capitol Hill with brash knuckles and pointed a handgun at the head of one of them before fleeing. The school was placed on lockdown immediately after the alleged assault.
The incident occurred Tuesday at Nova High School and the World School, a multilingual school for newly arrived immigrant and refugee students that shares space with Nova.
No one was seriously injured, but the suspect believed to be just 14 years old is still on the loose.
Parents are obviously upset.
Police, school officials and parents all agree the incident could have been a lot worse.
It happened just after noon Tuesday.
The suspect, identified as a former World School student who was expelled, came back to the campus to settle a score with a student he said had been trash-talking him on Facebook.
According to police, the boy pulled out brass knuckles and began to hit one of the victims in the face. When another boy intervened, he too was punched.
The suspect then allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at a boy’s head.
When one of the victims managed to knock the gun out of his hand, the students ran back inside the school.
“I have friends who were very shaken by it. I tend to look at it a little more realistically and I was very glad that the right thing happened in the school. They hunkered down. There’s violence in society and I’ve thought about it and I try not to alarm myself with it but it’s certainly an issue and it’s in the back of your mind and you think about it,” Nova parent Jodi said.
Seattle Public School officials released a statement that read in part:
“The students (victims) suffered minor bruises and scrapes that were examined by the school nurse. The victims were back in school today and a mental health counselor is available for any students who need to talk about the incident.”
“Yes. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am surprised that it happened on Capitol Hill. This is a pretty peaceful community as far as the kids that I’ve met,” neighbor Grace Sullivan said.
The boys told police that the suspect claimed to part of a gang from “Salvador” and threatened to come back with his friends. Police say the investigation is ongoing.