Speaking at a press conference at Veterans Memorial Library, Thomas Coombs said the boy, an eighth-grader, shot himself once in the head with a .40-caliber Glock handgun at about 8:15 a.m. in a second-floor restroom.
Police have not released the student’s name.
“We are not finding anything that would indicate there was a reason, whether he was suffering from some sort of depression or feeling bad about an incident or anything like that,” Coombs said. “We have not been able to determine that and obviously we’re still attempting to determine why.”
School Supt. William Grusecki said bullying did not appear to be a factor.
Another student found the boy and alerted a female staff member before police were called. No one else was in the bathroom at the time of the shooting and there were no other injuries.
From speaking with other students and staff, Coombs said it did not appear that the boy had any problems with anyone nor were there any indicators he was planning anything like this. Coombs said police had spoken with his parents and there did not seem to be any family problems that would have led to the incident.
The boy was taken to Oakwood Southshore Medical Center in Trenton and was brain dead on arrival. He was pronounced dead shortly after.
A note was found on the boy at the hospital. It is unclear what it said, but it appeared to be a suicide note and included a goodbye message to another student, Coombs said.
Authorities don’t yet know how the boy got the weapon. Charges could be filed against the owner of the gun once that is determined, Coombs said. Continued...
The school was locked down immediately after the teen was discovered. Once the student was taken out of the school and police told the staff that it was an isolated incident, parents were notified they could pick up their children.
“We made sure all the kids went home with a parent or had permission to go to another parent’s home or another family’s home,” Grusecki said. “We did not allow any kids to walk home.”
If police can find the reason for the boy’s action, the district could use that information to help someone in the future who might be dealing with personal issues, Coombs said.
Several students told media outlets earlier in the day that they believed the boy was bullied. Coombs said if the investigation shows that is the case, police will determine who played what role and to what extent the boy was picked on before proceeding with any charges.
“We’ve spoken to quite a few students and teachers,” Coombs said. “They’ve indicated that does not appear to be the case.”
By 10:30 a.m., lines of parents were at the school, waiting to be allowed in four at a time to pick up students.
Classes will resume at Davidson, 15600 Trenton Road, on Monday morning. Counselors will be available then to help students and staff. Other school districts in the area have offered help and resources for counseling, Grusekci said.
There will be an increased security presence Monday, Grusecki added. Bags will be searched when students enter the building.
He asked that students carry their books in the open instead of in backpacks and avoid wearing bulky coats.
“We’ll look for certain things, like bulky garments or anything like that, and we’ll take the appropriate steps,” he said.
Schools in the district do not have metal detectors. Grusecki said he and other school officials will work over the next few days to find ways to make buildings safer.
“We had no idea that student was coming into the building armed,” he said.
Police Chief Jeffrey Smith said officers will be at the school Monday to assist with security.
The dead boy was a good student and somewhat popular, Grusecki said, and no one suspected he would harm himself.
“Talking with the staff at the building, he had never gone to anybody with any issues or problems or anything like that,” Grusecki said. “The only person who can answer what happened, unfortunately, he can’t answer that right now.”
As the investigation continues, police will conduct follow-up interviews with parents, staff, classmates and friends of the boy.
“To determine if he was having some type of mental issues or if he was suffering from anything or if there was some type of incident that created this incident,” Coombs said.
Davidson houses about 800 students, all eighth- and ninth-graders in the district. Beginning next school year, all students in grades six through eight will attend classes there. Continued...
Grusecki commended the staff at Davidson for taking care of students and parents after the shooting. Once things calmed down, he had an emotional meeting with them in the school’s library.
“Because the reality finally had the opportunity to sink in,” Grusecki said. “They dealt with the kids and the parents first and then … once they sat down and we addressed them, and the police were in there, too, we could see it in their faces. It was difficult for all of us