09/22/2007 BEAUMONT, Texas.
A high school is reassessing its security procedures after a gunman chased a victim through the halls.
About noon Friday, two men who were not students at Central Medical Magnet High School got into a dispute at a nearby apartment complex. The gunman shot the victim in the stomach, but the victim crossed the street and entered the school as the gunman chased him.
A school staff member and Principal Patricia Lambert, who were in the front office, heard the victim's cries. They immediately got on the intercom and gave the code for staff members to lock all doors and keep the students from leaving classrooms, said Clydell Duncan, Beaumont Independent School District police chief.
The victim hid in the gym, while the gunman ran back to the apartment complex, where he was arrested. The gunman had a self-inflicted wound to his arm, police said. Both men were taken to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. No arrests were immediately made.
No students were injured.
Later Friday, Lambert and school police officers talked about the lockdown and what other security measures may be needed.
The school purchased 73 video cameras in May 2006. Seconds after the gunman entered the school, he can be seen on video rounding a corner as a teacher closed a classroom door under the lockdown order.
"The system works. You hate to see that ever happen," said Sgt. Reggie Boseman, who worked at the Beaumont Police Department about 22 years before joining the school force.
Within minutes of the incident, frantic parents began arriving at the school. Once they learned no students were harmed in the incident, they started demanding answers about their children's safety.
Sumterrie Joiner, whose daughter is a freshman at Central, said improved security needs to be implemented immediately.
"I know they just can't lock the doors all day long but this is something that should not have happened," Joiner said.
Lambert reassured parents that their children were safe and informed them the school would provide security at the front door "from now on."
Duncan says each high school in the district already has two officers on campus full-time. Officers at the middle schools are not assigned to one particular campus, but move around throughout the day, Duncan said.
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