CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – Chesterfield students school-bound Thursday morning were horrified when they heard gunfire and then the bus pulled up to a stop at the Mallard Cove Apartments immediately after a double shooting that police said was related to a drug transaction. At least one of the people involved was a high school student.
Chesterfield Police said that students did not witness the shooting, which left one person dead, and one seriously injured, but that one victim did rush toward the bus. Bystanders began to administer aid to the wounded, in front of the bus.
Parents said they were livid about the way the school handled two things about the shooting. Parents claim they were not notified of the event until 1 p.m., though the shooting occurred around 8 a.m.
Parents also questioned policy regarding their kids being able to depart the bus while there was a crime scene happening.
A Chesterfield bus driver who spoke to CBS 6 said that standard operating procedure is to survey the bus stop, and if something suspicious is detected the door should not be opened. If something happens while kids are on the bus, no one is supposed to be allowed off the bus.
Parents are upset that the bus was not secured.
“Why was she able to get off the bus?” asked mother Tamaria Davis. “There should have been some type of protocol and she should have been protected and not allowed to get off that bus.”
"The kids came home on their own," said parent Marlon Harris. "I ended up driving a bunch of them to school."
At this point in the police investigation, it is unclear how many students were on board the #398 bus headed to Bailey Bridge Middle School. After the bus came to a stop, many children exited and went home.
Police emphasized that no children were injured. Officials worked to get in touch with all students on the bus, to speak to them and make counseling available, though a parent said many students went home after the event.
CBS 6 did reach out to Chesterfield County Schools for a comment regarding their bus policy, but have not received a response.
Police emphasized that no children were injured.
Police have not released the ages or names of the two people involved, though multiple witnesses said they were teenagers.
One student attends Bird High School, according to a letter sent home by school principal Laura Hebert. In the letter, she said that the student was injured and taken to the hospital, according to his mother.
Officials worked to get in touch with all students on the bus, to speak to them and make counseling available, though a parent said many students went home after the event.
At Bird High Scool, the principal said that school administration and the student support services team have support available to any students who expressed a concern about this issue, and will remain available for as long as needed.
"Please monitor your child this afternoon and tonight, and let us know tomorrow what supports we may be able to assist with," the principal said.
Earlier Chesterfield Police Lieutenant Peter Cimbal said that the two individuals knew one another and that it is believed they emerged from a car before the shooting.
“Our preliminary investigation reveals that the person who had been shot, along with the second individual, were involved in some sort of drug transaction,” Lt. Cimbal said.
Officials later said 17-year-old Chase S. Harris, of the 10800 block of Decoy Lane, died at the shooting scene. He Has attending evening GED courses at Carver College & Career Academy.
Additionally, the second victim, who collapsed in front of the bus, was transported to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Police said the 17-year-old victim a student at L.C. Bird High School.