Students in shooting at George Wythe High School were 'not present' at school that day, superintendent says

Posted at 6:17 PM, May 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-01 18:17:25-04

RICHMOND, Va -- The students involved in a Thursday shooting in the parking lot of George Wythe High School were not present at school that day, according to Superintendent Jason Kamras.

"As for whether the students were at school on Thursday, based on all the information we have at this point, it appears they were not present," Kamras wrote in an email sent to school board members Monday.

Kamras added that school administration officials shared that the students were marked absent, and it has taken the district a few days to verify the information.

The superintendent told board members he has not received any further updates from the Richmond Police Department regarding the ongoing investigation.

"Other than the arrest of one of the alleged assailants, we don't have any new information at this time from RPD," Kamras wrote.

Over the weekend, police said they arrested 18-year-old David Gutierrez, a student at Wythe. He's charged with two counts of attempted murder and two gun charges.

Gutierrez was arraigned in court on Monday.

Police did not answer CBS 6's follow-up questions on Monday including what led up to the shooting, a possible motive, and if they're searching for additional suspects.

"To ensure the integrity of the case, at this juncture since it is an active investigation, no new information is available at this point," Richmond Police spokesperson Tracy Walker said.

School Board Member Jonathan Young (4th District) called on Richmond Public Schools to update the public on the matter as soon as the information is available.

“There are all kinds of obvious questions, and the reality is we do a really poor job at being transparent. Students have a right to privacy, but parents have a right to know if their kids are safe in school or not," Young told CBS 6 during an interview Monday.

Young is proposing policy changes to the district's safety procedures during a Monday evening Richmond School Board meeting.

Additionally, he's requesting more security of the side doors at Wythe, noting that students leaving the building and loitering outside during school hours has been an ongoing problem at the school.

"On any day of the week, if it's nice weather, we have large groups of students who are outside all day when they're supposed to be in class," Young said. "It's candidly for nefarious reasons, and very little has been done about that."

In response to concerns about the side doors, Kamras emailed board members on Monday that he has deployed personnel to "physically sit in front of the 14 banks of doors at Wythe throughout the day."

He added he is exploring a long-term solution but "will proceed in this manner through the end of the year."

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