A teacher armed with a handgun in California injured three students after he accidentally discharged a firearm during a gun safety class officials said. One 17-year-old was reportedly hit by a fragment of the bullet in his neck after it ricocheted off the ceiling.
Authorities identified Dennis Alexander as the teacher who was instructing a class on gun safety in his Administration of Justice class around 1:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Seaside Police Chief Abdul D. Pridgen said his department was investigating the incident.
“We’re looking into any violation of city ordinance or the penal code and we’ll determine whether or not there are any applicable charges,” Pridgen said.
Classes at the school resumed after the gunshot, but, Fermin Gonzales, the father of the boy who was hit in the neck by the ricochet says he was only made aware of what happened after his son came home with blood on his shirt.
"He's shaken up, but he's going to be OK," Gonzales told KSBW. "I'm just pretty upset that no one told us anything and we had to call the police ourselves to report it."
The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District sent a letter to the parents of students at Seaside High School informing of them the incident and that counseling services would be made available to anyone who might need them.
"Due to the nature of this personnel incident, we are unable to share any other details,” the letter said. “The teacher has been placed on administrative leave for the duration of the on-going investigation. The safety of your student is always our top priority, and we will continue to remain vigilant in our efforts to keep them safe while they are under our care."
Tensions have been high at schools across the country ever since a 19-year-old gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 students and teachers.
Students across the U.S. have staged a walkout to protest gun violence and demand that lawmakers take action on things like stronger background checks and increasing the minimum age for gun sales.