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Georgia teacher in custody after reports of gunfire at high school

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An armed high school teacher in Georgia barricaded himself alone inside his classroom, then fired a gunshot when the principal tried to force open the door, but no one was seriously injured, police said after the instructor was arrested.

The shooting, which unfolded as schools around the country remained on edge from gun violence earlier this month that claimed 17 lives in the neighboring state of Florida, unfolded around lunchtime at Dalton High School, about 90 miles (145 km) north of Atlanta, the Georgia capital.

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Responding to reports of gunfire at the school, officers from the Dalton Police Department found the teacher in question holed up inside a classroom. He was taken into custody without incident about 30 to 45 minutes later, police spokesman Bruce Frazier told reporters later.

The suspect was later identified as Jesse Randall Davidson, 53, a social studies teacher at the school who police said also serves as the play-by-play announcer for the Dalton High School football team.

The incident began when a group of students tried to enter the classroom, “and the teacher was not letting anybody inside,” Frazier said.

When the principal arrived and tried opening the door with a key, a single gunshot was heard from inside the room, prompting a security lockdown of the school as police were notified and the school’s resource officer was summoned, Frazier said.

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Arriving police evacuated teachers and students from the hallway as they confronted the instructor.

Frazier said he had no immediate explanation for what may have precipitated the incident, and he declined to say whether he believed it stemmed from a suicide attempt, but added: “This teacher apparently did not want to involve students in this incident in any way.”

The incident came two weeks after a shooting rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead and led to calls from U.S. President Donald Trump for arming teachers as a way to protect students.

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Only one minor injury was reported on Wednesday – a girl who hurt her ankle while fleeing in the pandemonium, Frazier said.

The police spokesman said it was not immediately clear whether any students had previously been in a classroom with the teacher while he was armed. The weapon involved was a handgun, he said.

Students at the high school, which has an enrollment of about 2,000 pupils, were all being taken to a nearby convention center in Dalton, authorities said.

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“It is really serious after so many things have happened all over the country,” student Ricardo Perez told television station WTVC-TV in a telephone interview after the incident. “I’m shocked, I can’t believe it. I thought it was a dream.”

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen, Joseph Ax, Gina Cherelus and Peter Szekely in New York; Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago and Keith Coffman in Denver; writing by Steve Gorman; editing by G Crosse and Jonathan Oatis)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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‘Not true’: Fox News calls out Trump for lying about keeping US soldiers out of harm’s way

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As the U.S. military grapples with the logistics of a quick withdrawal from the northern part of Syria, President Donald Trump drew criticism for abandoning the Kurds and endangering U.S. troops. There are also reports that the army's departure has resulted in members of ISIS escaping from prison.

On Wednesday, Trump defended his decision, insisting that U.S. soldiers were not in danger. "Our soldiers are not in harm's way," he said. “That has nothing to do with us,” he added, about the conflict between Turkey and the Kurds at the Turkish-Syrian border.

But top military officials told Fox News that this was not true. "Not true, according to top US military commanders who tell Fox this is a complicated, deliberate phased withdrawal with a lot of inherent risk," Jennifer Griffin, National Security correspondent for Fox News, wrote on Twitter. "Already US warplanes had to warn approaching foreign troops with a show of force."

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‘Worse than Obama’: Lindsey Graham has full-blown freak out over Trump’s latest Syria statements

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday had a full-blown freak out after President Donald Trump publicly said that the Turkish slaughter of the Kurds in northern Syria was not America's problem.

Writing on Twitter, the senator had his harshest condemnation yet of the president's decision to abruptly pull American troops out of Syria while giving Turkey a green light to invade the area.

"I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkeys invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won’t come back to haunt us, ISIS won’t reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision," Graham wrote. "However, I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq."

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Ex-GOP lawmaker will run for Senate in Kansas — as a Democrat

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A Kansas state lawmaker who left the Republican Party last year will run next year for the U.S. Senate -- as a Democrat.

State Sen. Barbara Bollier (D-Mission Hills) will run for the seat held since 1997 by the retiring Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), reported the Associated Press.

Republicans have not lost a U.S. Senate race in Kansas since 1932, but Democrats are feeling more confident with the victories last year of Gov. Laura Kelly and Rep. Sharice Davids.

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