Shooting Puts Campus on Lockdown; No Injuries Occurred


On Tuesday, Oct. 12 there was a local shooting at 17th and Dennison streets, during which bullets hit the school building during second block. While no one was injured, people were shaken. 

“I was by the senior patio when I dropped my water bottle. As I go to pick it up I just hear a pop pop pe-pe-pop. At first I thought it was firecrackers, but it ended up as shots,” sophomore Mason Chaidez said. 

After the shots rang out Chaidez and his fellow students ran into the portables for lockdown. The students sat under the desk against the wall for cover. While under the desks many students called and texted their parents.

“We just kinda sat there and started talking and we played hangman because we got bored,” Chaidez said.

Once the lockdown ended students went home early and learned what had happened. 

“It was more scary afterward when I realized what really happened and how I could have been shot. I still like this school a lot and nothing is gonna change probably,” Chaidez said.

Junior Ernie Quirk was inside classroom 220 packing up for lunch when the shooting occurred. 

“All of the sudden, I heard a really loud pop noise and at the same time glass just started shattering. There were a couple of seconds where no one really knew what it was, but then we thought it through and were like, ‘yeah, that’s a gunshot’,” Quirk said. “Our teacher checked and saw that behind the curtain there was no window where there usually is a window. We realized that it got shot through.”

After reading Principal Nancy Rousseau’s initial email about how the shooting was community-related, Quirk felt it wasn’t completely accurate.

“I thought that was a little misleading. If it made contact with the school then I don’t know how that doesn’t have anything to do with the school,” Quirk said.

After the shooting Quirk still feels safe coming to school. 

“You’re just about as safe going to Central as you are living in Little Rock,” Quirk said. 

While Quirk and Chaidez knew a shooting happened, sophomore Kevin Durden only knew the school was on lockdown. 

“I was in the chemistry room taking an end-of-quarter exam when we hear on the intercom ‘The school is on lockdown; You can’t leave your classroom’,” Durden said.

After the announcement, their chemistry teacher told the class it was nothing, and to keep taking their test. While finishing, the class heard police sirens but Durden said before they reached the school they cut out.

After students finished their test they could get out their phones. Once Durden finished, he learned what had happened. 

“We heard there was a shooting on campus from Ms. Rousseau. By that point, a lot of people had finished their test, and so everyone was sharing things on Instagram,” Durden said. 

After lockdown students were sent home at around 1:30 p.m., and the next school day was virtual so that police could investigate and damages could be repaired. 

While waiting to leave Durden and his friends kept busy. 

“When we were waiting for carpool to start we started playing card games to pass the time,” Durden said.

Once Durden was home he had time to reflect on the incident. 

“I don’t know, it didn’t affect me too much cause I was focused on my test. If I had been with the band kids hiding behind the baseball field I’m sure I would’ve been scared. I don’t think not knowing what happened at first made me feel any worse, but I definitely think taking the test helped me keep my mind off it,” Durden said.

While Chaidez, Durden, and Quirk had different experiences on that day, one thing they have in common is that they all returned to school Thursday, Oct. 14, to attend the same classes as that fateful Tuesday.