Education

Student Timothy Tungate was on the third floor of Fern Creek High School on Tuesday afternoon when he heard gunshots ring out. That is, they sounded like gunshots, but he didn’t think it was real.

“It is something that you wouldn’t think would happen because Fern Creek was such a good school,” he said.

Tungate was one of hundreds of students evacuated from Fern Creek High after a student was shot and injured. The student, who authorities did not identify, was taken by ambulance to University Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Police made an arrest in the shooting later Tuesday afternoon but did not immediately release details. Update: Police arrested a 16-year old on multiple charges, authorities announced late Tuesday.

Following the shooting, Fern Creek High went into lockdown, a Jefferson County Public Schools spokesman said. Soon after, students were taken by bus from the campus to the nearby Fern Creek Park on Ferndale Road, where they awaited family members.

Hundreds of family members arrived at the park soon after news of the shooting became public. Those family members were calm—but also tense.

At the first, the family members were unaware of whether their child was hurt.

“I don’t know, my thoughts are just not with me, I’m just worried about him,” said Katina Carter, who had last heard from her son, Terrance, via text just moments after the shooting happened.

“I know things happen. You just feel like when you send your son to school you send him out the door and hope for the best and you think school is one of the safest places to be.”

Ben Jackey, a JCPS spokesman, said the shooting was “senseless. This is unacceptable and this cannot happen in our schools.”

“This is not the type of thing that students should be exposed to,” he said.

But Carter, along with Timothy Tungate and a handful of other students who spoke with WFPL at Fern Creek Park following the incident, said they were unsure if they’d go back to school this week.

Tungate, for one,said he’d “probably” stay away from school for the rest of the week.

Another student, Q Taylor, said the school needs better security measures.

“I don’t feel safe at all,” he said.  “I don’t feel safe because they let people bring guns to school.”

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Katina Carter’s name in the photo caption.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.