A 14-year old has been charged after reportedly shooting a 15-year old male in Great Falls on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. It happened at about 7:50 a.m. along the 1600 block of Valeria Way as the victim was walking to Great Falls High School.
According to the Great Falls Police Department, people in the area heard gunshots and then heard the victim yelling he had been shot. Responding police officers were given the names of two suspects who had run away from the scene.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) at Great Falls High School was notified and both GFHS and Longfellow Elementary School were placed into shelter-in-place status as a precaution.
At about 8:15 a.m., the first suspect - a 16-year-old male - was detained at a nearby residence; the 16-year-old male had withdrawn from Great Falls Public Schools and was no longer a student.
At about 8:35 a.m., a 15-year-old male was detained at a separate residence. Police determined that neither of these two males were responsible for the shooting.
Police then identified a third juvenile suspect, who was taken into custody at the residence where the 16-year-old male was located.
The suspect is a 14-year-old East Middle School student, who is currently a Homebound student. Homebound students receive educational services on-line and are not allowed on school property.
The gun believed to have been used in the shooting was located and is in police custody.
The 14-year-old suspect is facing a charge of assault with a weapon at this point; we do not yet know if additional or alternate charges will be filed.
The name of the suspect has not been released.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the victim is out of surgery and in stable condition, according to a joint news release from the GFPD and Great Falls Public Schools.
The GFPD says the incident was not random and was the result of "on-going disagreements."
The news release concludes: "GFPS and GFPD, through the SRO program, investigate threats to students on a continual basis. However, this is a team effort. Parents and guardians, please talk to your children about communicating any threatening behavior to a responsible adult."
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