March 07, 2018
A Huffman High School senior was killed and another injured when gunfire erupted inside a classroom at the east Birmingham school Wednesday afternoon.
Killed was a 17-year-old girl who was going to graduate in May, had already been accepted into college and had dreams to become a nurse. "We're not just talking about some person, we're talking about losing a part of our future,'' said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. "Our hearts are heavy."
Huffman High School shooting: Courtlin Arrington killed; Birmingham police question injured teen
She was identified on multiple social media accounts as Courtlin Arrington. However, her name was not confirmed by authorities because officials said some of her family had not yet been notified.

Arrington was given CPR at the scene and en route to the hospital, but the efforts to revive her failed.
Also wounded in the shooting was a 17-year-old boy, a junior and member of the football team. Both were rushed to UAB Hospital in separate Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service trucks.
Huffman High School shooting: Courtlin Arrington killed; Birmingham police question injured teen
The boy was initially said to be critically injured, but hospital officials by 7:30 p.m. said he was seen in the emergency department and was no longer at the hospital. He was shot in the leg, and was later questioned at police headquarters. About an hour earlier, a woman at the police station who said she was the boy's mother, said she had not been told his condition, but she did not believe he had a gun.
She and other family members gathered there declined further comment.
School officials announced late Wednesday night that school will be closed on Thursday. The delay will provide an opportunity for the system to conduct a thorough safety sweep of the school, and also allow the system to collaborate with organizations in the community to provide counseling support to both students and staff, said Superintendent Lisa Herring.
Huffman High School shooting: Courtlin Arrington killed; Birmingham police question injured teen
"The magnitude of this event causes us to pause," Herring said. "However, we want to assure our parents, students, staff and community that safety and security are a top priority for Birmingham City Schools."

A school employee was evaluated by paramedics on site, and released at the scene.
The shots erupted shortly after 3 p.m. as school was dismissing for the day. Students who were still inside the school were ushered into classrooms or other secure locations during a temporary lockdown.
The scene at the school shortly after the shooting was relatively calm, considering what had happened inside. Many of the students, taking part in after-school athletics and other activities, said they didn't hear the shots and didn't know what happened until later.
One mother, who asked that her name not be used, said she was waiting for her daughter outside the school and called her child's cell phone to ask what was taking so long. Her daughter, a basketball player, replied, "Mom, we're on lockdown."
They quickly learned of the shooting. "I was just hoping my baby was OK, that everybody was OK,'' the mother said. "I was nervous. This is so sad."
Police said at least two shots were fired but are still trying to sort out a timeline of events and what led to the gunfire. The gun used in the shooting was recovered from inside the school and Acting Birmingham Police Chief Orlando Wilson said they still believe the shooting may have been accidental.
"At this particular time, we consider it accidental until the investigation takes us elsewhere,'' Wilson said. "We have a lot of unanswered questions. There are so many unknowns at this time."
The chief made it clear the Huffman shooting was not similar to other recent School shootings across the country. "It's not where someone from outside came into the school,'' he said.
Wilson said there are surveillance cameras inside the school and police will be reviewing the footage to try to piece together what happened. "We're hoping if we have footage, that it will reveal it,'' he said. "If we have witnesses, we're hoping they will tell it."
Huffman High School shooting: Courtlin Arrington killed; Birmingham police question injured teen
There were multiple possibilities for what may have happened.
Sources said a male student was "showing off" his gun when it discharged, striking the female student. He then accidentally shot himself as he was putting the gun away, according to sources. Police officials did not confirm that account, or any of the other stories making the rounds.
"We're not saying he shot her, we're not saying he didn't shoot her,'' the chief said. "We're asking those questions ourselves so we can determine exactly what happened."
The chief said he had not been told of any kind of argument, fight or struggle preceding the shooting incident.
Wilson said multiple students were questioned as witnesses. As of 8 p.m., interviews were still ongoing at Birmingham Police Department headquarters downtown.
The chief appeared emotional while talking about the fatal shooting. "I'm deeply moved by what has happened here,'' Wilson said. "This should not happen in schools."
Huffman High School shooting: Courtlin Arrington killed; Birmingham police question injured teen
The chief did not give a timeline of when more information would be released. "What I will say here is let us do our job. We'll give you the answers as they come,'' he said. "Let us do due diligence and due process."
Herring said she knows there are many tough days and tough questions ahead.
"Our goal is to reassure our parents that, as much as we can, we will work to keep our schools safe. But our hearts and our minds are on the families tonight,'' she said. "How do we tell parents that their school is safe after an event like this and how do we reassure our children? That is the work we will take on every single day."
Herring at first said security will be heightened at the school on Thursday and in the days to come but later Wednesday night said classes would be cancelled Thursday.
The beefed-up security presence will not take place just at Huffman High School, but at all city schools. Just last week, police and school officials investigated a reported threat at Huffman Middle School. While the threat was not deemed valid, a gun was found on school property outside one of the entrance door, believed to have been put there when police and school officials were scanning students and checking backpacks.
"This is not a Birmingham City Schools dilemma alone, it's much broader,'' Herring said.
Herring said Huffman High School does have working metal detectors in use but declined to comment further as it is part of the ongoing investigation. In addition to increased security at the school Thursday, the superintendent said said there will be a full crisis team on hand to help students and faculty.
She praised the school officials on hand during Wednesday's shooting. "For as much as they've had to tackle on a very difficult day, they have done an exceptional job of trying to provide care and concern for those who were in the building and for those who had exited out,'' she said.
Wilson, Herring and the mayor all said it's important to think about all of those involved. All were planning to meet with the families of those involved in the shooting.
"We had two victims today, regardless of the circumstances,'' Herring said of both students. "We are most concerned about our families and the child who is no longer with us. We will not only pledge every effort to support the family, but we will do that for every child in Birmingham City Schools."
"I think it's really important we find a way to mourn with the family. That we wrap our arms around the Huffman High School community,'' Woodfin said. "Our entire Birmingham community is in mourning and grief right now. While there are many questions ...we need to take to the time realize that a life was lost. "
The shooting sparked concern statewide.
"I am saddened to learn about the death of the Huffman High School student. I am praying for the family of this young lady who has tragically lost her life way too early,'' said Gov. Kay Ivey. "Every life is precious and, even though this was an accident, it reaffirms that there is no place for students to have firearms or other weapons on campus."
Huffman High School shooting: Courtlin Arrington killed; Birmingham police question injured teen
The shooting took place the day after Ivey created a school safety council in Alabama to make recommendations on security. The security plan would ensure schools have an updated security response plan for sharing information about potential threats. It also would require schools to train students and school employees on how to respond to an emergency situation.
Multiple bills have been proposed in the Alabama legislature after 17 people were killed last month in a shooting rampage at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Varying proposals by Republicans would arm either teachers or volunteer security forces in schools. Measures sought by Democrats would seek to limit or ban the sale of assault weapons. They all face a tight deadline before the end of Alabama's legislative session this election year.
"My heart is breaking for those hurt and killed in the shooting at Huffman High School." said U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell. "I cannot imagine the grief of the parents who lost their little girl today to gun violence. She was a part of our community's future. Tonight, my prayers are with her, the other victim, and their families."
"We have a responsibility to protect our schools from gun violence, accidental or otherwise,'' Sewell said. "Every year more students and teachers, sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters are killed in school shootings - we need to do everything in our power to make this incident the last. We cannot settle for symbolic gestures in Congress when our children's lives are at stake."
The shooting came exactly three weeks after police say a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida, in what was one of the worst school shootings in history, The Washington Post reported.
The Huffman shooting is the first school shooting since that incident, and the third this year that left students dead, that report stated. An ongoing Washington Post analysis has found that more than 150,000 students attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.
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