UPDATE: USD 305 Releases Statement on South High Incident

UPDATE: USD 305 Releases Statement on South High Incident
photo by Kyla Johnson

USD 305 UPDATE: After dismissal on Tuesday, October 11, a firearm was allegedly discharged from a vehicle leaving the school parking lot at South High School. The Salina Police Department (SPD) investigated and arrested the alleged shooter and others possibly involved.

An email was sent to South High School families notifying them that an incident had taken place and that more accurate information would be released when possible. Although families and the public wish to have detailed information in situations like this, the district has limited information it can release. The SPD determines what information can be released in an active investigation. The district’s goal is to support the SPD in identifying individuals involved in order to keep our community safe.

South High School families received a second email directing them to the SPD Facebook page where an update about the investigation was posted. The email informed parents/guardians that counselors would be available to meet with students and provide needed support. Parents/guardians were reminded to contact the school office if they feel their child is in need of additional assistance.

A third email was sent to let families know that the district was still working with the SPD and that there would be an increased police presence at South High School on Wednesday, October 12.

On Wednesday, October 12, the district sent an email to families with information about an SPD news release that included individuals allegedly involved and charges being requested.

The district asks parents and guardians to speak with their students and is encouraged to tell adults when they see or hear something and the district asks parents to reinforce this important message at home.

The district appreciates students’, parents and the community’s help in keeping schools safe as we work together to address this important matter.

SPD UPDATE: On October 11, 2022, at school dismissal, a vehicle occupied by several individuals was leaving the west parking lot of Salina South High School, 730 E. Magnolia. Just before turning East onto East Magnolia, an occupant of the vehicle was allegedly seen firing a weapon from the passenger’s side of the car in the direction of the school building. No injuries or damage were reported.

A witness provided the police department with the alleged vehicle and suspect information. The driver of the vehicle, a 17-year-old South High Student, was located at his residence, and the suspect vehicle was located parked around the corner from his home.

Through their investigation, police detectives established probable cause to believe that a 16-year-old Salina Virtual Innovation Academy student was the person who allegedly fired the handgun from the passenger’s side of the vehicle and that a 15-year-old South High Student was identified as allegedly having possessed the handgun in the vehicle while on school property.

The following charges are being requested:

17-year-old: Criminal Discharge of a Firearm and Obstructing Apprehension

16-year-old: Criminal Discharge of a Firearm, Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm, Criminal Use of a Weapon

15-year-old: Criminal Use of a Weapon

The juveniles have been booked into juvenile detention. At this time we have no information to indicate that the handgun used was ever in the school building.

The Salina Police Department takes these threats seriously and will work to identify suspect(s) and make an arrest as quickly as possible when probable cause exists. This is the second example where citizen information has led to the quick arrest of individuals involved in criminal acts committed at Salina South High School. As a reminder, citizen tips are often instrumental in helping clear criminal cases. Parents, please talk to your children about reporting suspicious activity or criminal acts they may be aware of to you, a school official, and/or the police.

The police department believes we have identified and spoken to all of the occupants who were in the suspect vehicle. With that said, this investigation is still ongoing. If you have information relative to this case please call Crimestoppers at 825-TIPS. You can also make an online tip. You may receive a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tipsters may also contact the Salina Police Department at (785) 826-7210.

UPDATE FROM SPD: The Salina Police Department has taken the alleged shooter from South High School into custody. We have identified and spoken to the other occupants of the vehicle as well. At this time, we do not suspect there are any other persons involved in this incident. We would like to thank the public for all of the information provided. More information will be released later today.

The following statement is from Salina Police Department:

Public Announcement:

The Salina Police Department is investigating the discharge of a firearm in the parking lot of Salina South High School. The incident occurred at school dismissal today. No one was injured as a result of the gunfire. Salina Police Detectives are actively following up on investigative leads. Please know that the police department is in regular communication with the USD 305 administration. More information will be released when it becomes available. If you have information relative to this investigation, please call the police department at 785-826-7210 or you can call Crimestoppers at 785-825-TIPS.

Salina311 will have more information on this incident as it develops.

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