A 17-year-old boy was charged with attempted second-degree murder Friday after using a ghost gun to shoot another student at Magruder High School in Maryland, police said.
The alleged gunman, Steven Alston Jr., attacked a 15-year-old student who was later found in a bathroom with traumatic injuries. Montgomery County Police said the victim was found by a security guard.
The injured student, a 10th grader, was taken to the hospital in serious condition, said Sheila Goff, a spokeswoman for Montgomery County Police. The victim underwent surgery on Saturday afternoon and is in critical condition, officials told News4.
Alston Jr. was charged as an adult. In addition to attempted murder, he was charged with first-degree assault, felony use of a firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon on school property and parade with a firearm by a minor, police said. He was held without restraint.
Police believe the gun used was a ghost gun. Ghost guns do not have serial numbers and cannot be traced, and their parts can be purchased online and assembled at home.
The incident sparked an hours-long lockdown at Magrud High School, which began minutes after the victim was discovered at around 1pm. Friday, according to police.
With the help of tips, police located Alston Jr. in a classroom and arrested him around 3 p.m. A gun was also found at a school near where the suspect was arrested, police said. Police said Alston Jr. was in the 11th grade.
The lockdown continued until after 5pm. Terrified parents and grandparents sitting in cars, waiting to be reunited with their children.
Police say there is no evidence that Alston Jr. targeted anyone else at the school. Information on how he owned the gun was not immediately available.
The shocking shooting comes as lawmakers begin to ban ghost guns in Maryland. Attorney General Brian Frosh has created detailed legislation to first ban the sale, receipt and transfer of unfinished parts used to make Ghost guns before a blanket ban on Ghost guns in January 2023.
Officials are still investigating what may have led to the shooting.
She told News4’s Darcy Spencer that a parent who rushed to the school to try to pick up her son was turned away due to the lockdown.
“I just know I just heard on the news that there are helicopters out there, just driving all the way from Frederick,” the parent said. “Just trying to get close to him, as close as possible.”
“It’s just something we don’t have to deal with. Schools are supposed to be safe places for kids,” she said.
Magruder High School in Montgomery County, Maryland, remained on lockdown late Friday afternoon after a student was shot and seriously injured in a bathroom.
That sentiment was expressed by many parents and grandparents outside the school on Friday afternoon.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue and Montgomery County Police were both called to the school, which is located at 5939 Muncaster Mill Road in Durwood.
Schools should be safe places for children.
“Our thoughts are with the student and we wish him a speedy recovery,” the MCPS official said.
Officials said they regretted the initial alert about the lockdown, saying there was no immediate threat to safety.
“We regret the use of this language as police continue to actively investigate within the school,” they said.