Wendell Phillips Academy

Community Reeling After Student Critically Hurt, Guard Injured in Shooting Outside Chicago School

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A community is reeling Tuesday after a student and a security guard were shot and wounded outside of Wendell Phillips Academy in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, with gunfire ringing out as classes were let out for the day.

“I just heard like five shots go off, and I’m like ‘what’s going on? They shooting, they shooting,’” Diana Taylor a student at the school, says.

As a 45-year-old security guard at the school opened the doors at dismissal, a gunman was waiting outside.

“He’s standing…within ten feet of the door, and the door opens and he just starts shooting,” CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan says of the attacker.

A 14-year-old girl was hit by gunfire, and was rushed to an area hospital. She was listed in critical condition, according to authorities.

It is unclear what led to the shooting, but some workers at the school and parents say it likely stems from an incident that occurred last week.

“I think this spilled out from Friday. He just said he was coming back to blow up the school,” Diana Cooper, a mom of a student at the school, says.

The family of the teen that was injured in the shooting are holding vigils at her bedside at an area hospital, praying for her recovery.

Anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes says the girl’s mom was waiting for her to come outside.

“What may have kept this baby alive was that she was looking right at her mother’s face,” he says.

The teen is the granddaughter of a member of the anti-violence group “Purpose Over Pain.” The grandmother will speak at St. Sabina Church on Wednesday morning to call for an end to violence in the city.

Meanwhile, trauma counselors will be available Wednesday at Phillips Academy, while students will likely still be on edge.

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