Mount Vernon school in shock over shooting death of classmate
Students at a Mount Vernon school are in shock after a fellow student was fatally shot and another teen wounded on Thursday.
Mount Vernon School District officials confirmed the deceased student was a ninth grader at STEAM Academy.
The deadly shooting happened about 10:30 a.m. Thursday over at the Levister Towers apartment complex on South 9th Avenue.
Police say they were called to the courtyard area, and when they found the teen boy who had suffered a gunshot wound, they immediately began administering first aid.
The young victim was rushed to Montefiore Mount Vernon emergency room where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. His name has not yet been released.
According to News 12 sources, a second teen was found a short while later suffering a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.
As a result, Mount Vernon school district officials placed eight schools into a precautionary lockout. "Please be assured that the health, safety, and welfare of our students and staff continue to be our highest priority and we will take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure that our schools continue to be a safe learning environment for our students," wrote Dr. K Veronica Smith, Mount Vernon acting superintendent of schools in a statement to the community.
Community advocate Jesse Van Lew expressed outrage over another youth gun violence incident.
"Parents have to take responsibility too. Why isn't the youngster in school?" asked Jesse Van Lew, founder of Save Mount Vernon.
Anthony Blake has a 16-year-old son who attends the STEAM Academy and says the shooting has him shaken. "I tell him when he walks home from school, go the other way, don't go where crowded kids are, because eventually there's going to be an argument."
Counselors, psychologists, and social workers were available to students Thursday and will continue to be for the rest of the week.
Mount Vernon police say their detectives are working with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Westchester County Police on the investigation.