Division of School Safety & Security responds to shots fired on campus

Published 8:10 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

On Friday August 28, a shooting occurred on the campus of Prentiss High School after the completion of the game during the exiting of vehicles.  The host and visiting teams along with the game officials were not in proximity of the shooting.  The visiting team’s players and staff had loaded their buses and were preparing to depart with security as well as the officials.  The host team’s players and staff were in the locker room preparing to leave under secure view.  It is important to note that the individuals involved in this incident were not current nor former students of Prentiss High School.  The ongoing investigation has proven that these individuals were all residents of Covington County.   This was a retaliation of an incident a few weeks ago in Hattiesburg, Mississippi were a young man was killed, and his sibling was one of the individuals involved.   After these findings were identified, Mr. Clay Anglin, Superintendent of Covington County Schools along with the principal of Collins High School, Mr. Brian Boquell, and the Chief of the District School Police, Mr. Brian Strange, met with the Prentiss Police Chief, Mr. Joseph Bullock, Prentiss High School Principal, Mr. Willie Armstrong, and the Director of Academic Success, Dr. Jason McLeod, to ensure that all individuals were identified and a plan of action was put in place.  This plan of action enhances the chances of ensuring that justice is enforced and that our schools are a safe haven for all who enter on its grounds.

The incident occurred in the secondary parking area adjacent to the primary parking arena.  There were several security personnel assigned throughout the campus and they were directing traffic and reviewing each area.  Once the first shot was fired, Prentiss Police (who were on site along with the school’s security personnel) immediately moved toward the sounds.  The police department along with the school’s security personnel began to ensure the safety of all attendees in the area.  There were no bystanders or involved persons injured.  However, there were several vehicles damaged of those only two held occupants (again that were not injured).  The investigation of the incident has yielded that at least two individuals were actually firing their weapons.  These individuals did disperse into the moving vehicles before being apprehended.  The investigation is still underway and several individuals have been questions and suspects have been identified.  Again, this incident transpired after the game in the process of leaving and all school personnel and players along with officials were secured and away from the incident.  The quick response of the officers offset the shooting and caused the individuals to cease and disperse.

The Jefferson Davis County Sheriff’s Office, Prentiss Police Department and Jefferson Davis County Schools are banded together to ensure the safety of every child, parent, and community member in our district at any function and will increase visibility and presence to ensure this continues.    We would like for the community to be aware that our security measures have heightened with the use of more surveillance systems and enhanced lighting as well as random use of metal detectors.  As a result, it may take a little longer to enter an event but safety is first so please be patient.

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