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(UPDATE) Police investigate shooting near Decatur High School

Crime and public safety Decatur

(UPDATE) Police investigate shooting near Decatur High School

Decatur High School, City Schools of Decatur, N McDonough Street.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — Decatur High School went on lockdown Tuesday evening due to a shooting, according to multiple parents who texted Decaturish about the situation.

Decatur Police Sgt. John Bender confirmed the shooting.

“On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at approximately 5:32 p.m., Decatur Police responded to the 1400 block of Commerce Drive in reference to a person shot,” Bender said. “Upon arrival, officers located an adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The male was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The case is actively being investigated. If you have any information in the case, please contact the Decatur Police Department at 404-373-6551.”

On Friday, March 3, Bender said the suspect in the case has been identified as Terrill Hall, 24, of Decatur.

“Mr. Hall is currently wanted for aggravated assault in relation to this case,” Bender said. “If you have information on the whereabouts of Mr. Hall, please contact the Decatur Police Department at 404-373-6551 or dial 911.”

A helicopter was also reported in the area, but it’s unclear if it was a police helicopter or a news helicopter. A witness sent this video of the helicopter circling the area near the shooting.

Photo provided by a reader.

There were also reports on social media about the lockdowns.

A parent at the school for a soccer game told Decaturish what she saw while she was in lockdown at the school.

“They’re not letting any parents in or out,” the parent said. “My daughter had a soccer game scheduled to start around 6 p.m. They heard some sounds that sounded like fireworks, and said, ‘that was weird,’ so they brought all the kids’ parents here for the game inside. So they’ve canceled both games now. All I could see were two Decatur Police cars. It looked like a car accident when I walked in. A third police car pulled up while I was walking, an ambulance came, and there was a gentleman on the sidewalk.”

Decatur High sent the following text to parents:

“Decatur High is locked down due to a community incident. Athletics are delayed. Students are safe. More in email. Please do not come to campus.”

The DHS administration sent a similar message in a follow-up email at 6:18 p.m.

“Decatur High School is currently under a lock down due to an incident in the community.  Tonight’s games have been delayed and may be postponed.  Please do not come to the DHS campus right now.  All students are safe and we will communicate a plan for their exit from campus soon.”

Later Tuesday evening, City Schools of Decatur sent a longer message to parents with more details about how the school handled things.

Dear families, staff, and students,

This evening, an incident occurred in a residential area adjacent to Decatur High School. The Decatur Police Department report that an individual, not associated with DHS or practices at Ebster field, sustained a gunshot wound.

Our students at DHS and at Ebster field were immediately moved into the buildings and locked down until the police department notified us that the premises are safe. No students were harmed.

Students that were at DHS or at Ebster during the lockdown were invited to call home to touch base with parents/guardians. Students have been released for parent/guardian pickup, or permitted to walk or drive home. They may come home with questions or need additional support after experiencing this emergency. Counselors will be available on campus and in the Student Center to talk to any student.

A nearby witness saw someone running from the scene, trying to tuck a gun into his pants.

“My husband and I were also on Commerce Drive by the high school field and saw someone run across the road in front of our car,” the witness said. “Heard the gunshots right before. … My husband also called 911.”

Another witness saw a man who appeared to have been injured.

“So I just dropped by Ebster Park to see my son at Lacrosse practice and I turned left onto a side road,” the witness said. “I was on Robin Street, and I was about to turn left onto Commerce Drive … At that stop sign, I heard six gunshots. It was super loud, and I said, ‘That was really close.’ I made a left turn onto Commerce and there was a man at my passenger door, who had a pistol in his hand — a silver pistol — and he was pointing it [behind him], walking the opposite direction I was driving, traveling toward West Howard Avenue. … He was clutching his chest and his shirt was covered in blood.”

The witness called 911 and left the scene.

“I was shocked there were so many children in the area,” the witness said. “So many practices going on.” 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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