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Georgia teacher arrested for firing gun in school, police say

Dalton High School (Photo courtesy of Google Earth)

A north Georgia high school teacher was arrested on Wednesday after he barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a shot from his handgun out of a window, police said.

No one was injured in the incident at Dalton High School, except for a student who injured an ankle running through the school, police spokesman Bruce Frazier said.

The shooting about 85 miles north of Atlanta heightened the already tense debate around guns in schools in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Florida two weeks ago.

The incident began about 11:30 a.m. when Randal Davidson, a 53-year-old social studies teacher, refused to let students into his classroom, Frazier said. When the principal put a key in the door in an attempt to enter, Davidson fired a shot from a handgun through an exterior window of the classroom, according to Frazier.

The school immediately went into lockdown, and police quickly arrived and evacuated the immediate area around his classroom. After about 30 to 45 minutes, Davidson agreed to surrender to authorities and was taken into custody without further incident, Frazier said.

Frazier said there was no evidence that Davidson was trying to fire at anyone.

“It certainly seemed like he didn’t have any intention to harm anybody else,” Frazier said.

Davidson had been a teacher at Dalton since 2004 and was the play-by-play radio announcer for the high school’s football team, Frazier said. Police did not release any explanation as to a possible reason for what happened.

President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, among others, have proposed that teachers should be allowed to bring firearms into schools to defend against possible attacks. But critics have said arming teachers would create a host of other dangerous side effects — and pointed to the Dalton shooting as Exhibit A in that argument.