Student shot at Atlanta middle school; suspect in custody

Liz Goodwin

A student was shot in the back of the neck with a handgun at a middle school in Atlanta, Ga., on Thursday afternoon.

The 14-year-old Price Middle School student is "alert, conscious and breathing,” police told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to be released tonight. Police apprehended the wounded student outside the school shortly before 2 p.m.

A suspect, another middle school student, is in police custody, the Atlanta Public Schools said in a statement. No other students were hurt. A school employee was treated for minor injuries at the scene, after students running from the gunfire trampled her. The school's armed police officer subdued and disarmed the suspect after he fired off several shots, Atlanta police Chief George Turner said in a press conference on Thursday night. The middle school is equipped with a metal detector.

“Gun violence in and around our schools is simply unconscionable and must end," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement. "Too many young people are being harmed, and too many families are suffering from unimaginable and unnecessary grief."

The shooting follows a monthlong debate over gun violence after a Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut left 20 children and six adults dead.