The Latest: Unclear if shooting case will go to adult court

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Posted: Jan 23, 2018 7:20 PM
The Latest: Unclear if shooting case will go to adult court

ITALY, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a shooting at a Texas high school (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

An assistant district attorney is declining to say whether the case of a 16-year-old boy accused of opening fire inside a Texas high school will remain in juvenile court or whether prosecutors will move to charge him as an adult.

The Ellis County district attorney's office said Tuesday that the boy has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A 15-year-old girl was wounded in the shooting inside the cafeteria at the high school in the small town of Italy (IT'-lee) south of Dallas.

Assistant District Attorney Ann Montgomery would not say why the suspect was charged with two counts. Ellis County sheriff's Sgt. Joe Fitzgerald also declined to comment.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Wednesday in juvenile court. The suspect is being held at a juvenile detention center.

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4:15 p.m.

The head of a Texas school district where a 15-year-old girl was shot and a 16-year-old boy has been arrested says in a statement to parents and the community that he understands they have "many questions and concerns."

Italy Independent School District superintendent Lee Joffre said in the Tuesday statement that he met with the victim following the Monday morning shooting at the high school in Italy, located south of Dallas. He says the girl, who is in a Dallas hospital, was shot multiple times.

A parent and a student in media interviews have expressed concern about past incidents involving the suspect. Cassie Shook, a 17-year-old junior at the school, told The Associated Press the boy got angry during a class and threw a pair of scissors at her friend and later threw a computer against a wall. She had said the boy was out of school for a time, but was allowed to return.

At a Tuesday news conference that lasted less than five minutes, Joffre said he'd like to help "possibly address some of the concerns" about "conversations and speculation regarding student discipline." He noted though that while he could talk generally about disciplinary procedures, the law prohibits a district from speaking specifically regarding student discipline or any other student incidents.

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12:30 p.m.

Authorities say a 16-year-old boy who opened fire inside a Texas high school, wounding a classmate, has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The Ellis County district attorney's office on Tuesday announced the charges against the teen. Authorities have not released his name.

Authorities say he shot a 15-year-old girl in the cafeteria of Italy High School on Monday morning. They have not said how many times she was shot or indicated a motive.

She's recovering at a Dallas hospital. Italy is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Dallas.

The boy is being held at a juvenile detention facility and is scheduled for an initial court appearance Wednesday.

Ellis County sheriff's Sgt. Joe Fitzgerald says investigators know where he obtained the handgun used in the shooting.

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10:30 a.m.

Officials say a 15-year-old girl who was shot at a Texas high school is "in good spirits," but they won't say what prompted her classmate to open fire in a school cafeteria with dozens of other students nearby.

Superintendent Lee Joffre told reporters Tuesday outside Italy (IT'-lee) High School that he met with the girl at a Dallas hospital and that she's "sending a message of recovery and strength." Joffre did not give her condition.

Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched the school for weapons or explosive devices before students arrived Tuesday.

The 16-year-old shooting suspect is being held at a juvenile detention center and Ellis County sheriff's Sgt. Joe Fitzgerald says a preliminary court hearing is planned for Wednesday. He hasn't been charged.