A shooting erupted in the parking lot of June Jordan School of Equity in the Excelsior District as the school day let out late Tuesday afternoon, sending four to the hospital including one student with critical injuries.
The shooting outside June Jordan, which shares a facility with City Arts and Technology High School, a public charter school, sent shockwaves through the school community and district.
San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Officer Carlos Manfredi said one of the students was the apparent target of the attack, which caused the school to go on lockdown at about 3:20 p.m.
The suspects remained at large as of Tuesday evening.
“This was not just a random shooting,” Manfredi said. “We believe one of the victims may have been the initial target.”
The shooting left a female student in critical condition and three other bystanders also suffered injuries, according to police and school officials. Two male students were hospitalized along with the female student, and a fourth victim later walked into the Bayview police station with injuries not considered life-threatening.
A statement from San Francisco Unified School District reiterated that the shooting did not appear to be random.
“We want to reassure you that this was an isolated incident outside of the school building where one student was being targeted by outsiders,” the statement reads.
Soon after the shooting, four men believed to be the suspects ran away west along Brazil Street.
Police responded to the incident as though it were an active-shooter incident. Students and staff in the school were told to lock classroom doors and shelter in place until police cleared every room on campus.
“Active-shooter scenes happen very quickly,” Manfredi said.
Since three of the victims entered the school after the shooting, officials initially thought the incident occurred inside the school and that a shooter may have remained inside.
Hours after the shooting, the neighborhood remained full of police who had set up a perimeter. Students and staff leaving the school said they saw people run and followed, or were told to shelter in place and were then released.
SFUSD spokesperson Heidi Anderson said the school will be open Wednesday with increased security.
Shamann Walton, vice president of the Board of Education, said he knows several students at the school, but that the names of the injured students have not been released.
“Anytime of course an incident happens like this, the whole school community is concerned,” Walton said. “Right now, my main concern is everyone being safe and anyone who was injured being taken care of.”
Walton said the school district will respond by making sure there are support services like counselors available for students and faculty to talk with.
Active-shooter training is also important in terms of the school district’s response to incidents like this, but violence-prevention teams and law enforcement relationships with the community are also important, he said.
Stevon Cook, a candidate for the Board of Education who knows a teacher at June Jordan, said the incident is “alarming.”
Cook called the teacher after the incident, who told him he was safe.
“He said everything is fine,” Cook said.