3 students charged in shooting inside high school classroom

ATLANTA — Three students have been charged after a shooting inside a high school classroom.

School police said a shot was fired Thursday afternoon at Banneker High School.

The school district said in a statement that police discovered one student had suffered an injury to her ankle and that the same bullet grazed another student.

Amaya Willis is one of the students who was shot. She said she heard a pop and there was a lot of confusion.

“It was like an electrical shock because I was sitting by a bunch of cords that were plugged up,” she said.

Willis said at first, no one realized that a gun had been fired.

“I looked down and I was bleeding,” she said.

The 15-year-old said when she realized she was injured, her first instinct was to call her mother.

“I tried to call my mother, but she (the teacher) told me that I needed to get off my device and she would call her,” Willis said.

Celita Willis said she didn’t get that call until 15 to 20 minutes later and found out about her daughter from a classmate.

“I think I got a phone call from another kid, a text message, that let me know she was hurt,” she said.

The mother said what bothered her more was the reaction from her child’s teacher.

“She told my mother that she could come pick me up if she wanted to, but it was nothing major,” Amaya Willis said.

“I just don’t consider being shot minor. I just don’t,” Celita Willis said.


Amaya Willis said she didn’t know she was shot until paramedics arrived and told her there was a bullet in her leg.

“I’m just thanking God it was her leg. It could have been fatal,” Celita Willis said.

Doctors said removing the bullet could cause more damage, so it is still in Amaya’s leg. She will have to get it checked over time to make sure that nothing is wrong.

A small-caliber handgun was found hidden in a box inside a student’s book bag, Fulton County Schools said. A preliminary investigation by school police indicates the gun was accidentally fired.

Celita Willis said Amaya and her sister were in the magnet program at Banneker, but they will not be returning to the school.

The mother said she still has not heard from the school’s principal about the incident.

“No one from the school. I haven’t seen anybody, no follow-up email today from anyone,” she said. “I would have liked to have seen the principal out there with my daughter. I would have like to have seen someone down at the hospital,”

One student has been charged with possession of a weapon on campus and two students have been charged with reckless conduct.