DALTON, Ga. — School was canceled Thursday for students at Dalton High School after police said a teacher fired a gun in a classroom Wednesday afternoon.
One police officer referred to Jesse Randall Davidson as possibly delusional.
Dalton police said Davidson, 53, a social studies teacher and a play-by-play football announcer at the school, fired the shot. During his planning period around 11 a.m., police said Davidson locked himself in the classroom.
The shooting triggered chaos and had nearly 2,000 students running for cover.
Ellie King, a student of Davidson's last year, said she, like many others, was stunned by Davidson's behavior.
"We never expected it from him because he was so nice," King said.
"Everyone was freaking out and yelling," said student Jackson Elkins. "I'm thinking this is a real situation."
Chris Gonzolez was hunkered down in the locker room.
"They told us to sit, get in the back, be quiet and don't post nothing," Gonzolez said.
"We were in shock cause we heard it happen," said student Savannah Elkins.
“It wasn't a drill," student Jayden Boston said. "And we had to get down and barricade the doors so nobody could come in. Nobody knew what was going on at the time."
“But this one was real,” student Wesley Caceres said. “We didn't know what to do, so we hid in (a) corner and turned off the lights.”
After 45 minutes, police talked Davidson into surrendering. They don't believe he wanted to harm any teachers or students because he warned them to stay back.
"He was pretty intent on not hurting anybody else; we don't know if he was intent on hurting himself," said Bruce Frazier of Dalton police.
Officials told Channel 2 Action News students will only have limited access to the school to pick up their cars and other things they left behind during the evacuation.
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After the drama, several parents were on edge.
“I just thought about my daughter,” mother Topeka White said. “I was scared. I was worried about my child.”
Police said school was placed on a code red lockdown after the gunshot was fired.
Davidson faces several charges, including reckless conduct and bringing a gun on school grounds.
JESSE RANDAL DAVIDSON'S PAST:
Channel 2 Action News learned records show in March 2016, Davidson went to Dalton police to confess he killed someone.
Davidson told detectives that two friends killed a woman on his behalf because he had an online affair with her.
Police were not able to verify the story.
Davidson told them he was taking medications for depression.
The report says he went to a hospital after the interview because he was thinking about hurting himself.
Cox Media Group