A teacher was among the first to receive the news of the shooting in the Mesa Unified School District, and said the shooting is a reminder that there is still work to be done in education.
The shooting happened about 11:30 a.m. in the school building, where some students were inside and others were outside.
A school bus carrying the district’s top two administrators was also parked nearby.
Schools superintendent Jeff Gannon said the school district’s Office of Professional Accountability will continue to investigate the incident.
The shooting has brought to light some of the problems in Mesas schools.
The district is still working with the school to address the problems and make changes to ensure the safety of students and staff, he said.
Gannon said he is “not at all surprised” by the shooting, which occurred outside of the building and not on the school’s campus.
It is the third shooting in Mesamos schools this year.
The school district has a high turnover rate.
“I’m very proud of our students, teachers and staff and how they’re doing, but we have no option but to do the right thing,” he said at a news conference.
“We have to work on how to make our schools safe.”
The school district was already working with police on a report about a potential shooting, Gannon added.
The teacher said he did not have time to get to the school when the news broke.
He said he will miss the school, but not all the students.
He said he plans to work to change that and make the district a safer place for everyone.
Mesa Unified School district Superintendent Jeff Gandy, left, and his deputy, Tom DeWitt, are comforted by a neighbor during a news briefing at the Mesas Police Department, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Mesora, Colo.
The principal, Mark Cavanaugh, said the district has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the district.
He added that the school system will have a meeting with the community Friday to discuss how to address issues surrounding safety in the community.
Mesas Mayor Mark Hill has urged people to come to the police department, where they will find the district president, the superintendent, district leaders and the district school director.
The community is also offering their support through a “Mesa Safe and Happy” social media campaign, Hill said.