May 19, 2018 10:02:14 PM
JONESBORO, Ga. -- A school official in Georgia expressed both remorse and pride Saturday in the aftermath of a deadly shooting that followed a graduation ceremony.
Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Morcease Beasley tweeted Saturday that "hearts are made heavy" by the violence that followed the graduation Friday of more than 200 students from the Perry Learning Center, an alternative high school. After the ceremony, two women were shot in a parking lot near the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, about 20 miles south of Atlanta.
News reports said that one victim died after being shot in the chest while another victim was taken to a hospital with leg wounds.
"We are saddened that such an incident has occurred that overshadows such a positive ceremony involving an exceptional group of graduating seniors," Beasley said in a statement. He issued no other details about what might have prompted the shooting or who might have been involved.
Authorities said late Friday the incident happened as people headed to their cars following the graduation.
The Clayton County Police Department is investigating. Repeated attempts to reach officials there by telephone went unanswered. It was unclear by midday Saturday whether a suspect was in custody or had even been identified.
The department said via its Twitter account that all medical inquiries were being handled by the County School Police Department.
Clayton County schools' safety chief Thomas Trawick could not be reached Saturday for comment. Late Friday, he said he couldn't provide details about the injuries and or information on suspects.
He said his initial reaction "wasn't pleasant," given news of a fatal shooting earlier Friday at a Texas high school that left 10 people dead.
"The last thing you want to do is have a situation at a graduation that results in anyone being injured, and definitely not being shot," Trawick said.
A police presence remained at the scene late Friday night. Three cars were being towed away; Scott Stubbs of Clayton County police said they'd be part of the investigation.
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