Freshman Charged in Shooting of High School Math Teacher
Mar. 06, 1986
DOLTON, Ill. (AP) _ A high school freshman stood up in class Thursday, pulled a .357-caliber Magnum pistol out of a gym bag and shot a math teacher who had suggested his suspension earlier in the year, authorities said.
The teacher, Norma Cooper, 52, was in fair condition with a shoulder wound at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, a south Chicago suburb.
Miss Cooper did not wish to talk to reporters, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Fine, adding, ''I think she was just grateful'' the injury was not more serious.
The boy, who lives in Harvey, was charged in a juvenile petition with attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated battery, said Dolton Police Chief George Pfotenhauer.
Pfotenhauer listed the boy's age as 14, but a Thornridge High School secretary who would not give her name said he was 13. Authorities would not release his name.
Class had just begun when the boy fired at Miss Cooper in front of 22 other students, authorities said.
''The student got up, pulled out the gun, and shot the teacher in the left shoulder,'' Pfotenhauer said.
''The teacher had had him suspended earlier in the year,'' the chief said.
After the shooting, Miss Cooper ''left the room, went across the hall to another room and called our youth officer, Jack Thomsen,'' who works at the school, Pfotenhauer said.
Meanwhile, a math teacher in an adjoining room, who heard the shot, rushed to Miss Cooper's room and led the 22 other students into another room, said District 205 School Superintendent Jack Curless.
When Thomsen arrived, the boy ''had the gun in his hand at the back of the room,'' Pfotenhauer said.
Thomsen then persuaded him to surrender.
The boy was taken into custody and charged, and was to be held in a youth home in Chicago, Pfotenhauer said.
''It was a little bit of a drama at first,'' but teachers were able to calm the students and classes returned to normal shortly after the shooting, the police chief said.
The gun belonged to the boy's father, who works as a security guard, Pfotenhauer said, adding that the youth had no previous police record.