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APS superintendent speaks out after shooting near football game | News

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APS superintendent speaks out after shooting near football game

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Police Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen is speaking out after a shooting near a Grady High School football game left a student seriously hurt.

On Friday, two people were shot at the intersection of 8th Street and Monroe Drive, which is near the Grady High School football stadium.

Eighteen-year-old Keiunte Wallace was shot in the back, and 45-year-old Yu Xuejing, was struck twice as she drove her car through the intersection.

On Tuesday, Carstarphen said the safety of any student, parent, teacher or fan going to a school's sporting event is top priority. 

"There is a lot of work to do, but it is essential that every community and every cluster has the confidence that when they come to events for Atlanta Public Schools that we are very serious about our security measures and that they can enjoy themselves without being in fear," she said. 

Atlanta police said Wallace and a group he was with got into a verbal altercation with another group as they left the Grady/Carver football game. Someone from the second group began firing gunshots. Wallace said he ran away and later noticed he'd be struck by a bullet. 


Wallace was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Police are still searching for several suspects.

In a blog entry entitled "A night that should call us all to action...", Carstarphen wrote:

Friday night is an experience that I would never want any child, any staff member, any board member or any community member to ever have. The truth is many other APS clusters have endured decades of violence and disenfranchisement. Many of our kids experience this type of violence every single day and have become desensitized to it. We as a community need to take this conversation to the next level if we really want to transform Atlanta Public Schools and our city.


The events of Friday night underscore the need for dramatic and immediate change. More specifically, these are symptoms of deep-rooted problems that require real cures and solutions if we are ever to move forward. The problems before us will unearth ugly truths that require commitment to our future so that our children have the hearts and smarts to be better people than we ever were.

Click here to read her full blog.