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ETHS: Alleged shooter, victim not enrolled

Evanston Township High School Superintendent Eric Witherspoon says neither the teenager shot Friday afternoon at the McDonald's restaurant on Dempster Street, nor the youth charged in the case are currently enrolled at the high school.

Evanston Township High School Superintendent Eric Witherspoon says neither the teenager shot Friday afternoon at the McDonald's restaurant on Dempster Street, nor the youth charged in the case are currently enrolled at the high school.

Witherspoon, in an announcement read to classes Monday, also urged students to report any signs of possible impending violence to school authorities.

Here's the text of his message:

On Friday, April 15th at approximately 4:00 in the afternoon a 16 year-old was shot at the McDonald’s located on Dempster Street near Dodge Avenue. The victim is in the hospital and is recuperating. Another teenager has been arrested and charged. The victim was not attending classes at ETHS. He attends school in another setting. And the person charged in the shooting is not currently enrolled at ETHS.

Nonetheless, whenever a teenager in our community is shot by another teenager, this is a serious concern for all of us at ETHS. It is tragic to think that a person eating at a McDonald’s in our community would be shot. And it is shocking to think that any person would shoot another human being. This violence threatens all of us. Even though the alleged shooter and the victim involved in this shooting were not attending classes here at ETHS, they were in a public restaurant where many of your classmates were eating and socializing after school on Friday. When the shots were fired, everyone in McDonald’s was in grave danger. We have to be so thankful that none of the rest of you who were in the restaurant were injured. I feel really shaken to think about all of you who were in life-threatening danger, and I am really shaken that some you had to witness the shooting of another person.

Nobody in any community should be in danger when eating in a local restaurant or attending school or walking on the sidewalk. We all must take action to stop the violence. We all must take our individual responsibility seriously. When the safety of any one of us is threatened, the safety of us all is threatened. At ETHS, we must all do our part to make our school and community safe for ourselves and for everyone else.

I urge you take personal responsibility for keeping our community safe. We have reason to believe that some of you knew that there was a dangerous situation developing after school on Friday. Please – I urge you, if you ever know anything or even suspect anything about any situation that might put you or anybody else at risk, tell a member of our staff here at ETHS immediately. Never hesitate. Never let your failure to alert authorities lead to the injury or death of another person. Consider any possible risk as being urgent and tell a staff member right away so we can look into the situation immediately to determine any risk. The ETHS Safety Hotline (1-888-214-4445) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are anonymous, and the number is posted on page 8 of the Pilot, and also on the back cover of the Pilot. Never hesitate to use it.

Again, remember that whenever anybody in our community is at risk, we are all at risk. As citizens of the ETHS community, we must protect ourselves and protect others. Please be a responsible human being. Do your part to stop violence.

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