BRICK – As the investigation continues into yesterday’s shooting, police answered concerns that parents had about the incident, explaining what school policy is with an active shooter and how the police will step up enforcement in certain areas.
A 16-year-old boy was hit by a bullet while walking home from school. He found shelter at Brick Memorial High School.
The police have followed up on leads regarding the shooting, and have confirmed that it was related to Saturday’s shooting. In that situation, an 18-year-old man was shot in the leg in the Briar Mills Drive area.
“We have no reason to believe this incident is anything more than an isolated situation developed between a small group of individuals,” Brick police said.
The police have been “proactively addressing areas and complexes which have been identified as those which are more prone to crime and quality of life issues. Our efforts have been very effective however we also know that even the most effective practices will not totally eliminate the criminal element,” they said. “To that end we will be adding personnel to our Selective Enforcement Team (SET) so that they will have the additional resources they need to expand their operation to several different areas.”
How The School Responded
“When the victim ran back to the school he was let in by another student. The victim was alone. There were no suspects with or near the victim at the time,” police said.
School is dismissed at 1:30 p.m. At 1:45 p.m., the time of the shooting, there were other students and faculty still around, police said.
The doors were locked at the time of the incident. The normal protocol is that a student would need to get buzzed in.
“There is nothing at this time to cause us to believe that yesterday was any different than normal regarding the locking of doors and accessibility from outside the school,” police said.
First, the school officials initiated a Shelter in Place situation. When they learned of a gunshot victim, they changed it to Code Red, which involves students staying inside whatever classrooms they are in at that time, the doors get locked and the lights go off.
Chief James Riccio had put the following standards in place more than a year ago, which helped in this situation:
- Reallocating manpower to accommodate the school checks
- Creating extra details for officers to do school checks throughout the school day. Those school checks entail a uniformed officer in a marked patrol car responding to the school to walk the halls and outer perimeter
- Assisting Brick Township Public Schools when they hired armed, retired, police officers in plain clothes to maintain a consistent presence of security in the schools
- Modifying the on-site School Resource Officers’ duties to include more active security checks on the schools
- Conduct training with school faculty regarding active shooter incidents and emergency first aid
- Conduct active shooter drills with all of our officers and include the school security officers in that training
- Instituted “We Tips” and encourage students faculty and residents report suspicious behavior
These and other factors helped provide a quick response to the emergency.
Riccio and Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer are telling residents that they are devoting all available resources to this case.