Dalton High School social studies teacher Randal Davidson has been identified as the person who fired at least one shot at the school this morning, leading to a lockdown and evacuation of the school, according to the Dalton Police Department.
In addition to being a teacher, Davidson, 53, has been a longtime radio play-by-play announcer for Dalton High sports, most notably calling Friday night football games on 104.5 FM. Davidson has authored two books on the history of Dalton High football.
At about 11:30 a.m. students were trying to get in their classroom and the teacher was not letting anyone in. Principal Steve Bartoo came to the room, asked to be let in, the teacher forced the door closed and wouldn't let anyone in, police spokesman Bruce Frazier said. Bartoo went to unlock the door with his key and heard a gunshot from inside the classroom, Frazier said.
"Obsiously at that point, he locked down the school, called all the police in and the School Resource Officer in," Frazier said.
The teacher was barricaded in the room for 30 to 45 minutes before he let police in and was arrested.
Dalton Police Department officers have a teacher in custody after shots were fired at Dalton High School this morning.
"No info to release right now about identity of the subject who was barricaded or what caused the situation," according to the DPD.
No children have been seriously injured.
"One student apparently sustained an ankle injury running inside the school during the evacuation," according to the DPD. "Student is being treated by EMS at the school."
The area inside the school has been evacuated. The school is locked down.
One Dalton High student described the scene as "crazy," as students were running panicked through the school.
Students are being taken to the Dalton Convention Center. Police are asking parents to go there and not go to Dalton High.
Dalton High School had an increased police presence last Thursday after the discovery of a threatening note by students on the Wednesday before. The threat resulted in increased patrols at all city schools and a drop in attendance after Dalton Public Schools posted a video from Dalton High Principal Steve Bartoo to social media informing students and parents of the threat.
The note was discovered eight days after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Florida.
Five or six extra police officers were on campus then in addition to the school resource officer who is normally there.
According to figures released by school system Director of Communications Pat Holloway, Dalton High’s attendance was down 654 students on Thursday for a 65.6 percent attendance rate, compared to 97.5 percent on the Wednesday before.
The investigation at Dalton High began after three students found a note in the floor of a classroom that included a threat against the school for Feb. 22. The students turned the note over to a teacher, who took it to school administrators. According to a release from the Dalton Police Department, investigators have been trying to identify who wrote the note.
A juvenile was arrested for making threats against Whitfield County Schools as area schools were on heightened alert on that Thursday.
Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Paul Woods said the juvenile had used a photo of another juvenile with a gun in a social media post and had directed threats at Whitfield County Schools.