Apr 26, 2024 - News

Arlington school shooting shows similarities to others

a photo of a motorcycle police officer driving by Bowie High School

Arlington's Bowie High School was the site of another school shooting this week. Photo: Chris Torres/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

An 18-year-old Arlington high school student was killed this week in a school shooting that mirrors other incidents across North Texas.

Why it matters: School lockdowns and increased security have become the norm on Texas campuses after high-profile mass shootings but the measures haven't stopped violence among students.

State of play: Dallas high school students recently walked out of Wilmer-Hutchins High School where a student had been shot the week before to urge school leaders to do more to protect them.

The big picture: The Republican-led state Legislature passed new mental health and school safety standards last year, after 19 students and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.

The latest: A shooting was reported Wednesday at Bowie High School, and when school resource officers arrived, they found Etavion Barnes injured near a portable classroom. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

  • The alleged shooter, 17-year-old Julian Howard, was arrested near the school and faces a murder charge.
  • Police said the motive was under investigation but it appeared the students knew each other.

What they're saying: "We, as a community, cannot tolerate this kind of violence. Not in our neighborhoods and not in our schools. Violence is never the right answer," Arlington Police chief Al Jones said in a statement.

Between the lines: Even safety measures — like adding metal detectors — haven't been foolproof.

  • Wilmer-Hutchins High School has metal detectors and a clear bag policy, but a student was still able to bring a gun to school. The student shot another in the leg inside a classroom.

Other shootings: An Arlington teen was sentenced to 40 years in prison last year for killing a 16-year-old Lamar High School peer and injuring another high schooler in a shooting that March.

  • "A lot more children my age are going to take a couple more precautions to protect themselves," the surviving student testified during the trial. She was not named because she's a juvenile, per KERA.
  • A former Mansfield high school student was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison for shooting three peers at his school in 2021.
  • School districts have also reported finding guns in students' backpacks, including in the bag of a Waxahachie high schooler in November.

Flashback: Last year, Plano high school students organized demonstrations to protest gun violence after a gunman killed eight people and injured several others at the Allen Premium Outlets.

How to help: The American School Counselor Association has these resources for helping students after a school shooting.

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