Worthing High Shooting -- the HISD Reaction

The Houston school district is not really commenting on last evening's gang-related fatal shooting at Worthing High School because "it is the focus of an HPD ongoing criminal investigation," spokesman Jason Spencer says.

But it has issued a statement from the district's police chief, Jimmy Dodson.

HISD's Gang Suppression Unit works in partnership with anti-gang units from other Houston-area law enforcement agencies to combat gang activity in schools. There are four specialized officers on this team who use a three-pronged approach that focuses on suppression, enforcement and education. The HISD Gang Suppression Unit works with the schools to gather information and intelligence that they use in an effort to track gang activity that overflows from neighborhoods into schools. They also give educational presentations to staff and students at all schools. Right now, these officers are focused on preventing future incidences of gang violence on campus

HISD is also sending home to parents from Worthing and nearby campuses a letter, to be signed by their principal.

It says:

Dear Parent or Guardian:

I am writing to inform you of the steps the Houston Independent School District and our campus are taking to ensure your child's safety after an incident that happened after school hours on Wednesday on an athletic field at Worthing High School. The safety of our students and staff is always our first priority.

There is an ongoing Houston Police Department investigation into the incident, which means we are unable to disclose many details of what happened. What we can tell you is that students from Worthing, Madison, Yates and Jones high schools were among those gathered at the Worthing field for a non-sanctioned football game when a confrontation occurred Wednesday night. Some of the individuals on the field are believed to be residents of surrounding neighborhoods and are not HISD students. Gunshots were fired at some point and multiple individuals were wounded. One person, a former Worthing student, died as a result of his wounds.

HISD acted immediately to enhance the police presence at Worthing, Madison, Yates, and Jones. We also have a team of counselors on those campuses. As always, our administrators are also actively working to ensure the security of the campus.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the school.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly