Video released of fight that led to mother being shot at Atlanta high school

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2022 at 11:14 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - What started as a fight between students quickly escalated at a southwest Atlanta high school when a parent showed up with a gun.

It was a normal Wednesday for Booker T. Washington High School until a fight broke out during dismissal.

“Everything was normal. We were in the gym, didn’t hear anything and when I came out I saw the camera crews, police,” one student said.

Atlanta Public Schools says the mother of one of the students involved came to campus with a gun and began waiving it at students. That’s when police responded.

The woman was told by APS police to drop her gun and when she didn’t comply an officer shot her in the hand, the school district said.

But, as police taped off the scene, things remained heated between the families involved.

“It was a teenage fight, and an adult got into it and that’s what made my sister feel like she needed to protect her child,” the woman’s family said. “Her gun didn’t go off at all, she did not pull her trigger at all, the only gun that went off was the officer who shot her after she put her gun down when he told her to.”

Another parent told CBS46 the woman was wrong to bring the gun in the first place.

“She was putting her hand and her gun at me and my daughter and I’m pressing charges that’s the dumbest thing to do to pull up to a kid fight, pull out a gun and get shot.” Cynthia Leakes said.

Cell phone video shows there were several people involved in the fight.

“I just think that that’s horrible and it could have been avoided,” neighbor Destiny said.

The incident is a concern for people living near the school who said crime in the community is already an issue.

“I do hear a lot of gunshots pretty much every night. You see a lot of J’s walking around, you see prostitution in the neighborhood when you walk by, but for the most part, it is being gentrified and I do have faith that the area will be better,” Neighbor Karla Williams said.

On Thursday, there was a heavy police presence outside the high school. But one homeowner said she wants to see security beefed up for students.

“I do think especially when the kids are out and they’re boarding the buses or they’re on their way home that they do need to be more vigilant,” Destiny said.

One of the students involved told CBS46 they received nearly a month-long suspension. But some living nearby wonder if that will even make a difference.

“It’s just unfortunate and I just hope that as a community we can get it together and figure out what it’s going to take to get the guns out of the community, Williams said.

Atlanta Public Schools issued the following statement regarding the incident:

Following a physical altercation between students during dismissal at Washington High School, a parent came to the campus with a weapon and began waving it in the direction of students, employees, and an Atlanta Public Schools Police Officer. The officer ordered the parent to drop the weapon. When the parent did not comply with the order, the officer fired one shot which struck the parent in the hand.

Paramedics were called to the scene to treat the parent’s wound. No students or school employees were harmed during the incident. APS Police and Atlanta Police are conducting a full investigation of the incident, and the parent faces several charges. As this was an officer-involved shooting, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating as well.

The safety and well-being of our students and employees is always a top priority for all Atlanta Public Schools.

30-year-old Tierra Vachon
30-year-old Tierra Vachon(CBS46)

The woman who was shot has been identified as 30-year-old Tierra Vachon. She has been charged with:

  • Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer with Violence
  • Disrupting Public School
  • Carrying/Possession of Firearm on School Property
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Cruelty to Children
  • Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor