“They was arguing or whatever and he pulled up his shirt and just shot him,” ninth grader Shamaya Lewis recalled. “Really scary, but, I ran away as soon it started happen so nothing would happen to me.”
“Bullet went past me. I saw my friend, he went running,” another student, 11th grader Jental Stewart, said. “My teacher grabbed me and I went back into the classroom.”
Police say the victim, who is expected to survive, was rushed to U of L hospital, while the suspect fled the school.
The school was locked down and hundreds of parents rushed to the area to reunite with their kids.
“He was actually up there, he was on the third floor, where it actually happened is like a class over from where he was at,” parent Katina Carter said. “He said, you know, he could hear everything -- and he was like, there were people, ya know, girls screaming and stuff and he said there were girls crying in his class. He was trying to calm some of his classmates down.”
The students were evacuated in groups and taken in buses to Fern Creek Park meet their families.
The reunions were emotional and some families were in tears.
“It's been a very traumatic day,” Roni Strohman said. “It's very sad that something like this would happen in our neighborhood, in our neck of the woods.”
Police say they located the suspect not far from the park around 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
An official with the US Marshals Office says a task force officer saw someone matching the suspect's description going into this apartment complex on Oxford Place, where the teen was taken into custody.
Shortly after that, the school was also given the all clear. Even with the all clear and one teen in custody, what happened inside the school is still difficult to grasp.
“It's kind of crazy because you see it other places, but you don't really think it's going to happen to your school,” student Demarco Mercado said.
Police have not released the suspect's name as he is a juvenile, but he is being held in the Jefferson County Youth Center. He is charged with Assault in the first degree, wanton endangerment, unlawful possession of a weapon on school property, tampering with physical evidence and carrying a concealed, deadly weapon.
The victim is in stable condition.
In an email sent to parents Tuesday night, Ballard High School principal Dr. Jim Jury announced the school would conduct a lockdown drill Wednesday during school hours.