Thomas Jefferson Staff Rushed to Help Student Shot in Parking Lot

School district identifies three educators who jumped into action after a student was shot on campus Tuesday

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Students at Thomas Jefferson High School arrived back on campus Thursday morning following a shooting that wounded a student earlier this week.

One student was shot in the arm on Tuesday shortly after dismissal. He is expected to fully recover.

Administrators with Dallas Independent School District canceled classes on Wednesday at both Thomas Jefferson and Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy to allow students to be with their families.

On Thursday morning during a press conference, Dallas ISD identified three educators that played a key role in the aftermath of the on-campus shooting. Those that rushed to help include head band director Bob Romano, athletic trainer Raul Velazquez and assistant athletic director Brandi Elder.

“We heard a shot. It was a loud bang,” Raul Velazquez said. “I walked outside of my clinic and saw that there's a kid down, and I just went straight to him and rendered aid.”

School had been dismissed minutes earlier. Romano was on the other end of the parking lot.

“I have afternoon duty out here in the parking lot,” Romano said. “It wasn't until I saw Raul running out that he caught my eye and I ran to follow him. And that's when we arrived and saw that the kid was down and there was a parent there that had a tourniquet on already.”

Elder said she had just stepped out of the building.

“The students came screaming my name to ask me to come and help over to the scene. They explained to me that there was someone that was shot, and I asked them to pull me in that direction,” Elder said. She remembers many students were on the sidewalk. “We were trying to corral them to make sure the students were away from the scene.”

While students were led back inside, Romano and Velazquez remained near the student that was bleeding.

“I just went into medical mode and I did my job," Velazquez said. “As a medical provider, I just do what I need to do. And so, I'm good. And I just want my kids to be good.”

“I called 911 and we just kind of relayed the information to them,” Romano said. “He was he was conscious, but he was definitely in pain and he was kind of in and out until his parents arrived.”

During Thursday’s press conference, Romano got emotional as he recalled the incident.

“What we house in here is more precious than any money or gold or anything like that,” Romano said. “It's not only our kids, it's our hopes and our future and everything that's in this building."

Romano said his emotion comes from his desire for students to have a peaceful school year.

“It's coming from the kids, from me wanting these kids to catch a break. They have these kids, specifically these seniors and the ones that just graduated through the tornado and the pandemic. And the shooting this year. And they're so strong, and they just want to keep going. And I just want it to be easier.”

Romano, along with Dallas ISD administrators said they want added security measures, however, want to be strategic about how that would look like.

“This can't be a fortress and it can't be, it can't be like its own little prison. Like, we have to have education and we have to have community available here, but we also have to keep our kids safe,” Romano said.

According to Dallas ISD, the schools will continue to offer counseling services to students and staff.

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