By Ed Brock
Fear of more violence kept more than 1,000 students at Mundy's Mill High School at home Monday following the Saturday night shooting death of one of their classmates.
Of the 1,916 students enrolled in the school, 1,044 either didn't come to school or were taken out by their parents. The remaining 872 students entered the school through heavy police security.
"We want to make sure that the students know that they are being supervised today," Clayton County Public Schools spokesman Charles White said.
There was also a large group of parents meeting with school officials Monday morning to discuss their concerns.
"There are a number of parents coming who left their children at home," White said. "They want to see if the facility is safe."
Monday's absences will be "excused" absences.
Meanwhile, Clayton County police still have not made any arrests in the shooting in which 18-year-old Larry Bishop Jr. was killed and three others were wounded. Also, police continued to investigate a Friday night shooting in which 14-year-old Forest Park High School freshman Crystal Williams was killed.
CLOSE TO HOME
Eddie Hill III, 16, had a harsh dose of reality when he witnessed the shooting that left Bishop dead
The younger Hill was too upset to talk, but his father, Eddie Hill Jr., said, "It really had an impact on him. I haven't seen anything have that much of an impact on him."
Eddie was at the party at a home on Stillwood Court when two gunmen opened fire on the party-goers. By around 11:45 p.m. several fights had broken out inside the home, Clayton County Police Department Capt. Jeff Turner said, and at one point somebody yelled "snake." Snake is apparently the nickname of a man who is known to have a "hot head," according to one of the party-goers
For unknown reasons that word sent the party-goers running outside, where there were two men, one armed with a handgun, and one dressed in fatigues, with an assault rifle. Bishop was shot several times and died. Deshawn Marcus Womack, 20, from Jonesboro was shot in the leg, as was 16-year-old Lachanzny McCord of Jonesboro. Tshekidi Nesbeth, 16, of McDonough was shot in the arm. The three were transported to Southern Regional Medical Center and were released on Sunday.
The shootings may have been related to a fight at Mundy's Mill High School on Friday that supposedly involved members of the Southside Mafia and AMP Squad gangs.
Hill said his son, a student at Jonesboro High School, knew Bishop. He added that problems with violence occur at all the county's schools and that young people may see a lot of violence on television and in movies these days.
"But when they see what a gun can do in real life, it's a whole different thing," Hill said. "Fortunately, Eddie had enough sense to know that when the bullets started flying he got back in the house."
The Hill family lives a few doors down from the house where the shooting occurred, but the elder Hill was asleep at the time. His neighbor, Darnell Keepler, was awake and could see the shooting from his bedroom window.
"I could see the muzzle blast," Keepler said.
Keepler and Hill were standing together in Keepler's driveway Monday, watching out over their neighborhood. Hill said he would definitely be more vigilant in the future.
"It's a shame when it gets to a point where a kid can't have a birthday party," Hill said.
SWEET 16 PARTY TURNS DEADLY
Crystal Williams was at a birthday party for 15-year-old Sha-La Harden on Conley Drive in Forest Park when fights began to break out in the house. Harden and her mother began telling people to leave and one of the people involved in the fight began firing gunshots in the air outside the house. Then a white or silver Monte Carlo pulled up and someone inside the car began firing.
A bullet from one of those guns hit Williams in the head. She was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center, where she later died.
Witnesses at the scene told police the shooters were from the "Rose Town" area of Forest Park and were members of the Southside Mafia.
Turner said the Friday and Saturday shootings were not connected.