BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two students are under arrest in Tuesday’s shooting outside Catonsville High School that sent a 16-year-old student to the hospital, authorities said Thursday.
Baltimore County Police announced the arrests of 18-year-old Sean Potter Jr., and a second student whose name was not released because he is a minor. Both teens are being held without bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Severe Storm Threat Prompts Alert Day Saturday
Potter is charged with attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault, both felonies, along with misdemeanor charges of use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence and loaded handgun in vehicle, court records show.
His attorney, Rodney Gray, told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren his client should not be in jail.
“I’ve spoken to this young man and I’ve spoken to his family. He is steadfast in his innocence,” Gray said. “We’re hopeful, anxious to be able to have the opportunity to review that surveillance.”
In a statement issued in response to the arrests, Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams praised police for their work investigating the shooting. Williams said shootings and other violent acts at or around the district’s schools are “unacceptable,” saying those responsible will face consequences.
“These acts jeopardize the sense of safety and security that school buildings and communities provide for our more than 111,000 students. Anyone who threatens the safety of our school community will be dealt with swiftly. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to keep our students, staff, and school communities safe,” the superintendent said.
The shooting was reported outside Catonsville High School about 3 p.m. Tuesday, 45 minutes after classes were dismissed for the day. Officers called to the scene found a 16-year-old student shot. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Two 9mm shell casings were recovered from the scene.
Police reviewed surveillance video from the incident, which showed a Toyota sedan pull into the parking lot before its occupants got into a confrontation with a group of people, according to court records. Moments later, a white Volvo SUV pulled up near the Toyota and one person got out to join the fight, records show.
The footage then showed students who were practicing lacrosse nearby scatter “as if gunshots had just occurred,” and two people hopped into the SUV before it drove away from the scene, the charging documents state.
One student told WJZ he recalled seeing a white car show up in the parking lot and then hearing three gunshots ring out before he and his classmates took off.
“We saw a white car pull up. The passenger hopped out, and we started running toward the road,” senior Tyler Mikalaski said. “We heard more shots as we were running and saw the car drive off.”READ MORE: Baltimore Police Stepping Up Deployment On Fourth Of July Weekend, Commissioner Says
A search of the license plate of the Volvo SUV found the vehicle was registered to Potter’s mother, records show. A witness told investigators Potter was driving the SUV at the time the shooting occurred.
The 16-year-old victim said he and a friend were walking to his friend’s car in the parking lot when they noticed a white Volvo SUV parked near his friend’s vehicle, according to court records. He said two masked males inside the SUV flashed guns, then one of them got out and struggle ensued over a gun.
At some point during the struggle, the victim said, he was shot in the arm and he fell to the ground. He told police he remembered fading in and out of consciousness.
At about 3:45 p.m., the same SUV dropped someone else off at Ascension St. Agnes Hospital. Investigators learned that person had been shot in the back of the head, though police said they’re still working to find out if that injury was related.
WJZ was the first to report a second shooting victim in the case.
NEW INFORMATION: A second person was shot, this one in the head, in Tuesday's shooting outside Catonsville High School, WJZ has learned. https://t.co/c1Zqzk3fff
— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) February 9, 2022
Prosecutors believe the juvenile suspect was the shooter in Tuesday’s incident, saying he was in the rear seat of the vehicle involved and that surveillance video shows him firing a weapon.
Yet a defense attorney for the teenager, who described him as a child who suffers from attention deficit hyperactive disorder, said “evidence does not exist” that his client was the shooter.
That suspect faced prior juvenile charges for a second-degree assault in 2019 and malicious destruction of property in 2020.
#BREAKING: 16yo juvenile held without bail in Catonsville high shooting; he’s believed to be the shooter in the case according to prosecutors. They say he was in the rear seat and surveillance video shows him firing the weapon. @wjz
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) February 10, 2022
Investigators have said they suspect the shooting was a “targeted” incident that escalated from an argument that took place off campus earlier in the day.
The shooting thrust the school into lockdown, forcing students who were still there for sports practices and other after-school activities to take cover until the all-clear was given. It left students and parents rattled, even a day later.
“I think that a lot of people were scared because you never think it’s going to happen at your school,” student Grace Marsh said Wednesday. ” … A lot of people are going to be shaken up by it.”
Baltimore County Police have since stepped up deployments of patrol officers at and around the school’s campus. A crisis team was also brought in to help students cope with what happened.MORE NEWS: State Police Expand Traffic Enforcement On I-83 In Baltimore City
“BCPS will continue to provide critical supports and resources for the Catonsville High School community for as long as needed as they begin the healing process,” Williams said.