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Police: 2 arrests in fatal shooting after Georgia graduation

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Law enforcement officers talk as a car is towed away in the Mt. Zion High School parking lot as part of an investigation into a shooting Friday, in Jonesboro, Ga.

JONESBORO, Ga. >> Police announced the arrests of two people today in a fatal shooting outside a high school graduation ceremony in Georgia.

One woman was killed and another was wounded by gunfire Friday night following an argument in a high school parking lot across from the Clayton County Performing Arts Center, where the Perry Career Academy had just held its commencement for graduating seniors.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Clayton County Police spokeswoman Marcena Davis confirmed the arrests, but said their names and charges are not being released yet. Local media reported that police said two people began shooting at each other after the argument, and that one victim was fatally wounded with shots to the chest, while the other was taken to a hospital with leg wounds.

The arrests were made after investigators interviewed several people late into the night, Davis said.

“We are still openly investigating this fluid incident and want to provide the most accurate information available,” Davis said in a news release.

Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Morcease Beasley tweeted today that “hearts are made heavy” by the violence.

The shooting happened in Jonesboro, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Atlanta, in a high school parking lot used for overflow parking outside the graduation of more than 200 students from the career academy.

“We are saddened that such an incident has occurred that overshadows such a positive ceremony involving an exceptional group of graduating seniors,” Beasley said in a statement.

The Clayton County Police Department is investigating. Repeated attempts to reach officials there by telephone went unanswered. Clayton County schools’ safety chief Thomas Trawick, the designated spokesman, could not be reached today for comment. Late Friday, he said he couldn’t provide details.

He said his initial reaction “wasn’t pleasant,” given news of a fatal shooting earlier Friday at a Texas high school that left 10 people dead.

“The last thing you want to do is have a situation at a graduation that results in anyone being injured, and definitely not being shot,” Trawick said.

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