Cop shoots student in school parking lot

June 7, 2007 at 11:26 PM
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WILLINGBORO, N.J., June 7 (UPI) -- A police officer shot and wounded a student Thursday in the parking lot of a South Jersey private school for troubled children.

The shooting occurred at Garfield Park Academy in Willingboro after police responded to a 911 call. The student, a 15-year-old boy, was in the lobby holding a pair of scissors in each hand, The Times of Trenton reported.

The boy did not respond to demands that he drop the scissors, police said. When he made an aggressive move toward police, Sgt. William Smith, an officer with 19 years' experience fired, hitting the boy chest and abdomen.

The student, whose name was not released, was taken by helicopter to Cooper Medical Center in Camden. The officer was not injured.

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office is investigating the shooting. Smith was put on leave until the investigation is completed.

Garfield Park Academy, formerly known as Therapeutic Learning Center, describes itself on its Web site as a non-profit school for children "with emotional and behavioral disorders." The school serves children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

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