Published: Oct. 25, 2022, 10:09 p.m.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — In the aftermath of the shooting at Tottenville High School Tuesday afternoon which left a 14-year-old freshman wounded, two borough elected officials have called for increased police presence at schools and changes to current state laws.
Borough President Vito Fossella called Tuesday’s shooting incident “terrible” at an impromptu press conference a block away from the high school.
“What happened today was a tragedy; there’s a family whose son was shot and that should not be in this day . . . and in this community,” he said.
Police sources have previously told theAdvance/SILive.com that the 14-year-old student was not the intended target of the attack and the shooting was not a random act of violence. The victim was transported to Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze and is expected to survive.
Authorities believe the gunfire was intended for a person in the vicinity of the victim. Police now are actively seeking as many as five suspects who fled the scene wearing ski masks after the shooting.
“We’re calling for an increased police presence, not only at arrival, but also dismissal,” Fossella said.
Although police have not confirmed that the shooter was a teen, Fossella and City Councilman Joseph Borelli referenced New York’s Raise the Age law, which changed the age that a child can be prosecuted as an adult to 18 years of age in criminal cases. Prior that that, the state could hold 16-year-olds criminally responsible.
“If these kids are 15, 16 years old, they’ll be let out sooner than any of us would like, but, unfortunately, that the state we live in, where there is limited consequences,” Borelli said. “…There’s little that principals, unfortunately, can do to deal with these folks prior to an incident like this happening.”
Fossella added that there should be zero tolerance for these kinds of actions.
“The broader picture is that when there are bad people doing bad things there needs to be consequences,” he said. “If there are bad kids attending certain schools, they should be out of that student population and sent elsewhere, so the vast majority of kids attending [those] schools can get a good education in a safe environment.”
Borelli and Fossella commended the staff and faculty of Tottenville High School for acting swiftly during the incident Tuesday, mentioning a school safety agent who was one of the first people on the scene and called for assistance.
“Our goal and number one priority is that every kid attending a school should be safe and secure, and we need to do everything possible to ensure that to every family,” Fossella said.
A photo circulating on social media appeared to show the injured boy lying in a brush area across the street from the school with blood on his right ankle as two NYPD officers hovered over him.
Students who spoke to the Advance/SILive.com said the incident occurred while they were walking to class between periods.
Tottenville High School went into a shelter-in-place following the incident, which occurred at 1:57 p.m., a source said. Multiple nearby schools also initiated restrictive measures after the shooting.
Police vehicles lined the street outside the school, closing off traffic on nearby streets.
Also, a video circulating on social media apparently captured the moments multiple gunshots rang out.
The eight-second clip, taken from a car dashboard camera, shows vehicles passing in front of the school as eight shots ring out within the span of just over three seconds.
Voices can be heard in thttps://www.silive.com/crime-safety/2022/10/staten-island-elected-officials-call-for-more-police-at-schools-tougher-state-laws-following-tottenville-high-school-shooting.htmlhe distance after the shots are fired.