Shots Fired Near The High School

Lockdown called after police pursue, shoot suspect


Emily Shrestha

Police vehicles present in the main entrance parking lot in September 2021. File photo.

The high school was put on lockdown Friday afternoon following a nearby police chase that ended when police shot a man suspected of driving a stolen car in the area.

“At approximately 3:13 p.m. today, Shaker Heights police officers observed a vehicle in the area of Lee Road that had been reported stolen. The vehicle accelerated away from the officers. During a subsequent foot pursuit of one of the suspects, officers observed him in possession of a firearm. This suspect was shot by an officer in the vicinity of Shaker Heights High School and has been taken to a local hospital. School was not in session today but the high school was placed on temporary lockdown as officers collect evidence. There is no active threat,” the Shaker Heights Police Department stated in a 4:29 p.m. press release.

The lockdown was lifted at 3:29 p.m. as Shaker Heights police worked to evacuate the building, according to

At 3:27 p.m., an emergency message appeared on the home page of “Police have responded to a possible incident near Shaker Heights High School. Staff and faculty are in the building and the building is on lockdown. Classes were not in session today,” the website stated.

The statement was updated at 4:03 p.m. “The Shaker Heights Police Department responded to an incident near the High School that was unrelated to school operations. Classes were not in session today,” the updated message stated.

Students were not in classes today due to parent-teacher conferences, which were held in person from 8-11:30 a.m. and virtually from 12:30-4 p.m. There was no active threat to the high school at 4:29 p.m., according to the Shaker Heights Police Department statement.

High school faculty and staff had been outside the building minutes before the shooting because a faulty sensor had activated the fire alarm. “We evacuated because of the fire alarm. After we returned to the building, we entered a lockdown to keep people safe because of a police incident outside the building,” Senior Administrative Assistant Laurie Brem said. “After the lockdown, everyone left the building safely.”

The men’s soccer team was practicing in the stadium when the shooting occurred, according to junior captain Joe Brancato. “While we were on the turf early in our practice, we heard three gunshots and later saw multiple police cars driving around the oval. We didn’t know for sure that they were gunshots at the time, so we were confused,” he said.

The team was taken to the Raider Athletic Center weight room by a security guard when the building was placed on lockdown. “After about 10 minutes of waiting, we heard Mr. Juli on the announcement tell us that there was no more threat and how we were supposed to leave the school,” Brancato said.

Sophomore soccer player Wyatt Roth said not knowing the details of what was going on made him more nervous. “I felt mostly anxious because we didn’t know exactly what happened or how things outside were being handled,” he said.

Although Brancato said he is relieved that no students or staff members were harmed, he is worried that a similar situation could happen with students in the building. Said Brancato, “This does instill a level of fear in me that someone of this severity happened so close to our school.”

The Shakerite will continue coverage as this story develops.

Political Columnist Ingrid Holda and Campus and City Editor Gracie Turner contributed reporting.

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