GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Two fifth-grade students told 24 Hour News 8 they're "a little scared" to go to school after seeing a fellow student clutching a bullet wound after school Monday.
Jahaan and Brianna Wilson are brother and sister and students at Hope Academy of West Michigan. The pair used to go to Grand Rapids Public Schools, but their mom told 24 Hour News 8 she chose the charter school hoping for a better curriculum and smaller class sizes for her children -- she wasn't planning on her kids coming home telling her about shootings.
Three teens were shot near Hope Academy on the southeast side of Grand Rapids Monday afternoon. Two of the victims -- both Hope students -- were found near the school. One, a 17-year-old female, had been shot in the leg. A 16-year-old male, who is not a Hope student, was shot in the torso and found a block away. All three are expected to survive.
Jahaan said he and his sister were heading out the main door after classes ended on Monday when they saw a large crowd of people on the main school steps.
Brianna told 24 Hour News 8 she saw a fellow student pressing a paper towel to a bullet wound in her leg while sitting on the school's main steps.
"The girl who got shot, we heard her crying," said Jahaan.
"She had some paper towel over her leg," said Brianna. "But I felt bad for her because I really didn't think that the [paper towel] was helping because of all the blood that was running down her leg. Her shoes were...she had on white Adidas [shoes] I think, and [they] looked red because of all the blood."
The siblings said they generally enjoy school and don't worry about safety while in the classroom. Those worries come when the school day is over.
"I'm mostly scared at the end of the day because a lot of stuff happens at the end," said Brianna.
"Someone else might get shot and you don't know who it might be," said Jahaan.
That is when Monday's shooting happened, according to the Grand Rapids Police Department, about four minutes after school was let out for the day.
Jahaan, Brianna and their mom told 24 Hour News 8 this isn't the first time something scary has happened at Hope Academy this year. Their mom said the name "Hope Academy" comes from the idea that the school gives a new hope -- another chance -- to kids who have been kicked out of other schools.
Jahaan and Brianna said the school has been on lockdown a few times this year already. They said students have fought several times this year. They even told 24 Hour News 8 there were a few times where staff members were either targeted, or got hurt, by students.
"I like the school but sometimes there's a lot of problems there," said Jahaan. "Our school is good, but sometimes the kids can just get out of control."
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