GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Several parents told 24 Hour News 8 they are taking their children out of Hope Academy of West Michigan after two students were shot near the school Monday afternoon. It was at least the second shooting near the school so far this year.
A 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg and a 17-year-old boy was shot in the back. A third teen -- not a Hope Academy student -- was found shot a few blocks away in a Grand Rapid neighborhood. People close to the students told 24 Hour News 8 both students are out of the hospital and recovering. Police say the victims are not cooperating with the investigation.
School officials sent a letter home with students Tuesday in response to the shooting. The letter calls the shooting an "incident of senseless violence," describes the school's immediate lockdown when the shots were fired and says staff immediately called 911.
The letter names both wounded students, but 24 Hour News 8 has decided not to report their names because they are minors and the victims of a violent crime.
== Read the letter (pdf ==
"They're taking care of it is what they tell us," said Aliyah Fields, a senior at Hope Academy of West Michigan. "We're the kids, we can only go along with it."
The letter says Hope Academy school officials do not believe the shooters were students, but police told 24 Hour News 8 they haven't ruled that out.
School officials and teachers declined to comment to 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday. They said the only person who could comment on the situation was the superintendent, but she would not return our calls for comment, neither would Integrity Educational Services of Grand Rapids, the company that runs the school.
"Basically that they're just saying that there's no violence in our school and the problem has been solved," said Fields.
Several students, like Fields, said the shooting was mentioned briefly at the beginning of the school day, and teachers then told kids not to talk about it. Despite that, students said everyone was talking about it.
"What I heard was a few of my classmates had a few exchange of words, and it got out to others that don't attend my school, and of course it was brought here," said Fields.
Another student who did not want to be identified said she was standing next to one of the victims. The girl said the victim wasn't doing anything when she was suddenly shot.
Many parents told 24 Hour News 8 they're scared. Some said they intend to remove their students from Hope Academy, afraid for their safety.
"It's a lot to deal with, being that there's always people on the block or, you know, you always have to keep your eye open. It shouldn't have to be like that after school," said Fields.
The letter also states that counselors will be at the school Wednesday to talk to students.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
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