Girl injured by gunfire at SW Philly high school

The usual sound of teens chattering and lockers clattering was interrupted today when a gunshot echoed through the halls of Communications Technology High School.
A 15-year-old sophomore who had smuggled a handgun into the Southwest Philadelphia school — thanks, apparently, to a broken metal detector — accidentally fired the weapon about 10:15 a.m. when he tried to stuff the gun into his third-floor locker, police said.
The bullet torpedoed toward the neck a 16-year-old girl, who was standing inches away from the boy.
A lucky earring saved the day — and, possibly, the young girl’s life.
“The bullet struck a metal piece on the girl’s earring, causing it to break into pieces,” said Lt. John Walker, of Southwest Detectives. “The earring probably prevented the bullet from going into her body.”
The girl’s neck was burned by gunpowder because she was so close to the shot, Walker said. She fell when the shot rang out, and later told police that she went temporarily deaf.
The teen was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in stable condition.
The young gunman darted away when a teacher walked out of her classroom and yelled at him, Walker said.
He returned moments later, although without the gun, and was taken into police custody.
The teen, whose name was not released, will face a litany of charges, including aggravated assault, firearms violations and recklessly endangering another person, Walker said.
The lieutenant said investigators believe the teen found a .22- or .25-caliber gun on his way to school and decided to sneak it in the building, on Lyons Avenue near 82nd Street.
The gun had not been found as of last night.
Walker noted that the school was locked down once Philadelphia police arrived.
Fernado Gallard, a spokesman for the School District of Philadelphia, said the school’s metal detectors “were down” from 7:25 a.m. until 8.
“If the metal detectors go down, [security guards] are supposed to use handheld wands to search the students,” he said earlier tonight. “Right now, I don’t know if they did.”
Gallard said the shooter would immediately be suspended from school and could face expulsion.