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Teen kills self at Ala. high school assembly

/ Source: The Associated Press

A student recently charged in a robbery and suspended from school fired a gun into the ceiling of his high school gym and then killed himself in front of about 150 classmates during a school assembly, police said.

Jajuan Holmes, 18, fatally shot himself about 10 a.m. at Davidson High School, police Chief Phillip Garrett said. He described the shooting as an isolated incident and said no one else was injured.

Holmes was charged a few weeks ago in a Dairy Queen robbery, which may have been a factor leading to the shooting, Garrett said. But he said the teen's death remained under investigation.

He said there had been no indication that Holmes might be suicidal.

Holmes had been released on bond on the robbery charge and was suspended from school on Wednesday, Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr. said. He didn't have details on what led to the suspension.

He said Holmes did not enter the school through the front office as required, but made it into a student assembly in the gym during a test day that changed class routines.

Chelsea Smith, a senior, said she was seated in the gym bleachers when Holmes appeared at the top of the bleachers and walked down to the center of the gym court.

"He had a gun to his head," she said.

Smith said a coach walked toward Holmes, who pointed the gun at the coach until the coach retreated. She said Holmes then fired into the ceiling and shot himself.

Grief counselors were sent to the school, said Nancy Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Mobile County school system. She said classes would resume Friday.

Traffic was heavy outside the school around noon as concerned parents arrived. Police were directing traffic and the departure of students was orderly.