Students take stand after 10-year-old classmate injured in shooting

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 5:01 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2022 at 9:57 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - After a 10-year-old was injured in a shooting on Aug. 27, classmates at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School decided to plan a walk to fight violence on Thursday.

Students, police officers and the school administration came together to walk behind the student who was shot and promote a message against gun violence.

Destiny Heyward, who teaches 5th grade, says the students need to know their lives matter.

“The students should be able to feel safe to go to the playground to play basketball, not being in fear of gunshots, passing by drive-bys, not having to worry about ducking when they don’t need to,” Heyward says. “They are little kids. I think as educators we need to help them find their voice and be there for them. We hope this walk helps everyone around the world.”

The day after the shooting, the students came up with the idea of a walk to fight gun violence. The students want to stop the violence and show love to the community.

“They not only wanted to do this for their injured classmate, but they have lost loved ones as well, inside of the community,” Heyward says.

Brandon Smith, a 5th-grader, says he wants to be a bodyguard in the future so he can protect his family and friends. He shared why the walk is important to him.

“To make people know that kids’ futures matter and our futures matter,” Smith says. “So, we can feel protected in our community.”

Keilya Pringle, the assistant principal at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School, says they are going to fight gun violence together.

“Our community has no place for guns,” Pringle says.“ Our community has no place for violence. We have to show love. We have to be our brothers and our sisters’ keepers. We have to help our neighbors. We have to stop the violence. We have to stop the hate and we have to show love.”

The student injured in the Jackson Street shooting attended the walk and is working on slowly returning to school.

“Oh, it was just so heartwarming to see the scholar here and he’s such a fighter,” Pringle says. “He’s such a trooper. To see his mom the community members, the school district, Charleston Police Department and staff members all engaged and pouring into the scholar in his family and just showing love.”

The Charleston Police Department is still investigating, and the suspect is still unknown.

“A 10-year-old was living his dream by playing basketball and something sudden like that, at the end of the day, life is not a game,” Sgt. Kinta Palmer says. “Life is a serious commodity. I look at it that could have been my son and my daughter. It hurts.”