Teen Charged In Chicago Classroom Shooting That Wounded 2

Wednesday, April 11th 2007, 9:04 pm

By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ Police charged a 15-year-old boy as an adult Wednesday after a handgun he allegedly got past school security went off in a classroom, injuring him and another boy playing with it.

Demond Gore limped into a courtroom where Cook County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Myles set bond at $25,000.

Gore's family was unable to post the required 10 percent of his bond, so he remained at the county juvenile detention center on Wednesday, Assistant Public Defender Sandra Bennewitz told reporters.

Gore was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school and faces a sentence ranging from probation to three years in prison, said Andy Conklin, a spokesman for the State's Attorney's office.

Authorities were still trying to determine how the 9 mm handgun got past metal detectors and into a science classroom at Chicago Vocational Career Academy. Bennewitz said the teen wasn't planning a school shooting.

``If indeed he brought the gun into the school, he had no intent of doing something on the order of _ for lack of a (better) term _ Columbine,'' she said.

School officials were reviewing surveillance camera tapes and conducting a review of security at Chicago Vocational, Chicago Public Schools spokesman Mike Vaughn said.

Gore was sitting in class, took out the handgun and pulled the trigger, said Assistant State's Attorney Heather Weber. A bullet struck Gore in the inner left thigh, traveled through his leg and struck Jodale Woodfork, 14, also in the leg.

Woodfork was in fair condition Wednesday afternoon at Cook County's John H. Stroger Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.

Gore was treated and released Tuesday at the University of Chicago Hospitals.

After the gun fired, Gore panicked, ran outside and dumped the gun near the front of the building, said Assistant Deputy Police Superintendent Robert Lopez. A Chicago police officer assigned to the school confronted the boy as he re-entered the building, and Gore led him to the gun, police said.

Lopez said there was no magazine, or clip, in the gun, and Gore might not have realized there was a bullet in the chamber.

It was the second shooting on school property in less than a month. On March 22, two students standing in the parking lot were shot and wounded after a car pulled into the lot and an occupant opened fire, authorities said.

Both students recovered from their wounds. No arrests were made.

The academy, which opened in 1940, has about 2,000 students in grades 9-12. Students enter a three-year vocational career path in their sophomore year, with ``majors'' such as accounting, cosmetology, graphic arts and carpentry, according to the school's Web site.

Seven Chicago Public School students have been fatally shot in or near their schools since 1992, according to the National School Safety Center.

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