CLEVELAND — A high school student was shot and killed after school at a bus stop outside the John Adams College and Career Academy high school in Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon.
The John Adams student was shot while sitting at a bus stop after school Tuesday afternoon, according to Cleveland Metropolitan School District Safety and Security Chief Lamont Dodson. Cleveland Police spokesperson Jennifer Ciaccia confirmed an 18-year-old student was shot at the bus stop at MLK Jr. Drive and Corlett Avenue. EMS confirmed that they responded to an address near the school where a teenage male was found dead at the scene.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the 18-year-old as Pierre McCoy.
“It’s scary," said a neighbor named Willie, who declined to give his last name. "Losing a child is like losing a best friend.”
Willie lost his oldest son in a motorcycle crash several years ago. He lives a block away from John Adams High and said trouble in the neighborhood discouraged him from sending his other two children to the school.
“My kids were supposed to go here, but I didn’t let them go here. There’s too much stuff going on in the neighborhood as it is, so it’s kind of bad here,” he said.
According to the CMSD website, school was dismissed at 3 p.m. The shooting at the RTA bus stop was reported less than a half hour later, just steps from the high school.
“It’s too heavy. It’s too much. It’s too much for the people that are doing the work, for the residents that are living here, too much for the children who are just trying to live,” said Myesha Watkins, the executive director of the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance.
The group responded to the scene Tuesday to talk with the devastated family. Watkins said gun violence is becoming a frightening reality for many Cleveland students, families and communities.
“It’s hindering attendance. It’s hindering the dreams of young people. We need to figure out how to instill hope back into them,” she said.
Ward 2 Councilman Kevin Bishop was also among the community leaders who responded after the shooting.
News 5's Joe Pagonakis talked to Bishop shortly after the shooting:
“I want to send my prayers and condolences to the family. Nobody would want to go through this with anybody’s child,” Bishop said. “This is happening far, far too many times, not only in this neighborhood but across our country. We must do something to stop all of this gun violence with our children.
"We want a full assessment about all the cameras. We cannot sleep, we cannot rest until the person involved in these heinous crimes is brought to justice. This is a matter of safety for our children, safety for our community and our city."
Bishop told News 5 the community was still reeling from another recent killing. Only a month ago, less than a mile from the high school, a teen was shot and killed outside the Earle B. Turner Recreation Center.
“We just had a youth killed at Earle B. Turner Rec Center just a few weeks back, and we’re still reeling from that," Bishop said. "And for this to happen right on the heels of that is unthinkable."
Parents agreed the recent violence near places meant to harbor young people is beyond comprehension. Some told News 5 they plan to hold their children closer.
“I just try to keep him out of these streets," said Willie. "It’s not worth it to be out here. It’s real dangerous now.”
Watkins added, "Even if it’s not your family and it’s not my family, we’re all connected as one and we all [need to be] doing our part to figure it out.”