Forum to address gun-related violence near La Follette

MADISON (WKOW) — The Glendale Neighborhood Association held a public forum Monday night to hear neighborhood concerns after a shooting — and another gun-related incident — near La Follette High School.

About 100 people filled the auditorium at Sennett Middle School for the public forum.

Chief Mike Koval was joined by La Follette High School Principal Sean Storch, as well as district and city officials. He said the department is having robust conversations about what’s best for community safety as well as the safety of students, staff and faculty.

Koval wants the community to know he understands the real anxiety and trepidation people are feeling about issues that have happened close to the school. He says he’s working with the district to create short, midterm, and long term solutions to the gun violence problem.

“You should feel comfortable in knowing that some measure of knowing and consolation is that there are a lot of entities here who in this instance are not operating in silos,” Koval said.

Ananda Mirilli, who’s daughter is a student at La Follette, doesn’t think increased police presence is a solution.

“They had metal detectors wands at the school and they had it for a couple of days. Increased surveillance and increased police on campus. None of those things are sustainable long term,” Mirilli said.

She feels the best approach is to invest in students in order to make them feel more comfortable and welcome at the school.

Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham was not at Monday night’s meeting. She was at a school board meeting where the board was expected to address the same issues.

The two suspects in the latest incident were in court Monday. Bail was set at $50,000 each for 21-year-old Duan Briggs and 17-year-old Jamie Hayes in a shooting near La Follette High School. Authorities said Briggs shot a student and Hayes put him up to it.

Police said the shooting happened during a fight on a street near the school. The victim has been released from a hospital.

More information from WKOW 27 News

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