CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Sixteen students were hurt when two people allegedly sprayed an aerosol bottle Thursday afternoon at Morgan Park High School — marking the fifth time students at the school were injured in an aerosol-related attack in just over a week.
About 12:15 p.m., emergency crews responded to reports that an aerosol bottled had been discharged at the school at 1744 W. Pryor Ave., according to Chicago police.
Sixteen students were found to be injured, police said. Three of them were taken to MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island and the others refused medical help.
Investigators are questioning one of the two minors they have identified as suspects, police said. It wasn’t immediately known whether they attend the school.
A spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The series of attacks started the afternoon of April 25, when three students and two teachers were injured by pepper spray, police said. Two of the students were taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in good condition. The other three people refused medical treatment.
A 17-year-old boy was arrested and later charged with a misdemeanor count of reckless conduct in connection with the incident.
The following morning, more students were hurt in a similar pepper spray attack, police and Chicago fire officials said. A spokesman for the fire department said eight students were rushed to hospitals in good condition, while a police spokesperson said there were 11 students injured.
Police said two 15-year-old boys were taken into custody, but it wasn’t immediately known whether they have been charged.
Then on Tuesday afternoon, two more students and a teacher were hurt when an aerosol spray was again discharged on the school’s campus, police said. The students were taken to hospitals and the teacher refused medical attention.
Three more students and two teachers were then injured in another aerosol attack on Wednesday afternoon, police said. The students were treated at MetroSouth and Little Company, while the teachers declined medical attention at the scene.
After the attack, police said they were reviewing surveillance video of the incident to identify a suspect.
However, CPS spokesman James Malnati said in a statement Wednesday that students involved in the series of attacks had been identified, noting that the situation “”will be handled in accordance with CPS policies.”
In response to the attacks, Malnati said Morgan Park has “implemented additional safety screening measures and is creating a plan of action.”
Nevertheless, the trend seems to have spread to another CPS school.
On Wednesday morning, 14 students were taken to hospitals after a pepper spray discharge at Gresham Elementary School at 8524 S. Green St., police said. They were all treated at either Little Company of Mary or St. Bernard Hospital.