CNN BREAKING NEWS
Interview with Jerry Hill
Aired October 11, 2002 - 11:33 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go back to our lead story, our breaking story out of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and that is another man shot about two hours ago at an Exxon gas station, shot dead, yet to be determined if it's related to the other sniper shootings, but we are standing by, waiting for a news conference. That is set to begin very soon, we understand, from the Exxon gas station where that shooting took place.
Our Jeanne Meserve and Bill Hemmer are on the scene in Montgomery County, and they have been helping with our coverage -- Jeanne, what do you have?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, as you know, schools up here in Montgomery and Prince George's County were put into lockdown when there were shooting incidents up here.
We want to find out what's happening down in Spotsylvania County this morning. Joining me on the phone, Jerry Hill. He is the superintendent of the Spotsylvania schools -- what is the situation now? Are the schools in lockdown?
JERRY HILL, SUPERINTENDENT, SPOTSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA: Absolutely, all of the schools are in lockdown, and have been since about 9:40 this morning when we became aware of the shooting that had occurred out in the Massaponax area. We've additionally canceled three homecoming football games which were scheduled for this evening.
Those have tentatively been rescheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday evening. We've also, throughout the remainder of this weekend, canceled any outdoor activity that our students might have been involved in.
MESERVE: Do you have police presence around your schools now?
HILL: Absolutely. The county sheriff's department has been extremely helpful and very quick to communicate with us, and we have deputies at all of our schools, and we will have their assistance this afternoon as we load the kids to return them to their homes.
MESERVE: How aware are the school children of this situation?
HILL: I have not spoken individually to students about it, but I think it stands to reason that they're pretty aware of it, because it's been going on now for nine days, and the coverage has been very heavy on all of the TV stations.
I'm sure the students are aware. Earlier in the week, I did get a chance to visit some of the buildings, and the students seemed to be doing a great job in just maintaining a normal routine and schedule with their studies. But as it drags on longer and longer, that's going to become, I think, more difficult for students, as well as for those of us that are employees and adults.
MESERVE: I know that officials up here in Montgomery County were particularly concerned about dismissal time, and the sorts of opportunities that might provide for anybody with a gun.
Are you also particularly concerned about that time of day?
HILL: We are, and we have been all week concerned about that. We will do everything we can this afternoon to shorten the amount of time that our students are exposed to the outdoors. We'll try to keep them in the building, lined up. When the bus is ready, we'll take the students directly to that bus and try to minimize the amount of time they're outside.
MESERVE: Now, there was a shooting in Fredericksburg, in Spotsylvania County last Friday, but as I recall, it was at around 2:30 in the afternoon. I presume the school day was close to ending that day. Did you take precautions that day? Are they different than today, and have you been taking precautions all week?
HILL: Yes, we have been, and you're right. Our high schools were already dismissed by the time we became aware of the Friday incident, and so we were able to communicate quickly with middle schools and with the elementary schools to take additional precaution during the exit of students in the afternoon, but we've been doing that all week, and we've had the county sheriff's department available on our campuses this entire week.
MESERVE: Jerry Hill, superintendent of the Spotsylvania County Public Schools. Thanks so much for joining us on the telephone today.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com