By Steve Patterson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a normal day at school — until he was shot.
In an Eyewitness News Exclusive, one of two students shot at Delaware Valley Charter High School gives CBS 3 the firsthand account of what sent him to the hospital.
CBS 3’s Steve Patterson also has an inside look at new school security as officials vow this will not happen again.
One gun. One bullet. One moment.
“It was a pow. I backed up, everyone just was staring.”
Seventeen-year-old Tyler Lewis is describing the seconds after he was shot.
Lewis is one of two victims struck by a single bullet when police say a gun accidentally went off in the gym Friday at Delaware Valley Charter High.
“It hurts a lot. It hurts on and off,” he said.
Lewis spoke to CBS 3 exclusively nearly a week later with the bullet still lodged in his arm.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Lewis said.
His father Calvin is happy too, but he’s also upset at what he calls a lapse in duty.
“I definitely think the school dropped the ball when it comes to security,” his father said.
Police say a former student, 18-year-old Donte Walker was allowed past security, past a metal detector, because he was considered a guest.
Police say because of that, Walker was let in with a gun.
“e were a safe school before this happened and we’re even a safer school now. We’re still reviewing to see what else we can do,” CEO and principal Ernest Holiday said.
With unprecedented access, CBS 3 spoke to Holiday who gave us an exclusive tour of the school’s current security measures and upgrades he says that are promised to come.
“Securing doors, metal scanners up at the front, we’re searching every bag and every person,” he said.
Holiday says Walker was given special status because he was a trusted student mentor asked to come back on several occasions for guidance.
He says now, no one is special.
“Our new policy does not let students walk around individually. They have to be escorted,” Holiday said.
All while Tyler, heading for college, just wants normal life to resume.
“Yeah this happened, but I’m focused on school. I just got accepted to where I want to go, I just want to go there and do good,” he said.
Police say the alleged shooter in this is 17-year-old Raisheem Rochwell. He is being charged as an adult and awaiting his first preliminary hearing in February.
Meanwhile, Lewis is scheduled for surgery on Monday. That very same night, school administrators will meet with parents about scheduled policy changes. Those policy changes should be on the books in written form as early as next week.