RHS Students React to Magruder Shooting Involving a Ghost Gun


Graphic by Catherine Corbin

Student groups at RHS organized opportunities for students to show their support for Magruder High School, including signing a banner to be delivered and wearing blue and white in a show of solidarity.

On Jan. 22 at Magruder High School (MHS), approximately five miles from Rockville High School (RHS), 17-year-old Steven Alston Jr. allegedly opened fire on a 15-year-old student when the victim agreed to meet in the bathroom to discuss an on-going conflict.

The victim is still in serious condition but is stable and recovering in the hospital. Being only 5 miles from MHS, students here at Rockville are grieving from this act of violence. 

“I never expected a shooting in school to be so close to Rockville,” senior Victoria Daza said. 

Alston is now being charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a dangerous weapon on school property and possession of a firearm by a minor.

The firearm allegedly used in this event is just one of five ghost guns recovered at county schools this academic year, making students anxious about their safety in school. 

“It makes me wonder what school is next,” junior Joseph Hung said. 

A ghost gun is a weapon assembled by individuals from parts and unfinished pieces; many of these pieces or kits can be made from a 3D printer. These types of weapons have no serial number attached and therefore cannot be traced.

In addition, ghost guns are normally not detected by metal detectors which allows easy access for criminals to bring a firearm wherever they want. 

“Ghost guns are enabling criminals to do violent acts,” Daza said. 

Approximately 53 ghost guns have been recovered this year in Montgomery County alone, prompting many officials to take action. 

“I don’t understand why these guns are legal. If someone wants a gun, they should have to register it,” Hung said. 

Following the violence at MHS, police officers have been parked at Rockville to ensure safety for students and staff. 

For many students, coming back to school after hearing about the shooting wasn’t easy or comfortable. 

“I was definitely on guard,” Daza said. 

Nonetheless, the RHS community is devoted to making sure students have the resources they need to get through this tragedy and ensured counselors were available to talk throughout the day.

In addition, students  at RHS have organized various ways to show their support for Magruder. On Tuesday, Jan. 25, students wore white and blue, Magruder’s school colors, to show love for the MHS community. Following Tuesday’s event, students also signed a poster that said “We Stand With Magruder.”

“I think it’s important we show Magruder we care, even if the shooting didn’t happen at our school,” Hung said.