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Frederick Douglass High shooting victim speaks out

Teacher blames security lapses at school
Posted at 1:05 PM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 17:42:45-05

BALTIMORE — We have seen images of the chaos from outside Frederick Douglass High School after a gunman opened fire on a teacher, and today the shooting victim, Michael Marks, gives us his account of the struggle for his life.

"When I was on my way to lunch, I just seen a guy pacing, going side-to-side, peaking, looking down the hallways," said Marks, “When I walked up, I asked the young man, 'Can I help you? and he said, 'No.'"

That's when 25-year-old Neil Davis pulled out a gun, aimed it between his eyes and fired the first shot, which narrowly missed his ear.

By the time Marks had wrestled the gun away from Davis, he had fired a total of six shots, striking him twice in the abdomen and groin area.

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"I'm still dreaming that someone is lunging at me. I'm still dodging the bullets. It's like I'm still fighting this dude,” said Marks, “If any one of you guys have ever been in my position, fighting for your life, it's a helluva position, man."

And a position that Marks and his lawyer, J. Wyndal Gordon, argue he never should have been placed in.

"Instead of resource officers coming to his aid, there were resource officers that ducked for cover," said Gordon.

Gordon claims Davis had recently been asked to leave the school twice, yet the school never issued a letter to parents, teachers or staff alerting them as was customary.

Typically, the school had two people assigned to screening visitors as they entered the school who required them to sign in at the main office, but they had been called to the office where Davis' sister and another girl had earlier been fighting prompting a conference with their parents to de-escalate their feud.

As for security procedures, a metal detector used to screen students in the morning that was then used to check visitors throughout the day, but those protocols had been lessened recently.

"For some reason, they started doing it at the beginning of the year. Then, all of the sudden, it wasn't there anymore," said Marks.

Marks' attorney says he hopes to meet with members of the school board to discuss the security lapses and to seek compensation for his client's injuries, pain and suffering without filing a lawsuit against the very school system Mark's risked his life for as the students only obvious line of defense when it counted the most.

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"Very angry and disappointed and what's keeping me is my faith,” said Marks, “I wouldn't want anyone to be in the position I was in and I don't want anyone to feel this pain I'm getting."

Marks says he's worked for the school system for 26 years, and he also hopes the system re-visits its decision not to arm school police in light of the shooting.