A Texas school district that suffered a mass shooting earlier this year announced it will accept a donation of AR-15 rifles, accessories, training, and ammunition for its police department.
A student-gunman marched into Santa Fe High School on May 18 and opened fire with a handgun and a shotgun. He left ten people dead and 13 wounded before surrendering to police, Breitbart Texas reported. In the wake of the shooting, there have been numerous offers of donations for the school district to enhance security for the students and staff.
Santa Fe Independent School District trustees voted Monday night to accept one of the donation of eight AR-15 rifles, optics for the rifles, rental fees for a local shooting range, tuition for a training course, and up to $4,800 worth of ammunition from an anonymous donor, the Houston Chronicle reported. The total donation is estimated to be worth in excess of $20,000, district spokesperson Patti Hanssard told the local newspaper.
Santa Fe District Police Chief Walter Braun explained that the rifles will only be utilized by his “full-time staff.”
The Houston Astros Foundation also stepped forward with a donation for school police officers. The defending World Series champions donated approximately $13,000-worth of ballistic vests and other safety equipment to protect officers in a shooting situation.
The donation of metal detectors for school entrances has also been offered. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick initially offered to donate up to 10 metal detectors earlier this month, Breitbart Texas reported.
“On the day of the shooting in Santa Fe, I made securing the entrances and exits to our schools a top priority,” Lt. Governor Patrick stated. “Santa Fe parents have asked for immediate action to secure the entrances to their schools and I want to make sure that if the Santa Fe ISD School Board wants to install metal detectors they can do so.”
Garrett Metal Detectors evaluated the district’s needs and determined the school district would need as many as 19 detectors to adequately cover the district’s needs. The company agreed to donate the remaining nine detectors, the Chronicle reported.
The district accepted these donations on July 16. Installation of the metal detectors is expected to begin in the next few weeks and training for staff will begin following their installation. The project is expected to be completed by the time school opens on August 20.