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Mother of Rockville shooting victim presses for answers at Magruder High meeting

Karen Thomas's son DeAndre is recovering after 10 surgeries after the January ghost gun shooting.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — DeAndre Thomas, 16, is back at Magruder High School. He was shot in a school bathroom with a ghost gun in the abdomen. He required 10 surgeries to recover.

WUSA9 followed the Thomas Family through that recovery, and Wednesday night, Magruder High School invited parents to hear what it’s done to improve safety.

"I'm hoping to hear what they've done since the incident to protect our students," said DeAndre's mother Karen Thomas.

But Thomas felt insulted when she heard about the meeting about her son’s shooting from the same email sent to all parents.

WUSA9 asked MCPS to be at the meeting attended by dozens of parents. MCPS denied our request, saying it was out of “respect for the families affected.”

"I believe it's all talk. I'm questioning their genuine concern," added Thomas.

Credit: Karen Thomas
DeAndre Thomas with family November 17, 2022.

MCPS livestreamed the meeting but also declined our request to record the meeting. Instead, we heard from the family most affected by the ghost gun shooting about what happened inside:

"I still don't have an answer as to why it has taken so long for MCPS to reach out to me. I was given an apology, but that was about it. No real answer," said Thomas after the meeting.

During the meeting, MCPS leadership apologized for inaccurate communications during the shooting and the pace of parent-child reunifications.

Thomas sued MCPS last week, saying the lack of school resource police officers was partially to blame for her son’s life-threatening injuries.

"It was 36 minutes before another officer arrived. A lot can happen in those 36 minutes and I hope they do bring SRO officers back," said Thomas.

Shooter Steven Alston, Jr. plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing in Montgomery County Court.

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