Georgia teacher who shot a gun in classroom once claimed he was behind murder-for-hire plot; school was aware of mental health issues

New details have emerged about the Georgia teacher who discharged a single shot inside his Dalton High School classroom Wednesday.

According to Time magazine, Jesse Randal Davidson, 53, barricaded himself alone in the room and fired one round from a handgun. The school immediately went into lockdown and evacuation mode, and the teacher was taken into police custody after a 30- to 45-minute standoff.

There were no direct injuries caused by the bullet, though a student reportedly hurt her ankle running from the scene. Davidson shot at an external window and did not appear to intend to hurt anyone, authorities noted.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that police encountered Davidson on two previous occasions in connection to his mental health.

On March 21, 2016, the teacher confessed that two friends killed a woman at his behest. Cops could not verify the information in his story, suspected that he was delusional, and provided medical care for his admitted suicidal thoughts. Dalton was informed about the episode, according to the report.

In January 2017, Davidson was reported missing after telling his supervisor he was sick, and then disappearing from school. When he was found hours later, he was conscious but unable to respond to police. He was again brought to the hospital and treated.

The newspaper reports that Davidson had been a social studies teacher at Dalton since 2004, and announced the school’s football games. He was “recognized as the school’s top teacher” in 2012 and appeared to be beloved by many students posting on social media Wednesday.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, this event occurred two weeks after a Florida school shooting claimed 17 fatalities and sparked national debates about gun control.

In response, President Trump proposed a plan to arm some teachers and staff in schools across the country, a plan backed by the National Rifle Association.

Dalton student Chondi Chastain tweeted at the NRA in response to Wednesday’s incident.

In a subsequent interview with the Associated Press, Chastain claimed that Davidson said arming educators was a bad idea.

The teacher faces six charges including aggravated assault involving a gun and terroristic threats and acts, carrying a weapon in a school safety zone, and reckless conduct.

 

[Feature image: Jesse Davidson/Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office]