BOWIE, MD (WJLA/CNN) – A group of at least 20 high school seniors in Maryland could face criminal charges for a senior prank they pulled that was meant to simulate a school shooting.
Students wearing black masks stormed into Bowie High School in Bowie, MD, Tuesday morning. They used water guns to shoot students and faculty and set off fireworks inside the school.
At least one student was injured in the incident, and the school was evacuated because of the smoke from the fireworks.
Senior Emily Birckhead, who was injured during the prank, says the students went too far.
“I was dropping off a book to one of my teachers, and I saw my friend crying in the hallway. So, we stepped off to the side of the hallway, and that's when we just heard, 'They're coming,’” she said.
Emily received second-degree burns from the fireworks, and one student reportedly had to be treated for an asthma attack.
"They lit something off and threw it, and as they threw it, sparks were flying. So, I [held up my hand] to cover it, and that's when one landed on my thumb and behind my ear,” Emily said.
Emily and her father, Steve Birckhead, say most knew it was a joke, but someone could’ve been seriously hurt.
"I don't know what had to go through somebody's mind to pull off a prank like this in this day and age, so close to Parkland, and two days later, to have the shooting… in [Santa Fe] Texas. These kids just weren't thinking,” Steve Birckhead said.
The school says it is coordinating with local police, and the perpetrators will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
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