UPDATE: 4:59 p.m.: GBI was not asked to investigate; correct Workshop dates

UPDATE 10:18 a.m 3/17: no time/room listed for court appearance

by Robin Kemp

A man is in the Clayton County Jail, charged with burglary after an alleged shooting involving a school resource officer.

A source told The Clayton Crescent that the incident took place around 2 a.m. Wednesday, March 16.

The source identified both the officer and the suspect. The Clayton Crescent has confirmed the suspect as Rashaad Billups, 20, of Forest Park but is withholding the officer’s name pending independent confirmation. A request for information about the officer-involved shooting was not immediately returned by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI investigates officer-involved shootings at the request of the officer’s agency. GBI spokesperson Nelly Miles said she had no information that CCPS Police had requested any investigation.

Online court records show Billups is set to make first appearance March 17 before Magistrate Judge Charity Bridgewater. Another check of the record at 10:18 a.m. March 17 did not indicate a time or room number.

When asked to confirm the incident and whether an adult suspect had been arrested, CCPS released this statement to The Clayton Crescent Thursday morning:

On the evening of March 15, Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) Officers responded to alarms at Forest Park Middle School. Upon arrival and entry into the school building, responding officers did encounter and detain an intruder hiding in an administrative office. While this incident did occur on our campus and a firearm was discharged, it should be noted, this individual was not a student of Forest Park Middle School or Clayton County Public Schools.As it is the continued priority of the school system to ensure the safety of all students and employees, we are pleased to report this incident has had no impact on the core business of our school system; which is teaching and learning. We commend the CCPSPD officers for quickly responding and controlling the situation and we are thankful for their safety.  Due to this matter being currently investigated, the district is not able to offer additional information.

Under the Georgia Open Records Act, the initial incident report and supplemental reports are available while an investigation is underway. The Clayton Crescent will update with those reports. We also have requested  the Peace Officer Standards and Training transcript of the officer the source says was involved in the shooting.

Billups was booked at 5:07 a.m. on a single charge of burglary, according to online jail records. The arresting agency was listed as “Clayton County School Police.”

On February 24, Billups entered a negotiated guilty plea to commercial  burglary. Superior Court Judge Geronda Carter sentenced Billups to five years, one year to serve, and four years’ probation. He had been indicted on July 19, 2021, on physical evidence submitted to the court on January 14, 2021. Billups also was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine concurrent with a 2018 case, in which Billups had been charged with commercial burglary, theft by taking, and fourth-degree forgery. He got a negotiated plea in that case, too—along with first offender status. Billups was adjudicated guilty on all three counts.

Billups made a first offender plea on January 29, 2021. On April 20, a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He was adjudicated guilty February 28 and is scheduled for a December 25 probation revocation hearing.

In recent days, parents of students at some Clayton County Schools have posted photos of lines of students waiting to pass through school security checks. The  comes after a student allegedly discharged a gun inside Jonesboro High School on February 28.

Parents expressed support for CCPS’ actions:

Many kids who bring guns to school do so because they are able to access a relative’s firearm. The Forest Park Police Department is offering a series of free gun safety classes this week, which include tips on firearms storage.

The classes will take place:

  • 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 16
    Forest Park City Hall
    745 Forest Parkway
  • 6 p.m., Thursday, March 17
    Forest Park Police Department
    320 Cash Memorial Blvd.
  • 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 22
    Forest Park Community Center
    696 Main Street

Weapons are not permitted at these classes. Participants will learn basic gun safety tips and legal responsibilities of owning a firearm.

Call FFPD’s Training Unit or Community Affairs at (404) 366-7280 ext. 109 if you have questions about the classes.

Students can report drugs, weapons, bullying, threats, or other school safety issues 24/7 by calling the Safe Schools Hotline at 1-877-SAY-STOP. 

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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