CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I TEAM has learned gunshots ripped through windows and classrooms of a school that has just opened. It happened after-hours, and no kids were there, but it has left families nervous.
The gunfire broke through windows on the second and third floor of Menlo Park Academy, a charter school off West 53rd in Cleveland.
The school serves gifted children in kindergarten through 8th grade. The school just spent millions renovating an old Hugo Boss factory and moving in there at the start of the school year.
Cleveland Police found 4 gunshots hit the school. It apparently happened late Wednesday night. The damage was discovered just before classes on Thursday.
Multiple families reached out to the I TEAM with concerns. One grandmother said, "This happened this time after hours. I'm worried about next time, you know."
Families also told us they were upset because the first email to parents from the school came after classes had started, and it mentioned “windows…damaged.” And, “…appears…the intent…was to vandalize.” No mention of gunshots until hours later.
Menlo Park Academy Administrator Deborah Matese said, "The very first thing that we did here, the team did here, was to make sure that the children were safe.”
We asked why the school didn’t alert parents to gunshots from the start. Matese said, “We didn't have the information that that was gunshots at the time that communication went out. I don't speculate. And I'm not an arms expert."
The school already has its own overnight security making rounds outside more often. Now, four times an hour. Meantime, Friday students had no classes. Administrators held meetings going over security plans.
Police think the shots came from the area of train tracks nearby. Were they stray bullets? Was it targeted gunfire? No one knows. Second District detectives have been assigned the case to investigate.
The school plans a meeting with parents Monday to answer questions and ease concerns.