Randal Davidson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


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Dalton Public SchoolsJesse Randal Davidson in 2012.

A high school teacher fired a gun and then barricaded himself inside a classroom Wednesday at Dalton High School in Georgia, police say. No students were shot.

Jesse Randal Davidson, 53, was taken into custody by police and was also not injured during the incident, The Associated Press reports. He was inside a locked classroom with no students inside when he fired the gun, police said. A motive for the incident has not been released.

He goes by the name Randal Davidson, according to the school website and his Facebook profile.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Davidson Fired a Shot Through an Exterior Window & Was Barricaded Inside the Locked Classroom for About 30 Minutes, Police Say

Randal Davidson was locked in his classroom for about 30 minutes before he was taken into custody by police, The Associated Press reports. Police responded to the school about 11:30 a.m.

According to WGCL-TV, Davidson barricaded himself in the classroom and then fired a shot through an exterior window when the principal tried to unlock the door.

Students were evacuated from the school. One student suffered an ankle injury during the chaos, Dalton Police said.

2. He Is a Former Radio Journalist Who Became a Teacher After 9/11 Because He Wanted to Do Something He Found to Be More Fulfilling & Meaningful

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Jesse Randal Davidson in the classroom in 2012.

Randal Davidson, who is originally from the Atlanta area, has been a teacher at Dalton High School since 2004, according to the school district’s website.

Davidson has lived in Dalton since 1995 and was originally a journalist at WBLJ AM Radio, covering sports and news, and doing play-by-play for high school football games. He alter worked at WYYU FM radio. Davidson was working during the terror attacks on 9/11 and provided radio updates. After that experience, he decided to change careers.

He was named the DHS STAR Teacher in 2012. He talked in an article on the school’s website about how he got into teaching.

“I love history and I love reading—I’ve always been an information junkie. After 9/11, he decided he wanted to pursue something that would provide more fulfillment and meaning. “I’d taken college classes on and off for several years and had almost 2½ years of credits,” Davidson said in 20132. “I decided to pursue a degree in history and become a teacher. I left radio full-time and enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I continued to do the broadcast work for Dalton High School part-time and also took other part-time jobs to help support my family. I was married and had a child and it wasn’t easy. But it was worth it.”

On social media, many current and former students have said that Dalton is a popular teacher who was well-liked by almost everyone. They have expressed dismay about the incident.

Dalton is married and has children.

3. Davidson Is Also the Play-by-Play Voice of the Football Team & Wrote a Book About the School’s Football History in 2012

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Randal Davidson.

Davidson is also the play-by-play voice of the school’s football team, according to the Dalton Public School district’s website.

In 2012, Davidson wrote a book about the Dalton High School football team’s history called Catamounts! The Glorious History of Dalton Football.

“Dalton has so much tradition that I didn’t know,” said Davidson said in 2012. “I just kept going back and going back until I found the football program began in 1924. … Football brought people together. It’s a fabric of the community.”

4. He Is Being Questioned by Police & It Is Not Yet Clear What Charges He Could Face

randal davidson

Randal Davidson.

Randal Davidson is being questioned by police at the local Police Service Center, WGCL-TV reports.

It is not yet known what charges he is or could be facing.

Police have scheduled a 3:30 p.m. press conference to provide more details.

5. A Threatening Note Was Found at the School Last Week, but Police Say They Do Not Believe It Is Connected to This Incident

A threatening note was found last week at Dalton High School in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 students and staff members dead, The Associated Press reports. Threats at schools have been on the rise around the country in the aftermath of the Florida shooting. Details of that note were not released.

But Dalton Police said the note is not believed to be connected to Wednesday’s incident involving Davidson.