Officials identify Lithia Springs teacher who shot himself on school grounds

The teacher was identified.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. -- Officials have identified the educator who shot himself on the grounds of a metro Atlanta high school last week.

On Thursday, Aug. 17, sheriff's investigators said Jonathan Freeman, a math teacher at Lithia Springs High School, went to his classroom around 7:15 a.m. where he pulled out and loaded a handgun and shot himself. 

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said no one else was in the classroom at the time Freeman pulled the trigger, and no students heard the gun shot. After the shooting, investigators said Freeman stumbled out of his classroom where another employee found him and called 911. First responders were on scene within minutes and school officials immediately directed students to the gym for pickup.

PHOTOS | Teacher shoots self at Lithia Spring high

Investigators have been looking into the incident since and released more information Monday afternoon.

"It is not believed that there was any intention to hurt anyone else other than himself," said Douglas County Sheriff Sgt. Jesse Hambrick.

Hambrick said Freeman brought the gun that he purchased in July to school and purposely fired the gun at himself, though investigators have not expressly said why. However, Hambrick confirmed that the incident wasn't related in any way to Freeman's job or co-workers at Lithia Springs High School, where Freeman has taught for the past 18 years.

"We are sad to say that this was simply a personal matter that he brought to his place of employment," Hambrick said. 

The Sheriff's Office said it couldn't comment on Freeman's state of mind during the incident and his current condition. School district officials said he his married and has a daughter.

While sheriff's officials said the investigation is concluded, the case remains open due to the fact that there was a gun on school grounds. They have not indicated whether charges will be filed.

"The ethical thing to do is to let him focus on the healing process he is going through," Hambrick said.

Douglas County School District officials said the last report they had on Freeman's condition was that he was stable at a metro area hospital.

Classes at Lithia Springs High School resumed Friday as planned with counselors on hand to offer support to students and staff.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment