Maryland boy, 17, is held without bond for shooting 15-year-old in school's boys bathroom after feud: Jailed teen allegedly used 'ghost gun' and will be tried as an adult

  • Steven Alston Jr., 17, is being held without bond on Saturday on charges for attempted murder in the second-degree 
  • He is also being charged with first-degree assault and three weapons charges 
  • Alston allegedly shot a fellow student at a Magruder High School in Rockville, Maryland on Friday afternoon 
  • He was taken into custody on Friday, only two hours after officers arrived at the high school and he will be tried as an adult 
  • The victim is an unidentified male, 15, in tenth grade, who was found in the bathroom with a gunshot wound to the head 
  • He reportedly underwent surgery at a hospital and is in critical condition as of Saturday 
  • Authorities do not believe Alston was a threat to other students and said the shooting took place after a dispute between the two 
  •  The high school was put into lockdown from several hours on Friday 



A 17-year-old boy is being held without bond on Saturday for charges including attempted second-degree murder for allegedly shooting a fellow student with a 'ghost gun' in the boys bathroom of a Maryland high school, authorities said.

Eleventh-grader Steven Alston Jr., 17, was taken into custody about two hours after officers were called to Magruder High School in Rockville - 40 miles outside of Baltimore - on Friday afternoon and is facing charges as an adult, Montgomery County police said. 

Alston is also facing a charge of first-degree assault and three weapons-related counts. Alston will be tried as an adult, a press release stated.

Police said school security found a 15-year-old male student in a bathroom with a gunshot wound after Friday's shooting. The wounded student, a tenth-grader who hasn't been identified, underwent surgery at a hospital and was in critical condition on Saturday, the news release said.

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Eleventh grader Steven Alston Jr., 17, was taken into custody on Friday by a SWAT team after allegedly shooting a tenth grader in the head 

The Magruder High Schooler was found in the bathroom by a school security officer around 1pm on Friday and was taken to the hospital 

The shooting reportedly happened at 12.53pm and the school went into full lockdown by 1.05pm.  

Police said officers found Alston in a classroom around 3pm on Friday and a gun was recovered near Alston's location. The exact location was not released and the police said they 'slowed down' arresting Alston since they didn't believe he was a threat to others.

Authorities also believe the teen was armed with a ghost gun - a weapon assembled from parts, making it untraceable. Montgomery County and Maryland officials recently met to discuss creating new laws to safeguard against these weapons, where parts can be ordered online or 3D printed.

Several ghost guns have been found in Montgomery County.  

A student, who asked to remain anonymous, told NBC Washington, that a SWAT came into the classroom to grab Alston around 3pm. 

'They went to the back of the classroom where the kid was. They kind of pushed him to the ground. They didn't use too much force, but obviously a little bit, so they cuffed him and they brought him outside,' he said. 

Saturday's press release said there's no evidence suggesting the suspect was targeting anyone else within the school of about 1,700 students. The victim and Alston allegedly had a dispute before the shooting.

The shooting led to an hours-long lockdown before authorities deemed the school safe between 5pm and 6pm and dismissed students on Friday.

Parents are now slamming the school for the lack of information as many waited near the school until lockdown was over. Some parents found out about the shooting on the news and social media. 

'I just know I just heard it in the news, that there are helicopters there, and just, drove all the way from Frederick,' an unidentified mother told NBC Washington. 'This is just something we don't need to deal with. School's supposed to be a safe place for children.'

However, Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones told NBC Washington that authorities and the school deliberately choose not release much information in case the student had access to a cell phone. 

Authorities believe Alston was armed with a ghost gun - a weapon that can be assembled through parts bought on the internet. They extracted him from a classroom around 3pm and he is being held without bond and is expected to appear in court on Monday. Alston will be tried as an adult 

The victim was taken to the hospital where he underwent surgery and is said to be in critical condition 

The school was on lockdown until around 6pm 

'The suspect may have had a cellphone and if we are tweeting out information that might be beneficial to that suspect that could be dangerous in its own right,' he said. 

'We came up with a way to strategize to actually get the student and those individuals who were in the class out of that room safely.'

Counseling will be offered to students throughout next week for anyone that needs it, including parents.  

Alston is expected to appear in court on Monday, according to the Washington Post. has contacted the Maryland's Attorney's Office, which is in charge of the case.. 

Last year, the US passed its highest number of school shootings at the K-12 level with 42 shootings, up from 30 in 1999. Despite classrooms being shut for the majority of the first two months of 2021, 34,000 students were exposed to gun violence, the Washington Post reported. 

Almost 300,000 students have been exposed to gun violence during regular school hours since 1999. 

Growing concerns - especially in Montgomery County - over ghost guns is on the rise, as children have access to parts on the internet and use them to build their own weapons. 

Montgomery State’s Attorney John McCarthy, a democrat, said in a recent meeting that the only way is to 'effectively ban ghost guns.'

'Kids can buy them. Kids can build them. Kids can distribute them. And kids can use them,' McCarthy deadpanned. 

Police have seized an increased number of ghost guns from 'young people' in 2021 and not just in schools. 

In addition, the number of police officers in school have decreased in recent years.  


Teen held without bond after shooting student in Maryland school bathroom

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