Berkeley school teacher in critical condition after shooting incident Saturday

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A teacher at a Berkeley elementary school remains in critical condition after a shooting in Richmond on Saturday.

At 6:10 p.m. on Saturday, Claire Dugan — a fourth grade teacher at Cragmont Elementary School — was struck by what Richmond Police Department said was likely a stray bullet at the intersection of 23rd Street and Cutting Boulevard, causing her to collide with another car. The other passenger in the car with Dugan was not shot.

Police believe that Dugan was not the intended target of the shooting and was most likely caught between the crossfire of two individuals.

“The school community has really responded and is taking great interest,” said Berkeley Unified School District spokesperson Mark Coplan. “It could have been any one of us. It could have been you. It’s just totally random.”

Coplan said the school is working with the city of Berkeley’s Mental Health Division to provide counselors for teachers and staff. The principal of Cragmont Elementary has talked to students in Dugan’s class about the incident but chose not to mention the specifics, according to Coplan.

“We’re talking about fourth graders here,” Coplan said. “We’re not talking about a teacher getting shot. We’re just saying the teacher suffered a tragedy and is in the hospital.”

RPD Lt. Andre Hill said there have been several recent gun violence incidents in the area, including a shooting that occurred earlier that day on the freeway less than a mile away, which left a man in critical condition. There was also a homicide Dec. 24 that occurred three blocks from where Dugan was shot. Additionally, there have been many instances of retaliatory gun violence in the area for the past six months, Hill said.

According to an RPD press release, the only suspect in the shooting is an unidentified black male whom a witness claimed to see running from the scene.

“People run for a variety of reasons,” Hill said. “We haven’t been able to corroborate his race or what he was wearing or if he was running because he was just afraid because he also heard gunplay or if he was actually the shooter.”

Dugan’s friends and coworkers have put together a GoFundMe page to help pay medical bills and living expenses for Dugan and her partner, who was the other passenger in the car and was injured in the collision, according to the page. It has so far raised more than $30,000.

Contact Haruka Senju at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @haruka_senju