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Police arrest 16-year-old in teen shooting

SNELLVILLE -- A 16-year-old has been arrested in Friday night's shooting at a local elementary school.

Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead said he and school police officers are still investigating the circumstances of the confrontation, which occurred in front of Britt Elementary School, just after a scrimmage let out at nearby South Gwinnett High School.

"We don't know what the deal is between them," he said, adding that the victim, who was shot in the chest, had surgery Saturday but is expected to recover from his injuries. "Obviously there is an issue between them."

Whitehead said police are looking into whether the altercation could be gang-related.

Both of the teens had been students at South Gwinnett in the past, but the victim was currently home-schooled and the suspect was not attending school, the chief said. Neither name was released.

The suspect is charged with aggravated battery and could face other charges, including bringing a gun onto a school campus, Whitehead said. He is being held at a juvenile detention facility.

The incident occurred at about 11 p.m., just after Friday night's football scrimmage against Mill Creek High School had ended. The crowd was dispersing when the shooting occurred, just across Skyland Drive from the stadium on the elementary school campus.

Gwinnett County Public Schools spokeswoman Roach said four school resource officers had been at the game and responded immediately to the scene, along with the Snellville officers.

"They are working hand-in-hand to get this solved," Roach said of the two crime-fighting groups. "I know they have been very busy all night."

Although there were no reports of fights or disturbances at the game, Roach said she has not been told of possible reasons for the shooting.

South Gwinnett football coach John Small said he hoped the incident does not harm the school's reputation.

"It's a shame that takes place anywhere, but they don't represent South Gwinnett," he said. "We have a great school."

Staff Writer Heather Darenberg contributed to this report.