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School increases security after Friday night shooting

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Shooting outside Cesar Chavez High School Friday night. (Source: CBS 5 News) Shooting outside Cesar Chavez High School Friday night. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Anyone attending the girl's basketball game at Cesar Chavez High School on Monday night was greeted with new safety procedures.

A shooting outside the gymnasium on Friday night triggered the response from school officials. CCHS Principal Scott Gayman said the new safety precautions include extra Phoenix police officers and security guards using metal detectors to check for firearms.

Students as well as CBS 5 News crews were greeted by two separate checkpoints before entering the gymnasium. One of the checkpoints was at the perimeter of the school. The second was at the door to the gym.

"I was pleased with (the security) I saw," said Mary Wynn, who was watching her granddaughter play in a basketball game Monday evening.

"I would call it a necessary inconvenience," stated Fred Wynn, who was also watching the game.

No one was injured during Friday night's shooting, but the incident did disrupt the basketball game between Cesar Chavez and rival school Betty Fairfax. Some students said they heard something like that incident was going to occur, but a district spokesman said the schools were out of the loop.

"We had no knowledge that any of this was going to go down," Gayman said.

Students told CBS 5 News the rumors were so well known that members of school faculty had to have heard. An assembly at Fairfax High School was recently canceled due to similar violent rumors, but school officials believe that was unrelated to Friday's shooting.

In a letter sent home to parents, principals from both Cesar Chavez and Fairfax wrote, "This is not a Cesar Chavez/Fairfax issue, this is a community issue. These were individuals connected with gangs in the community. Apparently, a basketball game was a larger stage for them to assert themselves."

However, Phoenix police said no one was arrested and because there were no arrests, police do not know why the venue was used. A school spokesman said the letter was written on Saturday and information may have changed since that time.

Phoenix Council member Kate Gallego will host a community meeting Wednesday night to address Friday night's shooting with police and parents. Her husband and state Rep. Ruben Gallego said it's an issue that must be addressed.

"We need to send a clear message that this kind of activity will not be tolerated," Ruben Gallego said. "That means working with police and with community members to ensure something like this does not happen again."

The safety precautions introduced at Cesar Chavez High School will remain in place indefinitely.

For more on this story and other stories around Arizona from this author, follow Shawn Kline on Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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