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High school senior killed after school fight identified, freshman charged with murder

A senior at Stephenson High School was allegedly shot and killed by a freshman.

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — The high school student shot and killed Thursday night has been identified as 18-year-old Phildarious Parrish, a senior at Stephenson High School in DeKalb County.

A 15-year-old freshman at the school has been arrested and charged with murder in his death. DeKalb County Police said he will be charged as an adult. 

Parrish, the ninth grader and several other boys were reportedly involved in a fight in the bus line at school on Wednesday. The next day, Parrish and two friends went to the freshman's home in a cul de sac in the 6300 block of Robins Nest to confront him, according to the DeKalb County Police report. 

He allegedly went to the ninth grader's home with two other students to "fight the suspect" according to the report. When they arrived, one of Parrish's friends told police that the ninth grader, his 41-year-old father and brother ran inside the red brick home and grabbed guns. 

He told police the ninth grader began to argue with him. Parrish's friend told police that he told the group that "he didn't come to the location to get shot, he stated he just wanted to fight," according to the report. The ninth grader then allegedly shot Parrish in the chest. He and his friends then fled the scene to get help. 

They drove to a home in the 500 block of Lakewater View where they called police. 

Parrish's friend was not completely truthful with police in the beginning and said that the group was shot at by a "man in all black" at a Chevron gas station. They couldn't give a description to police and told police the truth after further questioning, according to the report.

The actions of the freshman's father and brother are still under investigation and police have not released any more information about how the boy obtained a firearm. 

RELATED: High school senior shot dead by 9th grade student: School district

On Friday, parents dropping off their children at Stephenson High School were shocked to learn the news.

“I hadn’t heard anything about that. I’m shocked and surprised. I really hadn’t heard anything about that,” said William Thomas, who had just dropped off his son at school. “I just let my son out and he didn’t mention anything. The school hasn’t sent out anything.”

Michael Norris approached news trucks outside the school after dropping off his granddaughter.

“I saw the cameras here this morning and I just wanted to make sure everything is OK,” Norris said. “I didn’t see a text message or anything like that. My granddaughter called my wife about it. I didn’t see anything on the news or anything about it before I brought my grandchild to school today.”

DeKalb County Schools said the reason parents weren't notified last night was because the shooting happened off-campus. Stephenson High principal Michael Jones sent the following letter to families on Friday:

"Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is with deep sadness to inform you of a tragic incident which occurred in our community involving students from Stephenson High School. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who are impacted, including the student body and faculty.

On Thursday, one of our students passed away during an unfortunate event. There has been considerable media coverage, and local law enforcement is coordinating with the district’s Public Safety Department to conduct a thorough investigation.

The district’s crisis management team - comprised of counselors, social workers, and other district staff - is on site to assist in the flurry of emotions and concerns following such a tragic event. The staff will continue to be available to our students as long as there is a need.

Let me take this opportunity to assure you that providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority at Stephenson High School. Please continue to join us in keeping our school safe by discussing conflict resolution and monitoring your scholars’ behavior, attendance, attire, and social media outlets on a regular basis.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation."

Both the DeKalb County School District police and the DeKalb County Police Department are investigating the boy’s death.

“It’s heartbreaking to know something like that could happen and it could escalate to that point,” Thomas said. “We’re talking about the end of a life, and that’s really hard to understand. Maybe something should have happened for it to have gotten that bad.”

According to the district, a crisis team will be at the school Friday morning to provide support to both students and staff.

“It’s really sad that we lost another child and another child’s life is done, because they killed someone,” Norris said.