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Palisades Coach Price Is OK After Shooting

May 20, 1999|GARY KLEIN

Ron Price, football coach at Palisades High, is used to the unexpected.

Price, 62, taught and coached in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 33 years before he retired from teaching in 1992.

He was once hit in the head with a dirt clod at Belmont High in the 1960s. He heard gunfire at Crenshaw in the '80s.

On Monday, Price was grazed by a bullet at Palisades when he went out to help break up a confrontation that turned into a shooting.

"I saw [the confrontation] developing, and when I left the gym I told one of the coaches to call security," said Price, who has been coach at Palisades since 1996.

"One of the kids grabbed me and said, 'Don't go over there, Coach, it's dangerous.' I turned and started to run and heard a pop, pop, pop. All of a sudden it felt like I had a bee sting right below my left calf."

Price ducked behind a handball court. After the incident, he was taken to Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center for treatment and was released. He was back at school Tuesday.

"It feels like I got plugged with a wild pitch," Price said. "It's sore, but I'm OK. It's just frightening to think what might have happened if that shot was a little higher and to the right."

Vontray Gardner, 18, a senior at Palisades, also suffered a minor leg injury and was released from the hospital after treatment.

Police arrested four suspects shortly after the 2:30 p.m. shooting.

"If it hadn't been for what happened at Columbine, and it hadn't happened at Palisades, it probably would not have even made the news," Price said. "This is a great school. It just shows that no one is immune."


The City Section track and field championships will be held May 27 at Van Nuys Birmingham.

The top three finishers in each event qualify for the state championship meet June 4-5 at Sacramento.

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