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Nov. 16, 2008

Blair junior wounded by accidental shot

by Sophie Schwadron, Online Editor-in-Chief
Around 8 p.m. Saturday, junior Dimitrios Philliou was shot by an acquaintance in the basement of a Silver Spring residence. He was transported with life-threatening injuries to a local trauma center, where he remains in critical condition awaiting a second surgery, according to Lieutenant Robert McCullagh of the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD).

Philliou, 16, was with three other 16-year-old Blazers and one 17-year-old. The 17-year-old was holding the gun and it discharged, striking Philliou in his chest. McCullagh called the shooting an "accident," but said criminal charges may still ensue.

The shooting marked the second incident of gun violence involving Blair students in two weeks, after the shooting death of 14-year-old Tai Lam on Nov. 1. "It's an unusual frequency of events," McCullagh said. "There's no reason 16- or 17-year-olds should be handling handguns...It's unfortunate that nobody seems to be learning from it."

Nov. 17 update: Following two surgeries, Philliou is doing well and expected to recover, according to members of the Blair administration in close contact with the Philliou family.



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  • Alfonso McCalister (View Email) on November 16, 2008 at 2:17 PM
    The tradgedies that stalk this school
    Ban handguns, no more violence!
  • laura Moya on November 16, 2008 at 2:51 PM
    whatt?????????? unbelievable ! !
  • R (View Email) on November 16, 2008 at 3:16 PM
    Blair people, please be careful!!!
  • blazer on November 16, 2008 at 4:00 PM
    rough month for blair, dang
  • .... on November 16, 2008 at 4:25 PM
    If I understand this correctly, here are the series of events:

    Fight with broom during 5A lunch (3 weeks ago)
    First Shooting (2 weeks ago)
    Stabbing (1 week ago)
    Second Shooting (Today)

    I don't know if there have been any other incidents, but this is unbelievable.
  • H (View Email) on November 16, 2008 at 4:37 PM
    banning handgun wouldnt do anything since if handgun is banned, then innocent bystander that got caught in a gang's cross fire wouldnt be able to do anything, and that have a handgun illegally would oppress people without it, and crime rates would go sky rocketing. just like what happened in chicago in the 19xx when they banned handgun, the mobster become the ruler of the cities instead of the cities officials. i'd say that anyone that passes a certain requirement should be given a handgun and handgun should be legal; while anyone that got a hold of any illegal stuff should be euthanize.
  • Senior on November 16, 2008 at 4:45 PM
    Most of these recent events are one time unavoidable coincidences. They does not make Blair a bad school in anyway or even a school where we need to watch our backs at all times.

    td;lr Blair is still an awesome place. I wouldn't go anywhere else.
  • asdff on November 16, 2008 at 5:31 PM
    ahahaha

    Seriously, nothing we can do but laugh at our misfortunes.
  • FormerBlazer on November 16, 2008 at 5:53 PM
    Blair! Get your act together and stop acting so irresponsibly! Blair never used to be like this..I don't know what happened...
  • Ben on November 16, 2008 at 7:00 PM
    This is really getting ridiculous. Why are so many people getting hurt in such a short time period?

    I hope Dimitrious is ok...
  • Another Senior on November 16, 2008 at 7:03 PM
    Seriously, though. This is getting retarded.
  • senior on November 16, 2008 at 7:08 PM
    asdff- how can you laugh? people are getting into near death situations. While it may be a coincidence that multiple events occurred so close to each other, that doesnt make this funny.
  • >.< on November 16, 2008 at 7:23 PM
    Oh man, who wants to bet that Mr. Williams is going to make another speech on Monday?
  • blazer (View Email) on November 16, 2008 at 7:30 PM
    this is getting ridiculous, as ben said. when will it stop? there was a meeting this past Monday about violence, and how the blair community can come together. since then, a stabbing and then another shooting? (even if it was accidental). they shouldnt have been playing around w/ a gun, period. lets get it together blair and stay strong
  • Parent (View Email) on November 16, 2008 at 7:55 PM
    One time unavoidable coincidences? Not at all. These types of incidents are going to become more common as the community become infiltrated with families who do not trust the police and feel that it is necessary to arm themselves and infiltrated with gangters who know that they won't be touched by the police unless they commit a serious crime.
  • Senior on November 16, 2008 at 9:09 PM
    I think that a lot of these comments are insensitive...
    Instead of calling this "ridiculous" or "laughing at our misfortunes" maybe we should be praying that Dimitrios will be ok... If we are worried about the infiltration of violence into our school (even though the short time span of all these events strikes me as more of a coincidence that an indication of a serious problem) we should be working together as a community to see how we can prevent future incidents like this from occuring. really this is nothing more than an unfortunate tragedy that struck at a really bad time
  • Dantes on November 16, 2008 at 9:18 PM
    Again! My, how incidents compound and enliven one another! What force have they, echoing off their peers!
  • asdff on November 16, 2008 at 10:10 PM
    "The secret source of humour itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humour in heaven."

    Mark Twain.

    To quote an article about The Onion in this weekend's Washington Post Magazine:

    "Twain's quote about how there is no laughter in heaven, and that sorrow is the secret source of humor and not joy, and I think he's right. Humor and laughter are enormously complicated...Often, humans giggle when they hear something too terrible to make sense of. Humor's often a startled reaction to surprise and danger. Laughter's a strange thing. There's a lot of darkness behind it"
  • 1920's baseball fan on November 16, 2008 at 10:37 PM
    It is wonderful that you're so well read asdff, but I don't think Twain or that guy from the onion would laugh in this situation.
  • Anonymous on November 16, 2008 at 11:08 PM
    Don't feed the trolls.

    As to the actual article, I agree with (the first) Senior: These are awful things, but coincidences that they all happened at once, not a trend.
  • Eli Barnett on November 17, 2008 at 12:39 AM
    Wow.

    It seems that our school is prone to violence this month.
  • wow on November 17, 2008 at 11:29 AM
    straight off one of those gun commercials...
  • David West (Blair teacher) (View Email) on November 17, 2008 at 12:06 PM
    I write this as a long time Blair teacher.
    I remain comfortable working at Blair and raising my family in this community. However, I remain vigilant about encouraging everyone to do his or her part to promote safety in our school and in our neighborhoods.

    Most importantly, let us hope and pray that Dimitrios Philliou will make a full recovery.

    In class today, one of my students said that "Blair is going down".

    People who pay attention to the media have learned about violence connected with Blair and its community. The cumulative effect, whether justified or not, is to tarnish the reputation of our community.

    People who live far away will move to the DC area for work, perhaps in the new Obama administration. Some of them would love to live in a diverse area with good schools close to DC and public transportation. Takoma Park and Silver Spring, historically, have attracted mobile, educated families. These residents enrich our community. When they shop for housing, it allows housing values in our neighborhoods to remain strong.

    Unfortunately, many of us know people who have fled our community because of the presence of crime or simply fear of crime. If crime or fear of crime in our community persist, then more of the mobile families may choose to leave, or never settle here at all.

    We parents, neighbors, teachers, school staff, and students have a responsibility to take positive actions to promote safety.

    We also have a responsibility to share FACTS about the good work we do here at Blair and in our neighborhoods.
  • former blair student on November 17, 2008 at 12:34 PM
    Mr. West has always known best!
  • Francesco Totti (View Email) on November 17, 2008 at 3:02 PM
    Che cosa sta continuando a questa scuola meravigliosa. niente come questo accade mai in Italia. Tiri insieme, sia responsabile e levarsi in piedi in su contro la violenza!
  • jessica on November 17, 2008 at 9:03 PM
    i dont get it. tai was shot and killed just weeks ago and now a bunch of dumb kids wanna sit around and play with guns "accidently" shooting each other? i would think that they shoulda known better then to even mess with a gun seeing that an innocent life was taken away for no good reason
  • asdff on November 17, 2008 at 10:23 PM
    I never said I was laughing at this situation specifically.

    We have had 3 unlikely unfortunate events in as many weeks and to me it seems comedic that we've been the subject of so much misfortune.
  • Daniel Bardelli (View Email) on November 18, 2008 at 9:20 AM
    This is a great school. A large building, great academics, and wondeful teachers. Where have the students gone wrong? The problem starts when a small number of students act inappropriately and another small group follow and so on and so forth. However, this shooting had nothing to with the in-school behavior. I feel the students need to show and increased level of maturity and responsibilty which needs to start in the hands of parents, teachers, and administrators. Hopefully the young man will recover and criminal charges will apprehend those who harmed him. god bless
  • senior on November 18, 2008 at 10:54 AM
    how do you "accidently" shoot someone? did the guy not notice he was pulling the trigger or did his finger "slip"?
  • Concerned Citizen on November 18, 2008 at 1:16 PM
    Eighteen months ago, I moved my family out of Adams Morgan and bought a home in 20901 for an exorbitant price that suggested good schools and safe neighborhoods. After a little over a year in the area, I could not regret my decision more. MS-13 gang tags are everywhere. Gang activity is pervasive - even in the weekend pedestrian mall on Ellsworth. I have seen more fights and gang colors in the last year and a half than I ever saw in the decade I lived in the city.

    Unfortunately, the problems at Blair are not isolated. They are developing in the elementary and middle schools, only to explode like a gunshot at the high school age. Don't get me wrong, Blair is a great school facility. The students are the plague that is bringing this neighborhood down.

    Might I suggest, in place of an ineffective and overtasked police force, that the upstanding residents of Silver Spring take matters into their own hands?
  • layzie (View Email) on November 18, 2008 at 1:36 PM
    how should i put this dimitrios is ma friend ever since middle school i am one of the few who knows the real story and in my opinion they tried stopping the 17 year old with playing with the gun seriously we all make mistakes and im guessing this mistake was taken too far. nothing with the students are wrong we are still going on with out own lives ever since the death of tai in memory he will always be there but we continue we don't have that much anger towards what has happened .....well lets say things happen in life what has been going on and thank god he is alive is something between those blair students .....you don't see students jumping one another and you don't see fights after what has been happening so nothing is wrong with all blair students don't blame us for everything things just happened........
  • layzie (View Email) on November 18, 2008 at 1:37 PM
    how should i put this dimitrios is ma friend ever since middle school i am one of the few who knows the real story and in my opinion they tried stopping the 17 year old with playing with the gun seriously we all make mistakes and im guessing this mistake was taken too far. nothing with the students are wrong we are still going on with out own lives ever since the death of tai in memory he will always be there but we continue we don't have that much anger towards what has happened .....well lets say things happen in life what has been going on and thank god he is alive is something between those blair students .....you don't see students jumping one another and you don't see fights after what has been happening so nothing is wrong with all blair students don't blame us for everything things just happened........
  • Cloromiro Yepes Martinario (View Email) on November 18, 2008 at 1:43 PM
    guns are the devil's tool. they slip without intention. fight the devil!!!
  • to senior on November 18, 2008 at 1:45 PM
    they thought the safety was on when it wasn't.
  • Spongebob Squarepants (View Email) on November 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM
    If there is one thing I have learned from living in a Pineapple is don't play with guns. don't ban guns, just be more responsible with stricter laws and regulations. this cannot be going on in such an environment.
  • Spongebob Squarepants (View Email) on November 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM
    If there is one thing I have learned from living in a Pineapple is don't play with guns. don't ban guns, just be more responsible with stricter laws and regulations. this cannot be going on in such an environment.
  • dasds (View Email) on November 18, 2008 at 2:07 PM
    This is stupid how r u gonna point a gun at a person to test it. common sense
  • Parent on November 18, 2008 at 2:39 PM
    To concerned citizen: I am a SS resident and I'm all for taking matters into our own hands. Just how to you propose we do that???
  • Re: Concerned Citizen on November 18, 2008 at 4:51 PM
    "Blair is a great school facility. The students are the plague that is bringing this neighborhood down."

    Blair is a great school...made up of students that are the equivalent of a plague?

    This and the recent stabbing are the two sole acts of recent violence at our school that were caused by Blair students. So that's maybe four or five kids involved. They shouldn't represent enough of the whole school to label all the students as a plague. Be more careful with your words, I don't like being compared to a disease.
  • re:concerned citizen on November 18, 2008 at 9:04 PM
    Blair is a wonderful school filled with wonderful teachers and intelligent and caring students. We are just as shocked as you are at the recent string of violence involving our school. As far as I know, none of the students involved in these three incidents were a member of any gang. One incident was an unavoidable attack, and another appears to have been an accident. Blair is a good school, and it's students are good people.

    I have never felt unsafe going to school or hanging out with classmates, and I do not feel unsafe now. I would not go anywhere else.
  • unavoidable? on November 18, 2008 at 9:47 PM
    unavoidable attack? pretty much everything that can be done can be avoided.
  • shit on November 18, 2008 at 9:56 PM
    damn, this is what happens when 08 stops running [redacted]?
  • me again on November 19, 2008 at 4:25 AM
    unavoidable?:: you're right. What I meant was Tai could not have avoided the attack himself. He didn't provoke it and couldn't really done anything to get out of the way. He wasn't acting violently or being part of the "plague that is bringing this neighborhood down". In that case the student was the victim, not the problem.
  • Senior student (View Email) on November 19, 2008 at 10:31 AM
    In the past few weeks, Blair has seen several tragic incidents. While I feel for the victims, and the friends and family of the victims, I am not suprised by what has happened. Many students at Blair are dangerous, uncivilized brutes. They treat our school, fellow students, and teachers with zero respect, and have no manners or senses of decency. I personally believe that the fault lies with parents and the lack of control of their children, and the overall lack of manners and civility. If parents would teach their children to respect elders, to have good manners,and to be proper, there would be far fewer incidents of violence, and an all around better community. Our school, and community, is denegrating. I appalled daily as I walk through the halls. Disgusting language, clothing, grafitti, and clothing litter our school. No student should have to deal with this. Aditionally, the few students at Blair who take their time in high school seriously have their resources robbed by students who continue to cause problems and ruin our school. There has been quite an uproar over Mr. Williams recent announcement stating sleeping in class, rudeness,poor grades, and all around horrible students would no longer be tolerated at Blair. To that I say AMEN, because I am sick and tired of having to see such ingrates polluting my school.
  • Front screen? on November 19, 2008 at 3:01 PM
    As evidenced by all the comments, much of the Blair community cares about this story. Why isn't it on the fromt screen of Silver Chips Online? Is a fight between Leon and his girlfriend really more important than the accidental shooting of a Blair student?
  • Student (View Email) on November 19, 2008 at 3:01 PM
    Why isn't this on that main page anymore? i had to do some searching. The shooting is liek the BIGGEST story at blair right now. I think you guys should make this more accessible.

    This was either a mistake or a really untacful decision

    -Concerned/ Surprised student
  • MH on November 19, 2008 at 3:43 PM
    Can we really say that "Blair is going down" ? We can't blame the school for what goes on outside of it. I am a Blair student, yet i don't think that the school itself is at fault. Whether Dimitrios and his friends had been going to Blair, or a neighboring school, this could have still happened. Same with Tai. Even if he wasn't a Blair student, he could have been shot. And he was. The only isolated BLAIR incident was the stabbing a week ago.
    But can we really blame the school for that? People need to stop blaming the school for events that are taking place, and instead look at what's really going on. Pray for Dimitrios. RIP Tai. Stop the violence.
  • Senior student (View Email) on November 19, 2008 at 6:09 PM
    For once in my life, I agree with Mr. Grossman.

    I'm not sure if MH's response was directed at me, but I do not think what has happened is directly the fault of the school, and totally recognize that this could happen at any school. ALL OF OUR SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES are plagued.
  • Re: Senior student on November 19, 2008 at 8:22 PM
    Get off your high horse.

    I'm sure you are not as perfect as you claim.

    Lemme take a wild guess about your elitism:
    A) You probably live in UpCounty (Bethesda, Potomac, Poollesville, etc.)
    B) You have some odd sense of entitlement
    C) You have grown up in a two parent home
    D) You family is financially stable
    E) You have lived in one house all your life (and you have never payed rent, only mortgage)
    F) "Creative" classes aren't your favorite subjects (i.e. art, video, writing)

    I agree with your overall point, but don't be so quick to point the finger. Many time students act out because of problems they have outside of the obvious. They have an incomplete understanding of their needs, wants or abilities and instead seek to gain attention. Not surprisingly, attention is what they need. Blair needs to use its vast resources to sit down and work with these students instead of giving up on them. In fact it would incredibly beneficial for AP students to work with these students to help put them on the track that you, and others, are on. It would be mutually beneficial and both parties really need the help.
  • Slim Thug on November 20, 2008 at 10:02 AM
    Yo these kids are outa control. we need to be more strict on these new violent acts. who are we to judge young kids. it is the parents who are not being responsible in promoting safety and telling their seeds right from wrong. word.
  • Milton Flores on November 20, 2008 at 1:02 PM
    I have been in this school for 3 years now and violence was never an issue. now it's out of control! i wanna be a police officer when i grow up to stop violence. help the school and our community!
  • Johnny Test on November 20, 2008 at 1:20 PM
    Hi, I'm Johnny from Frederick County and i was a cousin who currently attends Montgomery Blair. Supposedly, Blair is an amazing school, great teachers and above all their academics. But what really reflects a school is the safety. I mean what is the point of being a great school if there is no safety? I saw on News 7 that this shooting was not related to the young man who was killed on a bus or to the stabbing but this is absurd. Students are becoming so much less responsible and mature. There needs to be more regulations implementing safety in and outside the school. I wish Ditmitrios a fast and steady recovery, but he and the rest of the school need to take this as an example of the danger of being irresponsible and as a lesson to show the fine, thin line between immaturity and grave danger.
  • Blair Student (View Email) on November 20, 2008 at 2:03 PM
    I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I have certainly never been violent, and pride my self on my manners and respect of elders.

    a) I live in Silver Spring, and have my whole life. I have gone to public schools, and have never been in any special programs, such as CAP.
    b) I do feel entitled-- to a good education, as a citizen and taxpayer.
    c)Luckily, I do have two parents.
    d) My family is comfortable yes, but my parents work for charitable organizations, so it's not like I am wealthy.
    e)I do have a modest house.
    f) I excell in creative classes, particularly social studies and writing.

    I don'ts see why my answers to these questions are espicially relvent to my viewpoint on a a comment thread.
    I agree that Blair needs to use their resources to help these kids, not to facilitate them by accepting their behavior and letting them dominate the school. I did not blame the students directly, and understand very well the psychological reasoning behind the actions of many students, and feel deeply for them. I believe that in addition to these underlying causes, the lack of manners and lack of basic rules for functioning in soceity contribute significantly. I would be thrilled if our school spent the time to actually help students instead of ingnoring these deeply rooted problems and wasting everyone's time.
  • mh on November 20, 2008 at 4:52 PM
    To Senior Student:
    No, my response wasn't directed towards you.
    It was just a general response, to the things I've been hearing since day one.


    I understand all the viewpoints people are talking about, and as you said, I'm actually going to agree with Grossman on this one. But I still think that too many other people are trying to put the blame on the school itself. I also agree that the school should do more to help kids, and the parents should also be more involved.

    But again, I'm going to say that I'm tired of hearing people say that Blair is going down the drain, just because of several incidents. Especially because only one actually occured on campus.

    And to Front Screen:
    I'm not defending Silver Chips' choice to put Leon's story on front page, but if you read carefully, the story itself is not actually about Leon. It's about an underlying issue. I actually agreed with you until I clicked the link to the story and read it. Now I understand why it's front screen.
  • asguie on November 20, 2008 at 6:29 PM
    What's funny is that people are moaning about how society is going down the drain. The truth is that society has always been the same, you just don't notice the bad things until they affect you.
  • alumnae3 (View Email) on November 20, 2008 at 7:59 PM
    There has only been 1 violence act @ MBHS. The other 2 ( Tai's muder & Dim being shot over the weekend ) just happened 2 be MBHS students.

    For those of you saying that 'blair is going down' or 'silver spring is dangerous' pls shutup. Blair is a great hs & SS a great place 2 live.
  • a TRUE upcounty resident on November 20, 2008 at 9:54 PM
    to Re: Senior student::

    Since when are Bethesda and Potomac upcounty? We don't want them either. Look at map of Montgomery county. They are definitely south of the mid-line.
  • Senior09 (View Email) on November 21, 2008 at 9:57 AM
    It so sad how everything bad happening has to deal with guns and blair students.
  • Dari (View Email) on November 21, 2008 at 3:14 PM
    The media looks at Blair as a dangerous school in MCPS. The truth is that its a very nice and safe school. They look at the three incidents that have happened, as if as it was somehow linked to Blair. The truth is that two of the incidents weren't related to school and the other one just got out of control when it could've been handled differently. I think that for those of you who have been watching the news; need to view it differently because the reason as to why Blair's reputation is becoming messed up is because people don't analyze the real reason as to why things happen.
  • Blair2008 on November 21, 2008 at 7:00 PM
    I put the blame on the students themselves because all of these events were the faults of the students (I am not so sure about Tai's murder though). All of these incidents happened because of students being irresponsible. First of all, supposedly, the group of people Tai was with provoked the other group of men and Tai was shot. What remains clear is that Tai himself had nothing to do with the argument but I have heard that the people he was with started the argument. I am not sure about this but if it is true, it shows that it is the students fault because they should have found a better way to handle the problem instead of starting a fight or continuing it. The second incident was also the students fault. This is nice and clear; that girl clearly has anger management issues and needs to be dealt with. The third incident also proves to be the fault of the students. They should have never been holding that gun. Basically, all these incidents except maybe not the first could have been avoided if the students made better choices. Blair is not at fault because they have no control over what their students do outside of school. Only the second incident may be a little bit of their fault because there should be no girls with kitchen knives allowed in the school.
  • Re: Blair2008 on November 22, 2008 at 6:03 PM
    How could you even say that tai's murder is "maybe" the students fault? That was an MS13 member who had NO REASON to shoot anyone. in the articles, it said that one of tai's friends translated what the shooter was saying in spanish and he said he was LOOKING for a fight. obviously, the men started something over probably a minor problem. it is unforgivable when a 14 year old innocent boy gets shot down. so dont say its the students fault, please. ms13 is a ruthless gang that kills people to keep their horrible reputation.
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