WASHINGTON - Monday's shooting at a Baltimore County high school has prompted a public response from a high-profile football player.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice first reacted to the Perry Hall High School incident - in which 15-year-old Robert Gladden Jr. allegedly opened fire in a cafeteria and injured another student - on the day it happened.
"This is going to be a long post - I don't really know where to start. I am trying to sift through hundreds of emails and messages about what happened at Perry Hall High School today. I am speechless and pretty much moved to tears," Rice posted on his Facebook page.
In his first post, Rice went on to question how an incident like the shooting could have happened, and wondered if the situation could have been different if "this kid" had a friend to talk to. As of Thursday morning, the post had almost 23,000 likes and nearly 3,000 shares.
In a post on Tuesday, Rice followed up by encouraging others to take action.
"Students...today when you go to school...Sit with someone who is alone at the lunch table, befriend the new kid in class, lend a helping hand, make it a point to be kind, and if you see something that is not quite right, say something!!" he wrote. "You can be a HERO to someone, just by being their FRIEND!"
In a post later in the day, Rice continued to question and encouraged his fans to ask "What's wrong?" and take appropriate action before tragedy strikes.
"I can't help but wonder if someone was kind to these kids if their paths would have shifted long ago and tragedies would be averted," he said. "Just makes me think...and wonder...and hope for better things."
To read the full text of Rice's posts, visit his Facebook page.
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