Staff member in critical condition after assault at Harrison Education Center in Minneapolis

A staff member at Harrison Education Center in Minneapolis is in critical condition after an assault at the school Tuesday morning. 

At 9:45 a.m., officers responded to a report of a physical altercation at the center, which is an alternative school for students with severe emotional and behavioral needs, according to Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson John Elder. 

Emergency crews took the male staff member to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition, an HCMC spokesperson confirmed. He has been identified as Mohammed Dukuly, who has worked there for 10 years. Family members say Dukuly never complained about work and the incident was random.

An 18-year-old man is in custody on suspicion of felony assault. The case is still under investigation.

"The student, along with my nephew, were transitioning from one class to another when this student violently attacked him and knocked his head against the wall and he went into a coma. He could not talk, he could not breathe," Imam Mohammed Dukuly said.

This is not the first incident where a teacher has been assaulted by a student at Harrison. In 2015, the then principal at Harrison suffered a head injury when she was attacked by a 17-year-old student at the school. She experienced headaches and other side effects from her concussion for weeks afterwards.

"We are afraid for him. But not just for him, for all the people working there. They don't have to be relatives to us; they are human beings," Imam Mohammed Dukuly said.

Statement from Minneapolis Public Schools:

"We are aware of an incident this morning at Harrison Education Center in which a staff member was injured and in need of emergency medical attention. Due to the nature of the incident the Minneapolis Police Department is involved. Our priority is to provide safe learning environments for all of our students and staff. Anytime an injury occurs we conduct a full investigation and we will do so in this case. We are unable to share specific details at this time due to data privacy laws, however, we extend our thoughts to the staff member and their family."