A Chicago school district employee was shot to death Thursday afternoon outside McNair Elementary School WLS-TV

A Chicago school district employee was shot to death Thursday afternoon outside McNair Elementary School.

Chicago school employee shot to death outside elementary

A Chicago Public Schools employee was shot to death outside an elementary school on the city's West Side.

WLS-TV reports that Denzel Thornton, 25, a food compliance officer for the district, was shot in the head around 12:30 p.m. Thursday outside McNair Elementary School in the city's Austin neighborhood. Thornton worked at McNair and several other schools and had just finished his regular rounds at McNair when he was shot.

No students at McNair were hurt in the shooting, and the school was placed on lockdown until dismissal time.

Thornton was a 2009 graduate of Corliss High School on the city's South Side and had worked for the school system for about 10 months.

Police were searching for the gunman and hope that video surveillance from the school will help identify a suspect. Investigators say Thornton did not have a criminal history or any known gang affiliation.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool issued a written statement on the shooting:

"On behalf of all of Chicago Public Schools, we were devastated to learn today about the tragic death of one of our employees. Denzel Thornton was a member of our Nutrition Services team, and like many CPS employees, he worked hard every day to serve our children. Even in challenging circumstances, CPS employees are extraordinarily dedicated to the students we serve, and I have the deepest respect for their commitment and hard work. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Denzel Thornton, and we will all keep them in our thoughts and prayers."

Video from WLS-TV:

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