A mom and dad were waiting in line in their car to pick up their son at Citizens Academy when a man with a gun jumped in the back seat.
He shot Elliott Miller, 30, in the back -- in broad daylight on Monday afternoon.
Miller remains in critical condition at MetroHealth Medical Center. He is a deputy bailiff at Cleveland Municipal Court, and his co-workers there are already planning a fundraiser to help him and his family.
Since the shooting, the highly-ranked East Side charter school has amped up security.
Police are still looking for the shooter, who escaped on foot. Police say they expect a photo lineup later this week.
Some parents, including Clifford Christmas, said they weren't shocked that this could happen in their neighborhood. He himself went to the same school building as a child, when it was known as John Landis Elementary School.
"I grew up here," he said, adding that a crime like this is not unexpected.
"Anything can happen," he said.
Lyman Millard, communications director of the charter school, emphasized that the shooting was a "random act that was really a shock."
The school community has stepped forward to help the Miller family, with teachers taking them dinners and trying to provide some comfort, Millard said.
Hana Muhammad, though, was one parent who has not been appeased.
"You're robbing people and we're waiting on our kids, and we're just out here," she said. "And you're jumping in someone else's car. That's crazy. That's crazy -- in the broad daylight."
Shirley Davis was waiting in a car to pick up her granddaughter. She had not heard about the shooting.
"That's surprising to me that someone would jump in your car like that, so that means I need to be cautious myself," she said.
Mustafa Shabazz is a good friend of Elliott Miller's -- not only did they both start working as bailiffs at Cleveland Municipal Court in 2006, they both have children attending Citizens Academy. Shabazz was a few cars behind the Millers' car when the shooting occurred -- but he wasn't aware that anything had happened "until I saw CPD cars scrambling."
According to police, the gunman demanded cell phones from the Millers, and when Elliott did not comply, he was shot in the back.