MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Just a week after the Mid-South was rocked by the mass shooting at the Kroger in Collierville, another tragic event unfolded.
Around 9:15 a.m., a 13-year-old boy was shot by a classmate inside a stairwell of Cummings School in Memphis, according to the Memphis Police Department.
MPD said in a news conference hours after the shooting, the 13-year-old boy will be charged with criminal attempted first degree murder.
Police said that child was rushed to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in critical condition. Just hours after the shooting, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray spoke from the steps of the hospital, saying he believed the child was currently in surgery.
Le Bonheur treated more than 100 kids with gunshot wounds this year. It’s on pace to beat last year’s number of 134.
Cummings Elementary was immediately placed on lockdown after a school resource officer reported the shooting the Memphis Police, school leaders said.
In the moments after the shooting, police said the suspected shooter, another boy who went to school at Cummings Elementary, ran from the school and took off in a vehicle, according to police.
MPD said that boy turned himself in to police soon after and was taken into custody, though police could not establish a motive for the shooting at that time.
During a news conference, police said the 13-year-old will be charged with attempted first degree murder. He will be taken to juvenile detention.
The remaining K-8 students at Cummings Elementary were quickly loaded into buses and taken to Metropolitan Baptist Church at 767 Walker Ave where parents eagerly waited to show identification and pick up their children.
The shooting came just weeks after Shelby County School employees underwent active shooter training, according to school officials. Dr. Ray said that Cummings Elementary had a random metal detector search earlier the same day.
As rain added to an already somber news conference outside of Le Bonheur, Ray praised the action taken by school officials and the school resource officer in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and emphasized that his priority at that time was the young child being operated on in the hospital behind him.
In closing, Ray questioned recent laws and added the following statement on Friday’s school shooting.
“We should be talking about reading. We should be talking about math,” Ray said. “We don’t sell guns in schools. We don’t give guns out in schools.”
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