Shooting at School in South Memphis Leaves One Student Injured, Another Faces Charges
A 13-year-old boy is expected to face attempted first degree murder charges after shooting a peer at the Cummings K-8 School in South Memphis Thursday morning. Authorities say the victim is recovering at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.
Details are still scant about where the teenager obtained the gun used to shoot another 13-year-old in a school stairwell.
“From the video evidence that we’ve reviewed there were no other students around when it occurred in that stairwell,” said Deputy Memphis Police Chief Don Crowe.
He said the suspected shooter fled the school and was given a ride by a driver whom investigators believe was unaware of the shooting. The young boy later turned himself into police custody.
Officers received reports of the shooting at around 9:15 a.m. School officials said lockdown protocols were immediately implemented and that the school district had conducted an active shooter training drill just weeks before.
The entire student body was transported to a nearby church Thursday morning where parents—some visibly distressed— rushed to pick them up.
At a press conference, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray and other school leaders denounced gun violence. Ray said he had met with the family of the victim, who is expected to make a full recovery.
“We’re asking everyone, please put down the guns," he said, also noting that the school has a metal detector that was in use the day of the shooting. "Parents, check your students backpack before coming to school. Students, if you see something, say something.”
Dr. Annice Overall, a social work supervisor for Shelby County Schools, says counselors are preparing to help students process the day’s events. Trauma can often hide in plain sight, she says.
“In the early couple of days, it’s kind of an assessment of which kids are being impacted by it most," Overall said. "So one of the main things my people will be looking for tomorrow morning is which kids to follow up with more.”
The school shooting comes just one week after a gunman killed a woman and injured more than a dozen others at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville.
Le Bonheur Hospital has treated more than 100 children so far this year for gunshot wounds and will likely exceed last year's count of 135.
"This has to stop," Ray said. "No way a child should have a gun. This must stop. But we need the community to help us, help our children."