MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The family of the 13-year-old shot at Cummings K-8 is feeling fortunate he is still alive.
The victims father, Emory Hammonds, says there had been an ongoing feud between the two teens, which ultimately caused them to fight on Thursday morning, but he did not know the specifics.
“You know, kids being kids, words going back and forth, you want to fight type of thing,” Hammonds said.
During the altercation, his son ended up being shot in the abdominal area. The bullet did not leave any permanent damage and doctors were able to save his life.
“When I got the phone call that he was shot I was like ‘What?'” Hammonds said. “The principal called me and said shot, S-H-O-T.”
Hammonds says his son could be released from the hospital Friday night.
“My son, thank God he’s alive. It could be worse. He’s on his way out. He’s healthy. He’s on his way out, but this other child, things are looking opposite,” Hammonds said.
Following the incident, Hammonds is considering have his son transfer schools but says he does not harbor any hatred toward the 13-year-old accused suspect.
“It’s about love, it’s about reconciliation, and I want God to show them grace,” Hammonds said. “Thank God my son is alive, grace and mercy. I want to see that same grace and mercy flow to the other child, the shooter. God is a god of second chance and I think we need to be. I think we need to be a people of second chances.”
The teen who admitted shooting Hammonds’ son has been arrested and is now facing serious charges, including attempted first degree murder. It’s unclear if he will be tried as an adult.
“My son need help. That child need help. There’s two families involved here,” Hammonds said.
He says the shooting brought him to a realization.
“I’m going to own up to it that I need to do a better job as a father,” Hammonds said. “That I need to be in my child’s life enough to know what’s going on.”
Hammonds says he hopes to meet with the boy’s family. Next week, Shelby County Schools is planning on organizing a meeting with both families.