MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG is learning more about a Haywood County teen killed Friday night after leaving a high school basketball game.
The family identified her as 16-year-old, Christine Michael. She was the president of her junior class. Like your typical high schooler, Christine Michael came to Ripley High School for a basketball game.
Little did she know the danger that was waiting for her once she left.
Investigators with the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office told WREG that Michael was heading home to Brownsville after the game. She was riding in a vehicle on the highway with three other teens when someone began shooting at them.
By the time the gunfire stopped, Michael has been shot in the back and a 13-year-old was also injured. Yesterday, deputies arrested two teenage boys in connection to her death.
It’s an outcome that brought joy to her grieving family.
“They robbed me of my child. They took my baby. They robbed me. I’ll never have grandchildren by her,” Tiffany Michael said, her mother. “I’ll never get to see her walk the line, I’ll never see her accomplish all the things that she started from day one when she put her feet on this earth.”
Despite gunshots ringing out while Christine was riding in a vehicle, Tiffany says her daughter’s actions at that moment helped investigators with the case.
“When the incident was going on, she was texting. So, she identified one of the people. To the end, my baby used her smarts to get murder solved.”
Michael’s principal at Haywood High School, Brittany Avent, said that she was the class president and had the highest GPA of all juniors at the school. Avent also paid tribute to Michael, saying, “Christine embodied everything you want in a student. But more importantly, you could see her soul — it was perfect.”
Amie Marsh, Superintendent of Haywood County Schools, issued the following statement:
The incident that took the life of Christine Michael Friday night will forever change the lives of a great many people. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Michael family during this extremely difficult time, and we want to support and uplift them as they work through the pain that this tragedy has brought to their family. Christine was a promising student who had tremendous plans for her future. We are all deeply saddened by her passing and by the brilliant light that was extinguished Friday evening. Please keep her family in your thoughts.
In preparation for the return of students to our buildings on Monday, the Haywood County School’s leadership team spent the afternoon with local law enforcement agencies outlining safety procedures and an extensive plan of support which addresses both the safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as a plan of support for the emotional needs they will have in the wake of this tragedy. Please be assured that our primary focus is student safety and support and that all agencies have worked together cooperatively to this end. I want to thank Mayor Rawls, the Brownsville Police Department, and the Haywood County Sheriff’s office for the expertise, support, and strategic planning they collaborated on with us to ensure a safe and supportive return for our students tomorrow morning.
We look forward to the return of our Tomcat family.
The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office arrested two teens and charged them with first-degree murder.