MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 13-year-old boy critically injured in a shooting Thursday morning at a Memphis K-8 school is expected to make a full recovery, district Superintendent Joris Ray said.
A nurse at the school calmed victim down and called his father, who was three minutes away from the school, Ray said. The nurse applied pressure to the wound to make sure that he would continue to breathe.
Doctors would not say how many times he was shot or where. There’s also no word on when he might be released from the hospital.
Police say the suspected shooter is another 13-year-old. He will be charged with attempted first-degree murder, MPD Assistant Chief Don Crowe.
That juvenile fled the school in a vehicle and later turned himself in to police after a search, police said earlier Thursday. Police went to a house four miles away in connection with the shooting but wouldn’t say how it’s connected.
Police responded at 9:15 a.m. to Cummings K-8 School on Cummings Street near Walker Avenue in the Soulsville area of South Memphis.
The shooting happened in a stairwell in the school, Crowe said. Video evidence showed no other students were nearby.
Memphis Police did not release any motives, saying they would prefer for that come out in the court system.
“We think the motive and we think the actions that led up to the shooting are best saved for the court case,” Crowe said.
Crowe, citing the ongoing investigation, said he could not comment on how the child got the weapon, or what happened before the shooting.
“How did a 13 year old get his hand on a gun? It’s a question that we all want the answer to,” Crowe said. “I’m not sure we will ever find the full truth, but certainly it begs of everyone, keep their guns secure so that 13 year old can not get their hands on guns.”
Students and staff were evacuated from the school as the injured boy headed to the hospital.
School will be in session at Cummings on Friday, Ray said, with increased security and counseling available. He asked the community to “put the guns down.”
“Our school should be a place to run to, and not from,” Ray said. “The lives of two students and families will forever be impacted by today’s incident. Again I say, gun violence has no place in our schools or communities.”
Ray thanked SCS security and law enforcement for their “immediate and swift response.” He also thanked the pastor at nearby Metropolitan Baptist Church, where students were sent temporarily, and the Four Way Grill, which prepared meals for staff.
MPD officers were on the scene within two minutes of the first call, Crowe said. Ninety-five officers were deployed and coordinated with Shelby County Schools.
Doctors at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital said the hospital expects it will exceed the record it set last year of 135 children treated for gunshot wounds.
Mayor Jim Strickland released a statement on the shooting, calling it “heart-wrenching” and calling for an end to gun violence.
Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich said Wednesday that violent offenses committed this year by juvenile defendants include four murders, six sexual assaults of minor victims and 19 incidents involving the threat or use of a deadly weapon.
The shooting at Cummings K-8 school in Memphis comes a week to the day after a mass shooting at a Kroger grocery in Collierville, a suburb of Memphis. That shooting resulted in 15 victims with one death, in what the police chief there called the “most horrific event” in the town’s history.Kroger shooting ‘most horrific event in Collierville history,’ police chief says