According to a 2003 lawsuit against the City of Memphis, Bowman’s father, Dr. Anthony Bowman, was killed in a 2003 encounter with Memphis Police after his wife reported that he was armed and acting erratically.
Further coverage of that angle is here.
Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South issued a statement Tuesday morning, crediting school security and MPD response:
“We are shocked and saddened by the events that took place at MHA-FYOS yesterday, and incredibly grateful to God that thanks to our school’s extensive security measures and the swift response by the Memphis Police Department, everyone is safe.
“Thank you to the entire Memphis community and our friends around the world for your love and support. We stand united in our commitment to keeping all students and school staff members safe.”
Earlier coverage is below.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — We are learning more about the man who was shot by police after investigators say he fired shots outside a Jewish school in Memphis.
Thankfully, no students were at Margolin Hebrew Academy on South White Station and no one was hurt.
Police have also not identified the suspect but Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) said in a statement that the suspect was Jewish himself and a former student at the school.
“We have recently learned that the shooter at the Margolin Hebrew Academy was himself Jewish and a former student at the school. I am pleased the academy had effective security and that the police acted quickly to protect students,” Cohen said.
Family and friends are identifying the suspect as Joel Bowman, a member of the Jewish community and former student at the school.
Brittney Eshelman-Worch also attended the academy.
“Genuinely to the core, I don’t think he would ever intentionally hurt someone,” she said. “He has struggled with mental health for a number of years.”
Twenty years ago, she says his father, a respected doctor who also suffered from mental illness, was shot and killed by Memphis police.
“Someone felt unsafe and called the police, and as he was going to put down the gun, he had turned around and I think it was like nine or ten police officers all opened fire at the same time and completely mutilated him,” Eshelman-Worch said.
She said the shooting traumatized Bowman. Understanding the weight of what could have happened, she’s asking people not to pass judgment.
“I can’t justify him walking into a school with a gun there is no rhyme or reason for it. However, I don’t believe he was going to hurt anyone,” Eshelman-Worch said.
Assistant Chief Don Crowe said a broadcast was put out for the suspect’s maroon truck and schools citywide were put on lockdown. Shortly after, officers pulled him over on McCrory Avenue.
The images captured by an eyewitness show the moments after police say the suspect got out of the car armed with a gun and an officer opened fire.
Investigators said the shooter was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
“I personally truly believe we have avoided a tragedy. I think the suspect was going to harm somebody before the day was over,” Crowe said.
At last check, the suspect is in critical condition. Police haven’t said what charges he could face.