A 13-year-old student accused of shooting his classmate inside a Memphis, Tennessee, school Thursday was charged with attempted murder, authorities said Friday.
The shooting at the Cummings K-8 Optional School prompted a campus lockdown. Frantic parents were later reunited with their children who were taken by bus to a nearby church, officials said.
The injured boy, also 13, was expected to make a “full recovery,” Shelby County Schools Superintendent Joris Ray said. The teen suspect left the scene in a car driven by someone else, NBC affiliate WMC of Memphis reported, but later Thursday turned himself in to a police precinct.
Memphis Police Deputy Chief Don Crowe said Thursday authorities expected charges would be forthcoming against the suspect.
“As this investigation concludes, later tonight, our student will be charged with criminal attempt first-degree murder. He will be transported to juvenile court,” he said.
A department spokesman said Friday the boy was formally charged.
Crowe added investigators were hoping to learn how the child got his hands on a gun.
“It’s a question we all want the answer to. I’m not sure we’ll ever find the full truth. But certainly, it begs everyone to keep their guns secured so that 13-year-olds cannot get … hands on these guns.”
Crowe praised the police response, noting Memphis officers arrived within two minutes of being alerted to the 9 a.m. shooting. Responding officers worked with Shelby County school officers, Crowe said. Nearly 100 officers went to the campus, he said.
“We pray for better days and I’m so grateful to know that the student is expected to make a full recovery,” Ray said. He added the injured student was being treated at the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
The district conducted training for principals on how to respond to a school shooting earlier in September, Ray said.
The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphisreported the school has metal detectors that were used Thursday morning, Ray said.
The school reopened Friday, and the district provided additional resources for students and staff that included mental health specialists, he said.