Lawmakers, city leaders react to Memphis school shooting

Parents wait to reunite with their children following a school shooting in Memphis Thursday,...
Parents wait to reunite with their children following a school shooting in Memphis Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021.
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 12:38 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis leaders are reacting to the school shooting that left a 13-year-old boy in critical condition Thursday morning after shots were fired at Cummings Elementary School.

Police say a child fired the gun, fled the scene and later turned himself in at a police station seven miles away.

PHOTOS: Child shot at Memphis school, juvenile suspect in custody

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris shared a tweet Thursday afternoon sending prayers to the victim and students at Cummings K-8. The message reads in part:

“Today, a child has been critically injured from a gunshot wound while in school. We pray for the victim of this most recent shooting and all the young people who faced this unthinkable trauma. We also pray for the wisdom and courage needed to begin to curb gun violence.”

Memphis City Council also shared their devastation via Twitter:

“We are devastated to hear about the events at Cummings Elementary School. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the students, faculty, and parents.”

Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) released the statement below:

“I am grateful for the fast-acting school staff members and first responders who worked to keep our children safe today and we are praying for this child to make a full recovery. This shooting at Cummings Elementary School is just so gut-wrenching. It appears a child, who should never have had access to a firearm, has shot another child. Preventable gun violence like this traumatizes every student, teacher and staff member in the school family. As a community, we must say, “Never again.”

During a news conference, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray declared incidents like this have to stop.

“The gun violence must end,” said Ray. “The school’s working closely with Memphis Police Department. We’re doing all we can to keep our students safe.”

RELATED | Shelby County Schools hosted active shooter drill just weeks before school shooting

Shelby County Commissioner Reginald Milton talked with Action News 5 saying there needs to be more involvement to prevent cases like Thursday’s from happening.

“This is truly a tragedy,” said Milton. “The reality is that we have a situation where there are too many guns and not enough supervision and there’s a lot of anger.”

He says the county commission is looking for ways to address the challenges the community is facing but they’re asking for help.

“We’re not the experts,” said Milton. “We have a superintendent, we have a school board, and it is their responsibility to let us know what they need. Its our responsibility to make sure they get all the resources they can get.”

Shelby County Commissioner Mickell Lowery chimed in calling the shooting devastating and heartbreaking.

On the backs of what’s just happened in Collierville, this is a time where legislators need to take the opportunity and say how do we prevent this the best we can from happening again and that’s what we’re committed to doing at the county commission.”

Several other local and state leaders also responded to the shooting.

Congressman Steve Cohen

“I am disheartened, saddened and shocked to learn that a child has been shot by another student while in an elementary school. One thing is clear: we have too many guns in the wrong hands. Gun violence begs for comprehensive background checks. I hope the injured child will recover quickly without lingering effects. My thoughts are with the entire Cummings Elementary School community.”

Mayor Jim Strickland

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