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Students return to Memphis K-8 school day after shooting inside building

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 3:27 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray visited Cummings K-8 Optional School Friday morning.

“I wanted to come and greet teachers. Most of all I wanted to see how our students are doing this morning,” he said following his visit.

SCS officials say access to mental health support was one reason why the district decided to resume classes.

“To make sure that we were attending to their social and emotional needs,” said Ray.

Tina Williams says her son’s best friend is the 13-year-old student that was shot.

The victim was taken to Le bonheur Children’s hospital and is recovering. Williams says her son has gotten a chance to talk to his friend and that she is making sure that he speaks to a counselor.

“I haven’t questioned him because I was told by the doctors don’t - let him get his time and when he’s ready to talk he will,” said Williams.

Other parents dropped their students off as classes resumed at the school Friday Morning. They have also had to have tough conversations with their children.

“They were telling me what happened. My youngest said it just sounded like someone hit the floor so hard,” said parent Cassandra Swanson.

Swanson added that she has tried to encourage to her own children ahead of returning to school.

“I told them to keep their head up and that there’s going to be counselors here, and if they need them, they’re going to talk with them,” she said.

There was also heightened security at the school Friday.

Thursday, Memphis police stated the student was shot by another student in a stairwell of Cummings K-8 Optional School.

The suspect left the scene in a car, being driven by someone else, and eventually turned himself in to police at the East Raines precinct.

A school resource officer first reported the incident.

It is unclear if anyone else will face charges in the case.

Police say they spoke to the driver of the car who picked up the suspect and said that driver appears to be an innocent third party, thinking they were trying to help a 13-year-old in need.

There are metal detectors at Cummings K-8 and officials say the shooter would have gone through them Thursday morning. The investigation is ongoing as to how a gun got inside the school.

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