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Man taken into custody in connection to three children shot outside Memphis library

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 2:44 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2022 at 4:46 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Police have arrested a man accused of shooting three children outside of a Whitehaven library on Thursday.

Javontay Paige has been taken into custody for three counts of attempted first-degree murder, possession a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Earlier this afternoon, police initially identified and arrested a different man, but after an investigation he was released without charge.

It’s been barely 24 hours since three juveniles were shot outside the Whitehaven Branch Library, sending parents at nearby Robert Church Elementary into a frenzy making sure their children weren’t the ones injured.

“I was panicked, very much so,” said Elena Grigsby, an MSCS parent, at the scene on Thursday.

“Coming to the intersection right here and actually seeing what was going on, you know, as a parent, your first expression is ‘you know what, let me see what’s going on for real,’” Ronald Watson, another MSCS parent, said at the scene.

The narrative from Memphis Police stated the shooting stemmed from a fight involving multiple female juveniles half an hour before.

Three kids, all of them boys, were taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital with gunshot wounds.

MPD says Paige knows the three victims, one of them, who family has identified as 11-year-old Broderick Smith, is still at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

“It was devastating because he’s only a kid,” said Quinteshala Smith, Broderick’s Cousin.

Smith got the news shortly after the shooting, and has been in shock as to how the situation played out.

“We kind of know how it went about between the fight, but we’re still trying to figure out why would you shoot at little kids that had nothing to do with the fight,” she said.

For now, Broderick is still in the ICU, and Smith and her family can only pray.

“Praying, praying for a speedy recovery,” Smith said. “That’s all.”

This story will be updated as new details come up.

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