Rep Cohen: ‘Apparent act of violent antisemitism’ after man tries to enter school with gun

Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 6:10 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2023 at 11:59 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Many people are on high alert after a gunman tried to enter a Memphis-area Jewish school Monday afternoon.

Memphis police are not sure how, and if this gunman is connected to Margolin Hebrew Academy or the Jewish community.

However, Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen released a statement saying the shooter was himself Jewish and a former student at the school.

Memphis police say a man, who has not been identified yet, tried to walk into the academy around noon.

When he couldn’t get in, police say he fired shots outside the school. No one was injured by the shots he fired.

Police say he was then on the run, leading MPD on a chase to find him with a description from the school staff.

Officers eventually found him in the Berclair area.

Witnesses say the man got out of the pickup truck with a gun and they heard multiple shots.

Memphis police confirmed an officer shot the suspect, critically injuring him.

“I personally truly believed that we have avoided a tragedy,” Assistant Chief Don Crowe said. “I think this suspect was going to harm somebody before the day was over and that our officers were able to intervene and protect the citizens.”

The Memphis Police Department praised their officers for moving quickly to avert the situation.

As of Tuesday morning, the suspect is recovering at Regional One Hospital and TBI is leading this investigation.

This situation unfolds as school districts across the state are now required to beef up their safety and security plans with a new state law.

Action News 5 spoke with Amanda Braswell, the regional security advisor over Secure Community Network.

One of the new requirements from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee ensures that all exterior doors are locked while students are inside the school.

While class was not in session, safety measures were taken at Margolin Hebrew Academy.

The President and CEO of the Jewish Foundation of Memphis praised the school staff, security director, and MPD for their preparedness during this scary situation.

Students who attend Margolin Hebrew Academy aren’t back in the classroom until August 17, but teachers and administration do have duties.

Margolin Hebrew Academy releases statement after armed intruder fires shots outside school.

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