Memphis police shoot suspect after he fired shots outside Jewish school

31 July 2023

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis police on Monday said officers shot a suspect after he attempted to enter a Jewish school with a gun and fired shots after he couldn’t get into the building.

Assistant Police Chief Don Crowe said the suspect, whose identity has not been released, approached Margolin Hebrew Academy-Feinstone Yeshiva of the South around 12:20 p.m. He fired several shots and then left in a maroon truck.

“Thankfully, that school had a great safety procedure and process in place and avoided anyone being harmed or injured at that scene,” Crowe said.

Officers soon located the suspect’s vehicle “shortly after that,” Crowe said, adding that officers then shot the suspect after he exited the truck with a firearm in hand. The suspect was sent to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.

It was not immediately clear if school was in session.

When asked if law enforcement believe the shooting was a hate crime, Crowe said officers were still on the scene and collecting information.

“It’s way too early for that. Again, we’re very early in this investigation,” said Assistant Police Chief Don Crowe.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is now handling the case.

U.S. Rep. Seve Cohen, whose district includes Memphis, said in a statement that he was “shocked” to hear about the incident at the school and noted that acts of “violent antisemitism” are on the rise across the country.”

Monday’s shooting comes nearly four months after a shooter opened fire at a private Christian school in Nashville and killed six people, including three nine-year-old children. That tragedy has sparked closer scrutiny of Tennessee’s relaxed gun laws and renewed calls to strengthen security at both public and private schools across the state.

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Kimberlee Kruesi contributed to this report from Nashville, Tennessee.

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