Gunman shot by Memphis police after firing shots outside Jewish school, MPD says

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has been called in to investigate after a gunman who tried to enter a local Jewish school was shot by a Memphis police officer.

Police say an unidentified man fired shots outside Margolin Hebrew Academy early Monday afternoon.

Officers were called to the school at 12:20 p.m. when the suspect attempted to enter the building with a gun. After he was unable to get inside, he reportedly started firing.

“The suspect did try to enter the building armed with a gun,” said Memphis Police Assistant Chief Don Crowe. “When he could not gain entry, he fired shots outside the school.”

Nobody was injured, and the suspect left the scene in a red pickup truck.

Flyers showing the suspect and his vehicle were handed out publicly while he was on the run, leading police on a hunt to find him.

From there, officers were able to find the suspect in the Berclair area at McCrory Avenue near Avon Road and pull him over.

The man then got out of the vehicle with a gun. Witnesses say they heard four to five shots fired.

Memphis police say the suspect was shot around 1:40 p.m. by a fellow officer. He was then rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

All Memphis-Shelby County Schools were placed on a precautionary lockdown, which has since been lifted.

Neighbors living near the school say they’re glad students and staff were not hurt. They add nothing like this happens in their quiet neighborhood.

“My kids heard everything,” said resident Oscar Gomez. “They were in the house and they were very concerned because there was a lot of gunshots going off. It’s close to my house.”

Elizabeth Gunn lives near the school and came home right after gunfire rang out.

“I feel so sad for the boys and just so sad for just how sweet it’s been to have that school right there,” said Gunn. “That wholesome experience, then to have this happen. I know that will all be stopped. So that is a really sad thing and definitely makes me consider where I live and wanting to potentially find somewhere else to be.”

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

They also say it’s too early to determine whether or not this is considered a hate crime.

“I personally truly believed that we have avoided a tragedy,” said Crowe. “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 American Jewish Committee released this statement following the shooting:

My prayers are with the Memphis Jewish community after a man with a handgun attacked the Margolin Hebrew Academy in Tennessee. Thankfully, according to news reports, there were no victims and law enforcement acted swiftly to mitigate the threat. We remain in touch with our local partners to provide assistance on the ground.

Police Chief CJ Davis released the following statement:

“I am proud of the vigilant and quick response of MPD officers who mitigated a potential mass shooting situation today. Many thanks to our neighboring jurisdictions for also providing critical information to stop the suspect’s actions.”

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