Another school shooting has sparked national news coverage this week as a community reels from the violent attack.
According to local reports, a suspect is in custody after shots rang out at an Arkansas junior high school on Monday.
Police correct earlier reports
Though earlier coverage indicated that the victim had been killed, KARK later noted that a student was shot and wounded at Watson Chapel Junior High in Pine Bluff.
The NBC affiliate cited a Pine Bluff Police Department spokesperson who blamed “bad information” for the erroneous earlier report and confirming that a 15-year-old victim was receiving treatment at a medical facility in Little Rock. Police officers reportedly found the injured student in a hallway at the school before he was transported to the hospital.
The suspected gunman has also been described as a 15-year-old who was apprehended a short distance from the school by officers utilizing a search dog team deployed by the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
As of this writing, police say no motive had been determined in the case. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact law enforcement.
Pine Bluff Police Department Chief Kelvin Sergeant later addressed the events at a press conference, explaining that no decisions had yet been made regarding whether the suspect would be charged as an adult.
“All students are safe at this time”
In a Facebook statement on Monday, the Watson Chapel School District confirmed: “This was an isolated incident and all students are safe at this time.”
The school district noted that the victim’s parents had been notified, providing assurance to parents who had not been contacted that their children are safe.
“The police are not letting anyone in and out of the buildings,” the district confirmed at the time. “You will not be allowed to come get your student at this time.”
Violent crime has spiked in communities across the nation in recent years with outbreaks of gun violence becoming commonplace in certain areas.
Last month, Fox News reported that Philadelphia saw its number of reported shootings nearly double in 2020 — and the city’s problems are far from unique. The same outlet noted that shootings were also up significantly in New York, where the murder rate jumped by roughly 44% last year.