A student has been injured after a shooting occurred at Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff. A suspect is in custody.
PINE BLUFF, Ark. — (Eds. note: We have updated the article to reflect that the Pine Bluff Police Department said “bad information was released” regarding the victim’s death, who is only injured at this time.)
According to Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant, officers responded to the Watson Chapel Jr. High at 9:59 a.m. to the report of a shooting. Officers arrived and found a 15-year-old male near the office, suffering from a gunshot wound.
Around 2:55 p.m., the Pine Bluff Police Department reported that the victim had died.
But then police released another statement at 4:16 p.m. that the victim was not dead and that “bad information was released.”
“The hospital will keep us updated directly to prevent further erroneous [information],” the department said.
The 15-year old juvenile shooter was found behind a house near the school by the Arkansas Department of Corrections dog squad, according to police.
13-year old Nashon Thompson was heading to his next class between passing periods when he says he saw the shooting and started to panic before running away.
“I was walking from class. Like my second period class down from the 8th grade hallway. I seen somebody get shot.. Laying down on the ground blood flowing. I didn’t know what to do. So I just took off running down the hallway saying somebody got shot,” said Thompson.
After the suspect was apprehended, parents and guardians were lined up in traffic to pick up students who were dismissed for the day. Regan Richmond is mother who picked up daughter around noon.
She says she first heard about the shooting from her son. Thinking it was the high school she called her oldest teen daughter who had a cellphone. Her daughter then told her it was the middle school where her youngest was at. Not knowing if her children were okay had her terrified.
“Because you just sending your kids to school to get an education and then you come out after getting a phone call that it’s been a shooting at the school. I feel a whole lot better, but didn’t nobody win out of this situation. It’s a sad situation for a school,” said Richmond.
The suspect is now at a local jail awaiting charges.
The decision should be made in the next 48 hours on whether the shooter will be tried as a juvenile or adult, Chief Sergeant said.
There is no known motive at this time, but police said the shooting seems targeted.
The Pine Bluff Police Department held a press conference, addressing the shooting at Watson Chapel Junior High School.
We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.