Fate of teen shot after basketball game in question - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fate of teen shot after basketball game in question

(WMC-TV) - There are conflicting reports regarding the fate of a 17-year-old boy who was shot after a basketball game at Central High School Friday night.

Late Saturday night, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said the teen is still listed in extremely critical condition, while Memphis City Schools issued a statement saying he had died.

Moments after a rivalry basketball game between the Central High School Warriors and the Melrose Golden Wildcats, Gail Sheppard said she was picking up her daughter when she heard gunfire.

"My little girl didn't know nobody had got hit, and then she was like, 'Mama, somebody is on the side of the curb,'" said Sheppard.

At the corner of Bellevue and Linden, Sheppard said she immediately jumped out of her car and performed CPR on the teen.

"When I got to him, he was still breathing," she said.  "I was doing CPR and telling him, you know, baby hold on, stay with us.  Please don't leave."

Police said the child was transported in extremely critical condition.

A student in the area, Erica Jones, said she knew the teen.

"We were at the Boys and Girls Club and he was up there, and later on that night, I heard that he got shot," said Jones.

"You know, these kids are out here killing each other for no reason," said Sheppard.  "He didn't have anything to do with it.  My little girl said he was just an innocent bystander and they grabbed him and they shot him in the head."

Sheppard said she lost a young family member to gun violence five months prior.

"It brought back memories, because when I was doing CPR on him, I was thinking about my nephew, because they're the same age, 17," said Sheppard.

There is no suspect description at this time.

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Saturday, Memphis City Schools issued the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened about the tragic death of one of our students that occurred Friday night after a basketball game. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim.  Grief Counselors will be made available for students and staff once classes resume on Tuesday.  Out of respect for the victim's family and the ongoing MPD investigation we respectfully decline further comment at this time."

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Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong issued the following statement:

"This is the type of shocking news that none of us ever want to hear or believe.  A 17-year old being critically wounded from a gunshot just yards away from the front door of a local school is a tragic incident in every respect. Our hearts go out to the family of this young man during this very difficult time.

While we are investigating this matter, chances are another young person is probably the culprit.  This is exactly why I am working with Mayor Wharton to address youth violence on an unprecedented level for our city.  Getting guns out of the hands of youth is a major part of our work.  

Next week, I will be calling for a meeting with Memphis City Schools' officials regarding the current protocols in place between MPD and MCS security.   I want to use this time for us to review our policies and discuss whether or not there is a need for adjusting them. While I know and understand that the safety of school events is something they adopt as the responsibility of the school system's security team, the city's overall safety falls squarely in my domain."

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