MPD to address concerns after shooting near high school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD to address concerns after shooting near high school

(WMC-TV) - The shooting of a teen after a high school basketball game Friday has raised new concerns about youth violence, and Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong is taking action.

In a rare weekend news conference, Armstrong addressed the shooting outside Central High School.

Armstrong said a 17-year-old being shot just yards from the front door of a school is a tragic incident in every respect.  He added that while police are investigating, chances are another young person is probably the culprit.

Armstrong said he is working with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton to address youth violence in the city.  He said getting guns out of their hands plays a major part.

"As you can see with this incident, guns and kids do not mix," said Armstrong.  "You put the two together and it's a recipe for disaster."

Memphis City Schools Security oversees games and other school functions.

Armstrong said this week, he will be calling for a meeting with Memphis City Schools officials regarding the current protocols in place between MPD and MCS security.  They will also review policies and discuss whether or not there is a need to adjust them.

"To offer students safe passage to and from school-sponsored events, I think it's time for us to have a talk," said Armstrong.

Since the first day Dr. Kriner Cash became MCS superintendent in 2008, he let it be known he wanted to convert school security officers into peace officers.  Lawmakers would have to pass a bill to allow the school district to establish it's own police force.

Through the years, training school security officers to become Memphis police officers has been proposed.  Armstrong said he is not actively pursuing that scenario.

"With the city and county schools merger, there are probably going to be a lot of things that take place here in reference to school security in the next couple of years,' he said.  "I'm not sure how MPD will fit in that equation."

MCS said grief counselors will be made available for students and staff once classes resume on Tuesday.

Police have no suspect in the shooting.  If you have any information, please call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

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