Mid-South principal calls for increased police presence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South principal calls for increased police presence after off-campus shooting

(WMC-TV) – Students at a Mid-South school were surrounded by police Thursday after the principal asked them to be there.

West Memphis High School principal Jon Collins said safety is a top priority for his students, faculty, and staff.  Officers were seen driving around campus Thursday morning on the lookout for anything suspicious.

"Just felt like we needed the presence before school, after school, especially as we are arriving on campus and leaving for the school day," said Collins.

Collins said a shooting incident that happened off campus is what prompted him to request more officers.

"Felt like it could be a good thing to maintain safety here on campus of our 1,200 kids and 120 employees as well," said Collins.

The incident happened around 9:00 p.m. Sunday in the 400 block of North 14th Street.  Investigators said a 15-year-old is charged with shooting 20-year-old Carlton Barrett.

Collins said there were no threats at the school and neither the victim nor the suspect attended West Memphis High School.  Both reportedly have relatives at the school.

"We got relatives of students and relatives of former students of the folks involved in the incident," said Collins.  "So anytime you got a relative involved, emotions tend to run a little bit higher."

Thursday was the last day of school before the start of spring break.  Police wanted to make sure the violence did not spill over on to school property.

Barrett is reportedly out of the hospital recovering.

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