Student slightly injured in shooting at Manassas High School - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Student slightly injured in shooting at Manassas High School

The victim, Anthony Williams, shortly after he was released from The MED. The victim, Anthony Williams, shortly after he was released from The MED.
Officers had one person in custody just after 9:30 a.m. Officers had one person in custody just after 9:30 a.m.

An eleventh grade student was shot by a classmate Wednesday morning at Manassas High School.

Investigators said the victim, Anthony Williams, reported to the school's office after the shooting with a gunshot wound to his arm.

Williams was transported to the Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released. 

Moments after he was released, Williams told Action News 5 he was still trying to figure out how he got shot.  Williams said he was doing his work at school when he heard what sounded like a gunshot.

"I hit the ground, and that was it," he said.

Dr. Thomas Schoppel, the emergency room surgeon who treated Williams, described the path the bullet took.

"Apparently it was an accidental wound," he said.  "It went through his arm, and then grazed his chest."

Police investigators said the incident happened around 8:45 a.m. in room 209, an eleventh grade English classroom at the school.  Approximately 27 students were in the classroom at the time of the shooting.  There were no other injuries. 

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., police took one person in custody at the school.  The suspect, identified as 15-year-old Markees Smith, reportedly left the school after the shooting and was brought back by his mother, Tonya Williams.

Williams said she wasn't surprised at what happened.  "My son has been through a lot since Hurricane Katrina, so something is liable to happen," she said.

Tonya Williams said she was not aware of any difficulties her son had experienced at the hands of other students at Manassas.

Investigators said Smith apparently carried the gun to school in his coat pocket, intending to sell it.  The gun discharged while Smith was handling it, and accidentally struck Anthony Williams.

After the shooting, Manassas High School was placed on lock down for a short time.  At 10:00 a.m., school officials said classes had resumed.

Smith was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and carrying a weapon on school property.

Late Wednesday, he was transferred to the custody of juvenile court.

Manassas Principal Gloria Williams wrote a letter to parents about the incident that she sent home with students Wednesday. Click here to read the letter.

Officials said the act of bringing a weapon onto a school campus is punishable by a 180 suspension.

You can find additional video coverage of this story in the player to the right.


Memphis City Schools released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

"Memphis City Schools is pleased to have learned that the student injured in the incident at Manassas High School this morning has been treated and is in stable condition. Our thoughts and prayers remain with this student and his family, and we look forward to him returning to Manassas High very soon.

Memphis Police officers investigating this case have informed the district that at this point in the investigation, it appears that this was an accidental firing. Officers have reported that there appears to have been no animosity between these two students.

Memphis City Schools is deeply saddened by this unfortunate incident today.

It should be made clear that Memphis City Schools recognizes the seriousness and potential for danger in any instance where a weapon is in the presence of our students. We will continue all efforts aimed to ensure the safety of our students during school hours.

It should be stated that we are very proud of the quick responses demonstrated by staff members at Manassas and the Memphis City Schools Security team, and we are especially proud of our students at Manassas, who conducted themselves with maturity and responsibility during this very difficult day."

Rita Cooper
Chief Spokeswoman
Memphis City Schools


Memphis City Schools released the following statement shortly after the shooting:

"An 11th grade male student was shot in the arm by a classmate in one of the classrooms at Manassas this morning.  We understand it was not a life threatening injury.  The injured student was treated on the scene and transported to The Med soon after.

The thoughts and prayers of the Manassas school community and the entire Memphis City Schools family remain with the injured student and his family.

Immediately after this incident occurred, the school was locked down as a safety precaution.

This morning's incident involved one student in one classroom, and no other students were in danger.  Officers have conducted a security sweep of the school to make sure no additional weapons are present, and police are taking statements from witnesses.

The suspect is a student at Manassas and he is in police custody at this time.

The district is sending out a ParentLink phone message about this situation to all parents of Manassas, and letters will be sent home with students at the end of the school day."

Rita Cooper
Chief Spokeswoman
Memphis City Schools

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