Prosecutors drop charges against U of M student over apartment shooting

Prosecutors drop charges against U of M student over apartment shooting
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A reckless endangerment charge was dismissed this week against a University of Memphis student accused of opening fire at a popular off-campus apartment complex.

The case against 19-year-old Royal Parson was marked “disposed” after a report date Wednesday, according to Shelby County court records.

Parson was arrested in January after police responded to a shots fired call at the Gather on Southern housing complex.

A witness told officers Parson was standing in the middle of the courtyard and firing an AR-15 rifle. One round went through a third-floor apartment where three students were inside. No one was struck.

New factors emerged at Wednesday’s appearance that prompted prosecutors to drop the charges, according to Larry Buser with the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

Surveillance video from the complex showed that two men tried to rob Parson, Buser said.

Parson has maintained he was defending himself, and has no prior criminal record, Buser added.

Two of the students named as victims in the police report did not wish to prosecute and did not appear at the hearing. The third student had since moved out of the building and was not interested in pressing charges, prosecutors said.

Parson did agree to attend a gun safety class called Ceasefire.

The University of Memphis has since taken over management of Gather on Southern, after a series of violent crimes including a robbery where tenants were held at gunpoint.

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.