Gun at White Station sparks anxiety among parents and students


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – A parent’s worst nightmare: Families with students at White Station High received a phone call from the district on Thursday, May 26, which sent them running to East Memphis School.

A report of a firearm on campus triggered a lockdown. Memphis-Shelby County Schools called it a “soft lockdown,” with students and staff staying put while officers searched for the weapon.

But parents received text messages from their frightened children before MSCS provided any information. In that window of time, and on the heels of the Texas school shooting, a very real panic and anxiety set in for many members of the White Station family.

“It was just going into lockdown, it’s not a drill,” Grade 9 student Keris Randle told Action News 5.

She described the fear inside the school as the lockdown was ordered as she sat in art class.

“Everyone started screaming,” Randle said, “So we went into the storage room and we were just hiding. And our teacher said if they come here, throw everything away. Just throw it away! “

Anxious moms and dads rushed to school. Many, including Sharron Tuggle, receive text messages from their frightened children.

“I left the doctor’s office and everything. I dropped everything and carried a ** poplar,” she said.

As pupils barricaded in classrooms looked out the windows, worried parents received a voicemail from the MSCS.

“White Station High School is locked down while law enforcement is on site,” the post read.

Memphis police told Action News 5 they received a report that a student brought a gun to school. They searched school property, found the weapon and detained the student.

“He actually felt the need, and it’s apparent from the reports, to bring a gun for protection on his way home from school,” MSCS communications chief Jerica Philips told Action News 5.

The MSCS said daily, random metal detector checks are carried out at White Station High. The parents said they wanted more scouting and more cops on campus.

“I think all schools should have metal detectors,” said WSHS father Chester Tuggle, “I think all schools should have security at every door.”

“We want them to be there as quickly as possible,” said Kevin, Keris Randle’s father, “We want them to be there at school every day so that if something like this happens they will be here quickly and able to take care of everything.”

With the school flag already flying at half mast to honor the last mass shooting that occurred 48 hours earlier, it was a tough day for Keris and the rest of the Spartan family.

“I prayed it wasn’t another shooting in Texas. I just prayed it was under control and we were all safe. And we are,” she said.

Memphis police said the 16-year-old student was arrested and taken to juvenile court. He is now charged with possession of a weapon with intent on school property, possession of a handgun by a minor, unlawful possession of a weapon and theft of property.

The MSCS said a classmate told school administrators about the weapon. If your child sees something, they are encouraged to say something. They can send a tip by SMS to “274637” and use the code “SCS”.

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