(TStarnes) – A mass shooting was averted at Hebrew academy in Memphis thanks to the school’s strict safety protocols.
Memphis Police say that a man armed with a gun tried to gain entry into the Margolin Hebrew Academy just after lunch time. Fortunately, the school had double security doors and he was unable to gain entry.
“When he could not gain entry, he fired shots outside the school,” Asst. Police Chief Don Crowe told reporters. “Thankfully, that school had a great safety procedure and process in place and avoided anyone being harmed or injured at that scene.”
School officials were able to almost immediately provide police with a surveillance photo of the suspect along with a description of his pickup truck.
Today is a great example of very vigilant officers trying to protect the city. I personally believe that we have avoided a tragedy. I believe the suspect was going to harm somebody before the day was over,” Crowe said.
Parents praised the quick actions taken by school officials.
“The security both at this school and across this Jewish community is very, very tight, it’s very coordinated, there is a security committee that meets, we have all kinds of grants to support the security of all our Jewish institutions. I know that it has been and continues to remain a priority for the community,” parent Gila Golder told television station WREG.
Schools across the city were placed on a precautionary lockdown as officers hunted for the suspect. He was located nearby and when cops initiated a traffic stop, he exited the truck with a gun. A police officer fired a shot and took down the suspect.
He was taken to Regional One Hospital in critical condition.
Police Chief C.J. Davis said the actions of the police department stopped what could have been a horrific incident.
“I am proud of the vigilant and quick response of MPD officers who mitigated a potential mass shooting situation today,” Davis said in a statement. “Many thanks to our neighboring jurisdictions for also providing critical information to stop the suspect’s actions.”
The suspect is believed to be a Jewish man who was a former student at the academy.