Memphis cops thwart mass shooting at Jewish school

Memphis cops thwart mass shooting at Jewish school by taking down ‘former student’ armed with a gun as he fired shots and tried to force his way inside

  • Staff at Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South called Memphis police at 12:20pm on Monday to report a gunman near the school
  • The school shared a photo of the gunman, describing him as in his 40s and armed with a handgun, driving a red pickup with California plates
  • He was stopped by police nearby and shot by officers: he remains in a critical condition in hospital. Congressman Steve Cohen said he was a former student 

Staff at a Memphis Jewish school have been praised for their quick thinking after they blocked an armed man from entering and then called the police, leading to him being stopped shortly after.

Workers at Margolin Hebrew Academy/Feinstone Yeshiva of the South called police at 12:20pm on Monday to report that a man with a handgun had tried to get into the school, and fired his gun outside.

Michael Masters, CEO of the Secure Community Network, told Jewish Telegraphic Agency the suspect was a male in his 40s who tried to enter the school but was prevented from doing so due to a security system.

Congressman Steve Cohen told The Daily Memphian the suspect was Jewish, and a former student.

Surveillance camera footage shows the man armed with a hand gun, attempting to get into the school on Monday. The interior doors were closed

Police are seen outside the Hebrew Academy in Memphis on Monday afternoon

Memphis police said it was too soon to determine whether the attempted attack was a hate crime

On finding the entrance blocked, he fled, but the school shared security camera footage of the suspect and told police he was driving a maroon Ram pickup truck with California tags.

The man was pulled over around three miles from the school.

When he got out, he confronted police with his handgun, and was shot.

He has been taken to hospital, and remains in a critical condition.

‘Today is a great example of very alert, vigilant officers trying to protect the city,’ said Assistant Police Chief Don Crowe.

‘I personally truly believe that we have avoided a tragedy. I think the suspect was going to harm somebody before the day was over.’

Don Crowe, the assistant chief of Memphis police, praised the officers and staff involved

Cohen also praised the security systems at the school.

‘We have recently learned that the shooter at the Margolin Hebrew Academy was himself Jewish and a former student at the school,’ the congressman said. 

‘I am pleased the academy had effective security and that the police acted quickly to protect students.’

The shooting is the second outside a Memphis school in less than a week. 

A security guard at Freedom Preparatory Academy was shot on July 25. 

Senate minority leader Raumesh Akbari, a Democrat representing Memphis, demanded tougher gun control.

‘With the new school year approaching, this is the second shooting at a school campus in Memphis in less than a week,’ he said. 

‘No family and no community should have to live in constant fear that gun violence may claim the lives of their children or loved ones. 

‘We are not helpless against this epidemic of gun violence. We can enact reforms that stop future gun violence. 

‘Now, it’s more urgent than ever that lawmakers come together during our special session to give police the tools they need prevent shootings from happening in the first place.’

Police said they cannot yet say if the shooting at the Hebrew academy was a hate crime.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the attempted attack.

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