MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Parents and other loved ones had to wait to be reunited with their children after a 13-year-old boy was shot at Cummings K-8 School Thursday morning.
Students were evacuated from their classrooms and taken by bus to nearby Metropolitan Baptist Church to be picked up by their parents while police searched in and around the school. Parents say they did not get clear information from the district about what was happening.
“Everybody’s concerned about their kids, and nobody is out here telling us nothing other than stand out here,” said parent Shatoria Wadley. “It’s wet. And they were in the park before they were even in the church. We have sick babies. Somebody need to come talk to us.”
Rayshard Humphrey’s son is a sixth grader at Cummings School. She says she lives nearby so she saw police rushing to the campus this morning, but when she’d call, no one would answer.
“SCS is still calling, but they’re not updating anybody on what’s going on,” Humphrey said. “How are we supposed to know where our children are, how it’s going? It’s adults in the building. How are we supposed to know how they’re doing? It’s all a matter of communication and today communication was not there.”
She eventually found out the school was on lockdown from her son. She showed WREG what she called her first text message from the district at 10:30 a.m., more than an hour after police say they got the call.
“When stuff like this happens the communication needs to be right then. Not an hour or hour and a half after it happens,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey also says she saw a kid get jumped outside the school this morning around 8:15 a.m., and she says administrators didn’t see that happen because Cummings opened late. She has no idea if that student was connected to those involved in the shooting less than an hour later.
Superintendent Joris Ray says he understands parents’ frustrations but also says they were dealing with a fluid situation.
WREG asked Ray about the possible motive for the shooting. He deferred to the Memphis Police Department. At this time, police are not discussing a possible motive, saying they want to leave that for court.