Police Investigate Shooting Inside Memphis High School Classroom

(MEMPHIS, TN) -- Memphis Police are investigating after a student was shot in a third floor classroom Hamilton High School Monday morning, officials said.

Sources said the victim was shot in the leg after an argument with another student.

As news of the shooting quickly spread, parents sped to the school wanting to know if their children were safe.

Several parents standing outside the school said text messages from students inside said the pair had been arguing over a rap song at the time of the shooting.

Renita Lanier, the victim's aunt, said the two teens were fighting over a rap song.

"I don't know why he did it," She said. "What was he thinking? You still was around other people. Innocent people could have gotten killed."

Immediately after the shooting, Hamilton High went into lockdown. Security and police were positioned at all entrances and exits, and an ambulance rushed Love to the med with a non-threatening wound to the leg.

Later in the day, Memphis City Schools spokesperson Rita Cooper confirmed the shooting happened inside the school in a classroom. Reports from the scene indicated the gun was found behind the school's gymnasium.

The suspect was taken into police custody shortly after the shooting, leaving some to wonder how a gun could have gotten into the school.

"I can't say as to how the weapon got inside," Memphis City Schools Security Cheif Sam Moses said, adding two officers from the Memphis Police Department are assigned to the school daily.

Hamilton High School remained on lockdown for the rest of the day.

Student LaShundra Caldwell said she wished the two would waited to argue outside school.

"We're actually a good school," she said. "But when stuff like this goes on, people don't want to learn. They can stay home for that, because we don't have time for that."

The last shooting at Hamilton High School happened in October of 2004. Then, one student fired a single shot at another student in the school's basement. No one was hurt in that shooting.

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At 11:15 a.m., Memphis City Schools released the following statement:

"Memphis City Schools is deeply saddened by an unfortunate incident today at Hamilton High School. A student was shot in the leg by a classmate. We have learned from authorities that this was an isolated incident that stemmed from a dispute between two students.

We are relieved to have learned that the student's injury is not life-threatening. He has been taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.  Our thoughts and prayers remain with this student and his family, and we look forward to him returning to Hamilton High very soon.

The suspect, who is also a student at Hamilton, is in police custody.  Please understand that this incident involved two students in one classroom. The school was locked down immediately following the incident and will remain locked down the remainder of the day as a precaution.

It should be made clear that Memphis City Schools recognizes the seriousness and potential for danger in any instance where a weapon is present on a school campus. This has been a very difficult day for everyone at Hamilton High School and the entire Memphis City Schools family. It should be stated that we are very proud of the quick responses demonstrated by staff members at Hamilton High and the Memphis City Schools Security team."

Rita Cooper
District Spokeswoman
Memphis City Schools