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PRESCOTT — A teenager was injured after a classmate brought a handgun to a southwestern Arkansas school on Monday morning and shot him, prompting a district-wide lockdown and the arrest of a suspect, officials said.

The injured teen was in stable condition after being airlifted to a hospital, and police arrested the student suspected of shooting him at Prescott High School, officials said.

“It appears this was a premeditated attack specifically targeting the injured student,” Prescott Public Schools said in a statement hours after the shooting.

School officials said the shooter was a student and had brought a concealed handgun into the school. Both the shooter and victim were 14-year-old eighth-grade students, police said.

A school police officer was on campus at the time, and officers arrested the shooter following a lockdown, the district said.

Prescott Police Chief Joey Beavers said the department responded to the high school around 9:15 a.m. to reports of a shooting in a hallway. “Everything was contained in just a matter of seconds,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock confirmed the facility received a patient from Prescott.

Officials reported no other injuries.

The 976-student school district canceled classes and other school events for the remainder of the day.

Police said they recovered the handgun tucked in a bush in front of the school.

District officials in Prescott said they plan to review safety and emergency protocols following the shooting.

“We are in the business of educating students and an incident like this is [heartbreaking],” the district said in a statement.

National data compiled by Education Week shows eight people have been injured and one killed in school shootings so far in 2019, including the latest shooting in Prescott.

Five of the nine shootings happened in the South, others in Minneapolis, Kansas City and Baltimore, according to the data.

Monday's shooting was the latest in a string of shootings on school and college campuses across the state over more than 40 years.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported that the state had at least 10 shootings on school and college campuses, resulting in 13 deaths and 15 injuries in more than four decades.

The cities and towns in which the violence occurred were: Stamps in 1980 and 1997, Fayetteville in 1981 and 2000, Little Rock in 1989 and 2008, Sherwood in 1996, Jonesboro in 1998 and 2008, and Conway 2008.

Law enforcement in Prescott called the Arkansas State Police to help investigate, but it wasn’t immediately known what led to the shooting.

At least two nearby school districts also locked down school buildings as a precaution, officials in Hope and Gurdon School School District said.

Prescott Schools said it plans to have counselors on campus for students when it reopens Tuesday.

Beavers said no charges have been filed Monday afternoon. He said police interviewed the 14-year-old alleged shooter.

School leaders didn’t return several messages seeking further comment about the shooting Monday afternoon.

Doug Bradberry, the Arkansas Department of Education's recently appointed school safety coordinator, reached out to the Prescott Superintendent Robert Poole Monday to offer support.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by today's incident," said spokeswoman Kimberly Friedman.

The education commissioner appointed Bradberry in February to oversee the wing of the department responsible for working with schools on campus security, as well as helping schools align with state recommendations for school safety.

(Video by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette) | Stephen Simpson and Cynthia Howell contributed to this story


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Archived Comments

  • GeneralMac
    April 1, 2019 at 12:08 p.m.

    Another example of a shooting happening in a " gun free zone"

    If you want to buy that 99 cents sign forbidding ALL firearms, YOU should be held liable to ENSURE that NO firearms enter your property.

    If you fail to ENSURE, a shooting victim should be able to sue.

  • FireEyes
    April 1, 2019 at 12:09 p.m.

    Prayers for the complete recovery of the child.

  • wolfman
    April 1, 2019 at 12:59 p.m.

    mr trump we need a national emergency declared to prevent these school shootings. you can spend 10 billion dollars on a wall..

    April 1, 2019 at 1:17 p.m.

    Way to go Wolfman -- try to make it Trump's fault. BS.
    How many know ahead of time that there was something going on between the two students and didn't say anything to anyone? None of these shootings happen in a vacuum. We don't have a Red Flag law, but staff and others could have kept a closer eye on these two if someone had said something.

  • GeneralMac
    April 1, 2019 at 1:25 p.m.

    ( 4th paragraph)........." brought a concealed hand gun into the school"

    If you want to post that 99 cents sign...."NO GUNS ALLOWED ".....take steps to ENSURE there are no guns.

    Yes, I will post this message MANY times !

  • titleist10
    April 1, 2019 at 2:17 p.m.

    Wolf man-it goes back to the FAMILY-they are either non existent or not instilling morals and ethics with their children-passing laws will not prevent crimes (its against the law to drive more than the speed limit how many break this law)

  • Illinoisroy
    April 1, 2019 at 3:25 p.m.

    or does it go back to the NRA?

  • 0boxerssuddenlinknet
    April 1, 2019 at 3:29 p.m.

    wolfman No amount of money can prevent CRAZY.

  • LR1955
    April 1, 2019 at 3:47 p.m.

    I bet the shooter obtained an unsecured firearm from his parent(s) home. If so, there should be some liability on the parent(s)

  • susan918crosbygmailcom
    April 1, 2019 at 4:10 p.m.

    I have a dollar in my pocket that says that the shooter was bullied by the victim and finally had enough pushing to where he pushed back. While I know this sounds old fashioned, but we used to settle these kinds of things after school. While I don't condone that, I do think that a little pugilism might be the thing to "fairly" solve a problem. Also the 99 cent sign only works if people read it. The people that bring the weapons to "safe" places don't care about the sign. Ultimately it is a sad state of affairs that disagreements are thought to be settled best by extreme uncontrolled violence. There is MUCH more to this and I hope both children "survive" the aftermath.