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16-Year-Old Liberty Alleged Shooter May Be Tried as an Adult

By Brittany Nicholson
By bnicholson@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- The 16-year-old suspected gunman is now in the custody of his mother, according to police.

Authorities have not released the name of the suspect, but said the district attorney is taking steps to put him on trial as an adult.

Meanwhile, students and staff at Liberty Tech High School went back to class, Friday.

The suspect faces multiple charges, including aggravated assault, after reportedly shooting a 17-year-old classmate in the thigh.

"It happened within 5 minutes of school being dismissed. It happened very quickly and we're still trying to determine if he had a gun or not at school," Captain Tyreece Miller said.

Police said the suspect made a quiet getaway.

"He flagged down an unsuspecting parent, this parent knew him, didn't think anything about taking him home. I think they actually passed police cars on the way. The parent said he was calm and never gave any indication he was the reason why police were responding," Captain Miller said.

Police were able to track him down at his grandmother's house less than an hour after the shooting. They said a dog helped them find the gun hidden about 25 feet away from the house.

Liberty Tech High freshman Jalen Howard decided to go back to school, Friday, despite Thursday's act of violence.

"We just had a regular school day, no one said anything about it," Howard said.

Although he said he is not fearful of going to school, he thinks something should be done to make it a safer place. Some parents agree.

"I just think that the school board needs to do something about it as far as taking different measures or different steps to make sure our children are being safe," Kevin Stamper, a parent of a Liberty Tech High School student, said.

Police said the shooter was released on a $20,000 bond and is in his mother's custody in middle Tennessee.

The victim is in stable condition.

According to police, the shooter is also facing charges for carrying a weapon on school property, alteration of an item with permanent distinguishing numbers because the serial numbers had been altered on the handgun, and tampering with evidence.
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