Man shot by police after he fired a gun outside Memphis Jewish school

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating an officer-involved shooting following an incident outside a Hebrew school in Memphis, the agency said Monday.

Officers from the Memphis Police Department were first called to a scene just before 12:30 p.m. Monday at Margolin Hebrew Academy-Feinstone Yeshiva of the South on South White Station Road, MPD Assistant Chief Don Crowe said at a press conference.

An individual who was was armed tried to get into the school, and when he could not get in, Crowe said, he fired at the school.

“Thankfully, that school had a great safety procedure and process in place and avoided anyone being harmed or injured at that scene,” he said. “We cannot thank the people from Hebrew Academy enough for their vigilance and for their ability to get information to us.”

School officials were able to provide police with a description of the man and the vehicle he was driving. Police found the vehicle, a maroon Ram pickup truck, and pulled him over.

“He immediately emerged out of the vehicle with a gun in his hand,” Crowe said. In response, the officer shot the man, who was taken to Regional One Health in critical condition.

Crowe said MPD notified Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy and TBI about the shooting, and TBI has taken over the investigation.

Crowe said officers are still combing the scene at the school, but told reporters it is “way too early in the investigation” to say if the man was trying to carry out a hate crime against the students.

“Today is a great example of very alert, vigilant officers trying to protect the city,” he said. “I personally, truly believe that we have avoided a tragedy. I think the suspect was going to harm somebody before the day was over, and that our officers were able to intervene and protect the citizens.”

The man has not been charged with a crime, nor has he been identified by police.

According to the school’s website, new teacher training starts Aug. 10 and classes start Aug. 17. It was not immediately clear how many people were present at the school Monday and if any summer programs involving students were taking place.

When The Memphis Commercial Appeal, part of the USA TODAY Network, reached the school office by phone, a reporter was told the school had no comment at the time.

Memphis-Shelby County Schools were temporarily placed on lockdown because of a “situation unfolding across Shelby County,” the school district said in an alert to teachers and parents. The lockdown was lifted after a suspect was located, shortly after the alert was sent, according to a second alert from MSCS.

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