Per a report from the Associated Press, the shooting occurred at approximately 10 a.m. local time on Monday morning at Watson Chapel Junior High School. At the time, students were in the middle of switching from one class to another. The injured student, confirmed to be 15 years old, was shot in the hallway and later transported to a Little Rock hospital. At the time of this writing, the identify of the 15-year-old victim had not been made public.
Pine Pluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant told reporters the suspected shooter, who was also 15, initially fled the scene before later being discovered in a nearby neighborhood via the use of a tracking dog. The suspect has since been taken to a juvenile detention center. At this time, no decision has been made by prosecutors regarding whether potential charges will be filed in juvenile or adult court. Due to his age, the suspect’s name has also not been made public.
In a statement included in the AP report, Sergeant said his team doesn’t currently have a “definitive motive” pinpointed, though he explained they currently believe the shooting to have been a “targeted incident as opposed to a random incident.”
Earlier reports inaccurately stated the 15-year-old victim had died. According to police, this was due to “bad information” being released.
“We have been informed that the 15-year-old has not died and is in serious condition,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said on Monday. “Our prayers remain with the family.”
Monday, notably, had been slated as Watson Chapel Junior High School’s first day back for on-site education in several weeks. Severe winter weather and “water issues” had forced a closure of the school. The announcement of returning to school, according to a separate report from NBC News, had come from a district official on Friday.
Complex has reached out to local police and will update this post accordingly.