Boy, 15, dies after shooting at Arkansas middle school

ajc.com

Credit: Via Facebook

Credit: Via Facebook

Family shared identity of teen who had been fighting for his life on ventilator the last 2 days

The 15-year-old shot in the hallways of a Pine Bluff, Arkansas, middle school Monday has died, according to authorities.

Lt. David DeFoor, Pine Bluff police spokesman, confirmed the child’s death to ABC News on Wednesday night, citing the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office in Little Rock. A deputy at the coroner’s office referred inquiries to Pine Bluff police.

The boy, identified by his family and the Watson Chapel School District as Daylon Burnett, died after two days under intensive care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

On Tuesday, the child’s great-uncle, Glen Brown Sr., spoke with ABC affiliate KGO-TV about the family’s hope for a recovery. Brown said his great-nephew played football and was a good kid. The Watson Chapel Junior High School student was on a ventilator at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock before he passed away.

“Yes, he’s fighting for his life; it’s very serious. When you start talking about teenagers, they just got here. Their walks of life never started; they just got here,” Brown said before the teen’s death was announced. “We’re hoping for the best and, maybe sometime, a little aware that the worst could happen,” Brown said.

On Wednesday, authorities announced the 15-year-old accused of shooting the Watson Chapel student will be charged as an adult on first-degree battery and held on a $1 million bond. The teenager’s next court date is April 12, according to THV-11 reporter Jade Jackson.

The teen suspect has been identified as Thomas Quarles, according to Fox 16′s Ashlei King. The charges have not been upgraded yet, according to reports.

The shooting happened in a hallway at Watson Chapel Junior High School as students were switching classes about 10 a.m. Monday, Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant said. The school is in Pine Bluff, about 40 miles southeast of Little Rock.

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“So, how many students were actually in the hallway? We do not know at this time,” Sergeant told reporters at a news conference. “But there were other individuals present, as they were transferring from one class to another.”

Sergeant said officers received their first reports about the shooting at Watson Chapel Junior High at 9:59 a.m. and arrived at the school three minutes later. Upon arrival, investigators found the lone 15-year-old student in a hallway near the main office. That student was transported to Little Rock.

Monday was the first day back to school for Watson Chapel School District students after a water issue in the buildings. It isn’t clear how long the students were at-home learning because of the problem.

Watson Chapel Junior High School held virtual-only classes Tuesday to give students time to cope with the tragedy they witnessed Monday. The junior high school, which includes students in the seventh, eighth and ninth grades, will continue virtual learning Wednesday. On-site learning was scheduled to reconvene Thursday, according to the district.

Tributes were posted late Wednesday in honor of Daylon, including one from Tanesha Thomas, who described him as her “lil rider.”

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