School shooting arrest made

Published 10:28 pm Thursday, October 28, 2010

Selma Police are confirming they have made an arrest in the shooting at Payne Elementary School Monday afternoon that sent teachers diving for cover and set nerves on edge around the mid-town Selma community.

Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley said investigators took a 15-year-old black male into custody at Selma Police Department following an interview with the young man. Riley confirmed the suspect is a student at Selma High School.

“After the interview the suspect was taken into custody and charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling, which is a felony,” Riley said. “We are now looking into making additional arrests and assigning additional charges.”

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The shooting took place Monday, before 4 p.m., as faculty members at the school were gathering in the library for a meeting. According to reports, shots were fired in the direction of the school at two young men standing in front of the school.

At least six shots were fired, with three of the bullets striking the building and shattering windows. One of those windows was in the school’s library.

Riley said investigators are confident the weapon used was a handgun although they have not determined what caliber the handgun was. He also said the weapon has not been recovered.

“It would be to his [suspect’s] benefit to be completely forthcoming about what happened and others involved,” Riley said. “It would also be in the best interest of any others involved — or for any others who have information — to come clean with us before we have to take it to the next level.”

Although the investigation continues, Riley was quick to credit the cooperation of area residents in moving the case to this point.

“It has been a combination of continuing police work and continuing work of those in the community to find those involved,” Riley said. “Because of the nature of this crime — shooting near a school — we have had tremendous response from the community.”