An Alabama teen has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting that killed a 17-year-old student at Huffman High School in Birmingham on Wednesday.
Police have identified the shooter as Michael Jerome Barber, 17, who is also a Huffman High School student. In a press conference on Friday, Jefferson County District Attorney Michael Anderton said Barber was being charged for bringing “a pistol onto the campus of Huffman High School and recklessly causing the death of [Courtlin] Arrington.”
The teen is currently being held on $75,300 bond, according to Daily Mail. It’s unclear if he’s obtained a lawyer yet.
The lethal encounter unfolded inside a classroom around 3:45 p.m. as classes were about to be dismissed for the day, AL.com reported. Arrington was given CPR and en route to a local hospital but didn’t survive. Barber was also injured in the shooting and suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg.
Authorities initially believed the shooting was accidental. However, footage of the incident ultimately led police to seek charges against the shooter. Birmingham Interim Police Chief Orlando Wilson said he was not aware of any kind of argument, fight or struggle that took place before the deadly shooting.
Birmingham PD issued a statement on the matter early Thursday morning.
“Detectives of the Birmingham Police Department have been working through the night reviewing evidence, video and statements on the tragic incident that took place at Huffman High School yesterday,” the department wrote. “Due to their diligent work, a person of interest has been taken into custody. Charges are pending a review of the case by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.”
Arrington, 17, was set to graduate in May and had already been accepted to college. Her dreams? To become a nurse one day, according to AL.com. News of her death has rocked the Birmingham community, garnering messages of love and support for her friends, and family.
“We’re not just talking about some person, we’re talking about losing a part of our future,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “Our hearts are heavy.”
Local woman Michele Surbaugh penned her own tribute to the slain Alabama teen, saying she had to dig through several media outlets just to learn her identity.
“She doesn’t deserve to be unnamed by the media because she is a young woman who is Black,” Surbaugh said. “I guarantee her parents feel just like the Parkland parents. We, as adults, can’t choose which school shootings are sadder or more dramatic between all school shootings.”
Courtlin Arrington The 17 yo student from Huffman high school (AL high school shooting, yesterday) has a name. I had…
While the high school utilizes metal detectors on its campus, the district confirmed they weren’t in use the day of the shooting. They declined to say why, however. Superintendent Lisa Herring said the district is currently reviewing the security measures and protocols in place on Wednesday.
“We have not only heightened our procedures, but we are revamping and revisiting, with an extreme amount of urgency, those protocols, not just for Huffman High School, but for every single school in Birmingham,” Herring told reporters at a press conference Thursday.