BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A 17-year-old high school junior was charged Friday with manslaughter and illegal firearms possession in a classroom shooting that killed a fellow student at an Alabama high school.
The charges against Michael Jerome Barber were announced after authorities interviewed witnesses and reviewed video in connection with the shooting at Huffman High School in Birmingham. Seventeen-year-old Courtlin Arrington, a senior who had dreams of becoming a nurse, was killed in the school shooting.
Barber recklessly caused Arrington’s death after bringing a gun to school, prosecutors said. They did not release details of the shooting.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Ms. Arrington, all of her friends, and those whose lives would have been changed through her nursing dreams had this event not occurred. This is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton said in a statement.
The shooting took place Wednesday as school was dismissing for the day. Police initially said it was possible the shooting was accidental.
Arrington’s mother, Tynesha Tatum, was quoted by al.com as saying that she told her daughter she loved her and to have a “blessed day” as she left for school that morning. The next time she saw her was to identify her body at a Birmingham hospital.
Arrington was a caring and fashion-conscious teen who was determined to become a nurse, her mother said.
“Whatever she put her mind to, that’s what she was going to do,” she told the newspaper. Her funeral will be held the same weekend as what would have been her senior prom.
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring this week described Arrington as a bright student “lost to senseless gun violence.”
“She was friendly, energetic and well-liked by peers and teachers alike,” Herring said.
Barber is a junior who plays on Huffman’s football team and has posted recruiting videos online. Court records were not immediately available to show whether Barber had a lawyer to speak for him.
Huffman High School has metal detectors but they were not in use on the day of the shooting, school officials said.
Herring said the school has increased security and is reviewing safety procedures and protocols.