Knoxville School Shooting - Student boy shot dead in high school

August 22nd, 2008 - 3:29 pm ICT by Bupha Ravirot  

Ryan McDonald, A 15 -year-old student was shot dead by a classmate on Thursday in a Tennessee high school, as other teenagers watched in horror as the victim clutched his chest and fell to the floor.

The shooting happened shortly after 8 a.m., both the victim and the shooter have had an argument in a cafeteria of the Central High School in Knoxville, deputy Chief Bill Roehl said

Police have identified the victim as Ryan McDonald, who lived with his grandmother and had alopecia, a condition that left him bald and the target of endless teasing as a child.

The suspect, Jamar Siler, 15, was charged with one count of first-degree murder and was being held in a juvenile detention facility.

Students like to gather in the cafeteria before classes. Chad Griffin, 15, and Josh Matthews, 14, who was in the incident said they were sitting about 10 feet away from the victim and talking when they heard a sharp noise.

Griffin at first thought someone had dropped a book and then looked around.

“He got shot and started walking and he was holding his chest. There was blood everywhere. And then he fell and his arm hit me,” Griffin said.

Matthews said he thought it was a fake at first but then realized the shooting was real.

“I took off running and ran outside and called my mom,” Matthews said.

After the tragic incident, the school, which contains 1,400 students was placed on lockdown and Classes were dismissed.

The news conference was held on in the school late Thursday, McIntyre said the school will reopen Friday, emphasizing more on counseling than on classes.

Nearly 200 people attended a candlelight vigil for McDonald outside his grandmother’s modest home in the blue-collar Lonsdale community Thursday evening. They wrote condolences on cardboard signs attached to the chain-link fence in front of the house and sang “Amazing Grace” in the street.

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