Central High School shooting suspect charged with murder

Central High School shooting suspect Jamar Siler, 15, is escorted by members of the Knoxville Police Department.
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UPDATED 8/21/08 7:13 p.m.: Knoxville (WVLT) - Students say Central High's cafeteria is always noisy before classes start.

So when they hear the pop. "It sounded like a toy gun, no one really took it for anything," says Central High student Brooklyn.

Until they saw 15-year-old Ryan McDonald fall.

We walked over there, and then he was laying dead--and then he started having little spasms," Brooklyn says.

"Everybody like went running and screaming," Carly's one to head to the office to call 911.

Two minutes later, Knoxville Police are on-scene and Central High is on lock down.

"The shooter sprinted out, I didn't get a good look at him," says Brooklyn.

"At 8:17, the suspect was in custody, so within six minutes of the time the incident occurred, the suspect had been arrested," says Knoxville Deputy Police Chief Bill Roehl.

And a weapon recovered, three blocks away. The suspect was identified as 15-year-old-Jamar Silar.

Ryan McDonald would die of his wound in UT Medical Center's E.R.

Quickly, it's clear "Both the suspect and the victim knew each other. We don't know the particulars of why it escalated to the situation that occurred today," says Chief Deputy Roehl.

But it's enough to pull Central, Halls High, and two middle and elementary schools off lock down.

"When we first walked into the chorus room, everybody was praying in a big circle, holding hands in prayer, so that's the most re-assuring thing I've had all day," says Central High student Haley Hammet.

"Obviously, class will be dismissed for the rest of the day here at Central High school, and we are making sure that parents are notified," said Knox County Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre.

By late Thursday morning, parents and children are reuniting at Central Baptist Church in Fountain City, where counseling was available.

"She's safe, she never was in harm's way," coincidentally, Pastor Chris Buice's daughter is a Central Student.

After the shootings and killings at his church, Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist barely 3 weeks ago, he knew his place was here. "Most tangibly, I'm aware of how I've benefited from people reaching out to me and our church in time of need, and it just brought home the importance of being there for people, in the time of need."


UPDATED 8/21/08 3:50 p.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In an appearance this afternoon in Knox County Juvenile Court, Central High School shooting suspect Jamar Siler was charged with first degree murder.

Details will be posted here as they are made available.


UPDATED 8/21/08 1:58 p.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Knoxville News-Sentinel is reporting that the suspect in Thursdays shooting at Central High School has been identified as 15-year-old Jamar Siler.

Siler is being questioned in the shooting death of 15-year-old Central High School junior Ryan McDonald.


UPDATED 8/21/08 12:12 p.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale has issued the following statement on the shooting at Central High School Thursday morning:

"This morning, our community was shattered and our hearts broken. The thoughts and prayers of all Knox Countians are focused on the students, families and staff of Central High School. Our hearts particularly go out to the family and friends of Ryan McDonald, the young victim of the shooting. Violence is never more hateful and shocking than when it invades our schools.

"This shooting, which comes on the heels of the violence at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Unviersalist Church, tears at the hearts of all our citizens. As a community, we stand ready to do all we can to prevent this type of tragedy from ever occurring again."


Updated 8/21/08 10:55 a.m. - A spokesperson for UT Medical Center has confirmed the name of the victim in the shooting at Central High School.

The hospital says 15-year-old Ryan McDonald, a junior at Central High School, died earlier today following the shooting.

Knoxville Police have not yet released the name of the alleged shooter. The suspect is being held at the KPD Safety Building in Knoxville.

Get a list of prayer services and support meetings.


UPDATED 8/21/08 10:08 a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The victim in the Central High School shooting has died, according to the Knoxville Police Department Chief Deputy Bill Roehl.

Roehl says the suspect was taken into custody a few blocks away from the school about six minutes after the shooting. He says a weapon was recovered from the suspect.

Chief Deputy Roehl say the cafeteria where the shooting happened is used as a gathering place for students before school starts.


UPDATED 8/21/08 9:55 a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk says the victim is a boy around 16 years old. There's no word on his condition at this time.


UPDATED 8/21/08 9:39 a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Shooting happened around 8:10 a.m., suspect was taken into custody less than 10 minutes later, according to Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk.

If you have photos or video from the scene, send them to us by logging onto VolzEYE.com


UPDATED 8/21/08 9:31a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The student shot Thursday morning at Central High School was taken to UT Medical Center for treatment.

Halls High School is also on lockdown as a precaution as part of Knox County Schools' standard operating procedure.


UPDATED 8/21/08 8:52 a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Police are asking parents of Central High School students to go to the nearby Central Baptist Church to meet with authorities and school officials.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- One student has been shot at Central High School in Knoxville after an altercation between two students in the cafeteria.

Police say a suspect has been taken into custody. And a weapon has been recovered.

Knoxville Fire Captain Brent Seymour says students are on lockdown, and teachers are making sure everyone is accounted for.

Volunteer TV News is on the air live with updates, and we'll have updates for you as they become available on VolunteerTV.com.

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