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15-year-old boy shot at Arkansas middle school dies

15-year-old boy shot at Arkansas middle school dies
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A 15-year-old boy who was shot this week at an Arkansas junior high school has died, police and the local school district confirmed. 

The Associated Press reported that Pine Bluff police spokesman Lt. David DeFoor confirmed that the boy, identified by family and the Watson Chapel School District as Daylon Burnett, died Wednesday evening after spending two days in the intensive care unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

DeFoor cited the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office in Little Rock when confirming the boy’s death, though the AP reported that the coroner’s office referred inquiries back to the police department. 

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The Hill has reached out to Pine Bluff police for additional information. 

The school district confirmed on Facebook that Burnett had passed away, referencing a Facebook post from the boy’s mother. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” the school district wrote. 

The shooting occurred at Watson Chapel Junior High School on Monday, the first day students returned to in-person classes after days of remote learning following a water issue in the area, according to NBC News

According to police, another 15-year-old boy at the school shot Burnett, leaving him in serious condition before he was taken to the hospital. 

A police K-9 unit apprehended the suspect, who has not been identified by name because he is a minor, in a nearby neighborhood, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. 

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A judge earlier Wednesday officially charged the teenage suspect with first-degree battery and set a bond at $1 million. A homicide charge has not yet been filed against the suspect, according to the AP. 

The suspect as of Wednesday remained in Jefferson County’s juvenile detention center and is scheduled to appear in court on April 4. 

Police have said that they have not yet identified a motive for the shooting, though they believe it was a targeted, isolated incident. 

Following the shooting, students at the junior high school returned to remote learning for two days and were scheduled to resume classes in-person on Thursday. 

In a letter from the school district’s superintendent that was shared Wednesday afternoon on the Watson Chapel Facebook page, students and parents were informed that additional counselors would be available to students as they returned to campus. 

“We think it is imperative that all students take advantage of the many, many professionals who will be present to provide counseling and guidance,” the superintendent wrote. “The events of this week have been tragic. It has been a traumatic week for our students and our staff."

The official went on to say, “I truly believe that students and staff will work together in the coming days to the best benefit of us all.”