Shooting Suspect's Dad Killed by Police 20 Years Ago

2004 complaint filed by suspect's mom says her son suffered emotional distress at the time
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 31, 2023 6:11 PM CDT
Updated Aug 4, 2023 1:45 PM CDT
Memphis Police Shoot Man Who Fired Shots Near Jewish School
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents and Memphis Police Department officers respond to a scene near the intersection of McCrory Avenue and Gary Street in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, July 31, 2023.   (Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal via AP)
UPDATE Aug 4, 2023 1:45 PM CDT

An eerie detail has emerged after a man fired shots outside of a Jewish school in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this week. NBC News reports that the father of 33-year-old suspect Joel Bowman was shot dead by Memphis cops in May 2003 after they received a 911 call of him "acting erratically." A 2004 wrongful-death suit filed by Bowman's mother says police fired at Anthony Bowman as he held a gun, though it insists he never threatened anyone with it. Joel Bowman was "interrogated at the scene while his father remained lifeless on the ground," per the suit. The complaint, settled in 2017, notes Joel Bowman received counseling after the shooting for emotional distress. After this week's shooting, he faces attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and other charges. Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen says Bowman used to attend the school, per WREG.

Jul 31, 2023 6:11 PM CDT

Memphis police on Monday said officers shot a suspect after he attempted to enter a Jewish school with a gun and fired shots when he couldn't get into the building. Assistant Police Chief Don Crowe said the suspect, whose identity has not been released, approached Margolin Hebrew Academy-Feinstone Yeshiva of the South around 12:20pm. He fired several shots and then left in a maroon truck. "Thankfully, that school had a great safety procedure and process in place and avoided anyone being harmed or injured at that scene," Crowe said.

Officers located the suspect's vehicle "shortly after that," Crowe said, adding that officers then shot the suspect after he exited the truck with a firearm in hand. The suspect was sent to a local hospital, where he is in critical condition, the AP reports. It was not immediately clear if school was in session. When asked if law enforcement believe the shooting was a hate crime, Crowe said officers were still on the scene and collecting information. "It's way too early for that. Again, we're very early in this investigation," said Assistant Police Chief Don Crowe.

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is now handling the case. US Rep. Steve Cohen, whose district includes Memphis, said in a statement that he was shocked to hear about the incident at the school and noted that acts of "violent antisemitism" are on the rise across the country. Monday's shooting comes nearly four months after a shooter opened fire at a private Christian school in Nashville and killed six people, including three 9-year-old children. That attack sparked closer scrutiny of Tennessee's relaxed gun laws and renewed calls to strengthen security at both public and private schools across the state.

(Read more Tennessee stories.)

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