Suspect in Watson Chapel school shooting facing capital murder charge

Suspect in Watson Chapel school shooting facing capital murder charge
A juvenile suspect is in police custody following a shooting at a Pine Bluff junior high school.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KAIT) - The 15-year-old suspect arrested in the Watson Chapel school shooting earlier this week is now facing a capital murder charge.

According to a report from content partner KATV, the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s office upgraded the charges Friday.

A 15-year-old victim who was shot earlier this week in the hallway of a Pine Bluff-area school died Wednesday, according to school officials.

According to a post on the Watson Chapel School District Facebook page, the teen, Daylon Burnett, passed away. School district officials cited Burnett’s mother’s Facebook page as a source.

“It is with great sadness that according to the mother’s Facebook page, Daylon Burnett has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” the post noted.

It is with great sadness that according to the mother’s Facebook page, Daylon Burnett has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Posted by Watson Chapel School District on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Content partner KARK also reported Burnett’s death.

Officials said this week that the 15-year-old student accused of shooting Burnett in the hallway of the school will be tried as an adult.

KARK-TV in Little Rock originally reported Wednesday that the suspect in Monday’s shooting at Watson Chapel Junior High School was being charged as an adult with first-degree battery.

The suspect, who has not been identified, is being held in lieu of a $1 million bond. His next court appearance is set for April 12.

His great uncle, Glen Brown Sr., told KATV that the family was hoping the teen pulls through.

“We’re hoping for the best and maybe sometimes, a little aware that the worst could happen,” he said.

Monday afternoon, Pine Bluff police initially said that the victim had died. They retracted that statement a short time later, saying “bad information was released.”

Police described it as a “targeted shooting.” While not random, they say the motive remained uncertain.

The shooting, according to investigators, occurred as the students were going from class to class.

Following the shooting, the suspected shooter fled the scene. An Arkansas Department of Corrections’ K-9 team found him hiding behind a house a short time later. Police say he was not injured during the confrontation.

Watson Chapel School District confirmed that the shooting happened Monday morning on the junior high school campus.

Police confirmed that there was not a School Resource Officer at the school at the time of the shooting.

Police say they’ll have additional officers on campus this week, as students return to school.

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