On Monday, local police stopped a potential mass shooting at the Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, critically injuring the would-be attacker.
The accused, identified as Joel Bowman by law enforcement sources, was shot by a Memphis Police officer before Bowman was able to enter the school. Bowman was a former student of the Jewish school and was attempting to force his way in while armed.
“We have recently learned that the shooter at the Margolin Hebrew Academy was himself Jewish and a former student at the school. I am pleased the academy had effective security and that the police acted quickly to protect students,” stated Rep. Steve Cohen (D).
Bowman had recently made unsettling posts on Facebook concerning his mental health and the afterlife. According to friends, Bowman had shown signs of declining mental health, a concern echoed by his online posts.
Following the incident, Memphis Shelby County Schools were put on a precautionary lockdown as the police investigation continued.
Joel’s father, Dr. Anthony Bowman, was shot by Memphis Police in 2003, and the resulting criminal case reached the Tennessee Supreme Court. Dr. Bowman, reported to be mentally ill and emotionally distressed at the time of the incident, was killed despite the deployment of a stun gun. A settlement was eventually reached with the City of Memphis, giving Joel the funds he intended to use for college.
As the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation handles the case, a motive for Joel Bowman’s actions at the school remains unknown.