Birmingham police identify suspect arrested, charged in Huffman High School shooting

Birmingham police identify suspect arrested, charged in Huffman High School shooting
Huffman High School students were dismissed at 3:35 p.m. Source: Jamiese Price/WBRC
Huffman High School students were dismissed at 3:35 p.m. Source: Jamiese Price/WBRC
(Source: Jamiese Price/WBRC)
(Source: Jamiese Price/WBRC)
The 19-year-old suspect drove up in this car, got out and opened fire, police say. Source: WBRC video
The 19-year-old suspect drove up in this car, got out and opened fire, police say. Source: WBRC video
Source: Jamiese Price/WBRC
Source: Jamiese Price/WBRC

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham police have identified the suspect arrested and charged for opening fire outside Huffman High School on Tuesday afternoon.

Quandarius Williams, 19, is charged with attempted murder. He is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

"This suspect's reckless actions endangered the lives of our students and staff but thankfully due to the courage and quick response of our officers many lives were saved," said Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper.

We have learned Williams was an employee with the Jimmy Hale Misson he worked part time at one of their thrift stores for about four months. Officials with the mission tell they have a zero tolerance policy and when they learned of Williams' felony arrest he was immediately terminated. They said this was a sad situation and applauded the actions of police yesterday.

School was in session as normal on Wednesday and Principal John Lyons, Jr. says counselors were on hand to help students and staff if they needed to talk.

Both Lyons and Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kelley Castlin-Gacutan praised Huffman staff and school resources officers for their response to the shooting.

Officers say one student was grazed in the hand by a bullet during the Tuesday shooting. The student was taken to St. Vincent's East Hospital. He was not seriously hurt.

Birmingham Police Lt. Sean Edwards confirmed that no one else was hurt in the shooting, which caused the school to be placed on lockdown.

Edwards said around 2:20 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, a few male students got into a fight. One of the students called his older brother, Williams, who is not a Huffman student.

Police say Williams showed up at the school, got out of his car, an older model Chevy, and began to "recklessly" discharge his gun outside the school near a field house, Edwards said.

Edwards said the targeted student had to "run for his life" to escape the gunfire.

The shots were fired during a class transition period and several other students were outside at the time.

Edwards said two of the Huffman school resource officers on campus responded and immediately engaged with Williams. One of the officers fired shots at Williams, but Williams was not hit or injured.

The officers chased Williams, tackled him and arrested him.

"Keep in mind if this individual had jumped out of his car and recklessly started discharging his firearm, he was an active shooter. And so at that moment lives were at stake, OK? And so our officers are trained professionals and so he literally had to engage and so his firearm, he did discharge his firearm," Edwards said.

Edwards said they were fortunate to have two officers on the campus who were immediately able to respond to the shooting.

"It was a great thing to have Birmingham police at this school. I would tell you that lives were saved today. We're grateful that this situation wasn't worse than it actually was," Edwards said.

Police said the officer who fired the shot at Williams was taken to the hospital as part of their policy, but he only had scrapes and bruises.

Parents were directed to the west side of the school to pick up their children. Students were dismissed around 3:35 p.m.

Birmingham City Councilor Lashunda Scales, whose district includes Huffman High School, said she was very disturbed by the shooting, but thankful school resource officers were on campus.

The councilor also commended the Birmingham Police Department on how quickly they responded to the school, saying that their actions saved lives.

Huffman High School has between 1,200 and 1,300 students and has the largest student population of all Birmingham City Schools, according to Councilor Scales. It is located at 950 Springville Road in Birmingham.

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