Person officially charged in death of 17-year-old Huffman HS student

Michael Jerome Barber is charged with manslaughter and certain persons forbidden to possess a...
Michael Jerome Barber is charged with manslaughter and certain persons forbidden to possess a pistol. (Source: BPD)
Published: Mar. 7, 2018 at 8:59 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2018 at 11:26 AM CST
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17-year-old killed in Huffman High School shooting. (Source: Richard Franklin, AFT President)
17-year-old killed in Huffman High School shooting. (Source: Richard Franklin, AFT President)
Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC viewer
Source: WBRC viewer
Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Charges have been officially filed in the shooting death of a Huffman High School student during a shooting on campus.

Michael Jerome Barber, 17, is facing manslaughter and certain persons forbidden to possess a pistol in the killing of 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington, who was shot Wednesday as classes were dismissing for the day.

Barber's bonds have been set at $75,000 and $300 respectively.  He will be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail.

Students returned to class Friday.

The administration met with Birmingham's Interim Chief of Police Orlando Wilson and Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring to put together a comprehensive safety plan for Friday's return to classes, according to a news release.

There will be an increased amount school resource officers and additional patrols on the inside and the outside of the school.

Police confirm that a person of interest is in custody.

"Detectives of the Birmingham Police Department have been working through the night reviewing evidence, video and statements on the tragic incident that took place at Huffman High School yesterday," Lt. Peter Williston said in a statement. "Due to their diligent work a person of interest has been taken into custody."

Birmingham Police Chief Orlando Wilson confirmed that 17-year-old senior Courtlin Arrington was killed. Another 17-year-old  was shot. Both were sent to UAB Hospital, where Arrington was pronounced dead.

The male was treated and released.

Huffman High School is closed as officers review the school's security strategy.

Birmingham police are calling the incident a death investigation.

"We are not saying he shot her or did not shoot her. We are saying shots were fired," Wilson said during a press conference.

Wilson said the firearm used is in police possession. The Chief said it is unknown what caused the alleged shooting.

Huffman High School, Wilson said, has cameras inside the school.

Students interviewed by WBRC said the bell rang at 3:40 p.m. and the gunshots occurred around 3:45 p.m. The school was placed on lockdown.

A third person, who is not a student, was injured, but it is unknown to what extent.

Huffman High School is closed Thursday.

Birmingham City Schools released the following statement:

Two students were involved in a shooting during dismissal today at Huffman High School. The school was placed on a brief lockdown, and police were called to the scene. Students have been released and police are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Governor Kay Ivey released the following statement:

I am saddened to learn about the death of the Huffman High School student. I am praying for the family of this young lady who has tragically lost her life way too early. Every life is precious and, even though this was an accident, it reaffirms that there is no place for students to have firearms or other weapons on campus.

Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell, D-AL, released the following statement.

My heart is breaking for those hurt and killed in the shooting at Huffman High School." said Rep. Terri Sewell. "I cannot imagine the grief of the parents who lost their little girl today to gun violence. She was a part of our community's future. Tonight, my prayers are with her, the other victim, and their families. We have a responsibility to protect our schools from gun violence, accidental or otherwise. Every year more students and teachers, sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters are killed in school shootings – we need to do everything in our power to make this incident the last. We cannot settle for symbolic gestures in Congress when our children's lives are at stake.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin ordered all flags at city facilities to be flown at half-staff.

Hezekiah Jackson IV, president of the Metro Birmingham NAACP, released the following statement:

The incident on Wednesday, March 8, 2018 at Huffman High which resulted in the death of a promising young female high school Senior with a bright future is yet a reminder of our community challenge and call to action.

The challenge is great and takes a group effort of parents, guardians, elected and appointed officials (leading the way) on every level, community leaders and citizens and organizations of  goodwill to meet and defeat.

The Metro Birmingham NAACP shares the notion of the Beloved Community with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to achieve a society based on justice, equal opportunity and love of one's fellow human beings.

The Metro Birmingham NAACP extends our deepest sympathy to the family who lost a loved one on Wednesday, March 8, 2018 and all who have been taken from us in senseless acts.

This is the second shooting at Huffman High School in the last two years.

Birmingham Schools plan to use a school safety tipline/hotline for students or teachers to call with safety concerns, they can text tips as well. The number is 1-877-250-2830.

Please check back for updates as we gather additional information.

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