Central High School shooting suspect charged with murder

The suspect in ThursdayIf you have photos or video from the scene, send them to us by logging onto VolzEYE.com ' />

Central High School shooting suspect Jamar Siler, 15, is escorted by members of the Knoxville Police Department.

UPDATED 8/21/08 7:13 p.m.: Knoxville (WVLT) - Students say Central High's cafeteria is always noisy before classes start.

So when they hear the pop. "It sounded like a toy gun, no one really took it for anything," says Central High student Brooklyn.

Until they saw 15-year-old Ryan McDonald fall.

We walked over there, and then he was laying dead--and then he started having little spasms," Brooklyn says.

"Everybody like went running and screaming," Carly's one to head to the office to call 911.

Two minutes later, Knoxville Police are on-scene and Central High is on lock down.

"The shooter sprinted out, I didn't get a good look at him," says Brooklyn.

"At 8:17, the suspect was in custody, so within six minutes of the time the incident occurred, the suspect had been arrested," says Knoxville Deputy Police Chief Bill Roehl.

And a weapon recovered, three blocks away. The suspect was identified as 15-year-old-Jamar Silar.

Ryan McDonald would die of his wound in UT Medical Center's E.R.

Quickly, it's clear "Both the suspect and the victim knew each other. We don't know the particulars of why it escalated to the situation that occurred today," says Chief Deputy Roehl.

But it's enough to pull Central, Halls High, and two middle and elementary schools off lock down.

"When we first walked into the chorus room, everybody was praying in a big circle, holding hands in prayer, so that's the most re-assuring thing I've had all day," says Central High student Haley Hammet.

"Obviously, class will be dismissed for the rest of the day here at Central High school, and we are making sure that parents are notified," said Knox County Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre.

By late Thursday morning, parents and children are reuniting at Central Baptist Church in Fountain City, where counseling was available.

"She's safe, she never was in harm's way," coincidentally, Pastor Chris Buice's daughter is a Central Student.

After the shootings and killings at his church, Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist barely 3 weeks ago, he knew his place was here. "Most tangibly, I'm aware of how I've benefited from people reaching out to me and our church in time of need, and it just brought home the importance of being there for people, in the time of need."


UPDATED 8/21/08 3:50 p.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In an appearance this afternoon in Knox County Juvenile Court, Central High School shooting suspect Jamar Siler was charged with first degree murder.

Details will be posted here as they are made available.


UPDATED 8/21/08 1:58 p.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Knoxville News-Sentinel is reporting that the suspect in Thursdays shooting at Central High School has been identified as 15-year-old Jamar Siler.

Siler is being questioned in the shooting death of 15-year-old Central High School junior Ryan McDonald.


UPDATED 8/21/08 12:12 p.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale has issued the following statement on the shooting at Central High School Thursday morning:

"This morning, our community was shattered and our hearts broken. The thoughts and prayers of all Knox Countians are focused on the students, families and staff of Central High School. Our hearts particularly go out to the family and friends of Ryan McDonald, the young victim of the shooting. Violence is never more hateful and shocking than when it invades our schools.

"This shooting, which comes on the heels of the violence at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Unviersalist Church, tears at the hearts of all our citizens. As a community, we stand ready to do all we can to prevent this type of tragedy from ever occurring again."


Updated 8/21/08 10:55 a.m. - A spokesperson for UT Medical Center has confirmed the name of the victim in the shooting at Central High School.

The hospital says 15-year-old Ryan McDonald, a junior at Central High School, died earlier today following the shooting.

Knoxville Police have not yet released the name of the alleged shooter. The suspect is being held at the KPD Safety Building in Knoxville.

Get a list of prayer services and support meetings.


UPDATED 8/21/08 10:08 a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The victim in the Central High School shooting has died, according to the Knoxville Police Department Chief Deputy Bill Roehl.

Roehl says the suspect was taken into custody a few blocks away from the school about six minutes after the shooting. He says a weapon was recovered from the suspect.

Chief Deputy Roehl say the cafeteria where the shooting happened is used as a gathering place for students before school starts.


UPDATED 8/21/08 9:55 a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk says the victim is a boy around 16 years old. There's no word on his condition at this time.


UPDATED 8/21/08 9:39 a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Shooting happened around 8:10 a.m., suspect was taken into custody less than 10 minutes later, according to Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk.

If you have photos or video from the scene, send them to us by logging onto VolzEYE.com


UPDATED 8/21/08 9:31a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The student shot Thursday morning at Central High School was taken to UT Medical Center for treatment.

Halls High School is also on lockdown as a precaution as part of Knox County Schools' standard operating procedure.


UPDATED 8/21/08 8:52 a.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Police are asking parents of Central High School students to go to the nearby Central Baptist Church to meet with authorities and school officials.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- One student has been shot at Central High School in Knoxville after an altercation between two students in the cafeteria.

Police say a suspect has been taken into custody. And a weapon has been recovered.

Knoxville Fire Captain Brent Seymour says students are on lockdown, and teachers are making sure everyone is accounted for.

Volunteer TV News is on the air live with updates, and we'll have updates for you as they become available on VolunteerTV.com.

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  • by kayla Location: faubion on Jun 19, 2009 at 12:16 PM
    ryan was my cousin i hope jamar siler rotts in jail.. my cousin ryan didn't deserve to die i mean nobody does.. ppl need to realize guns arent the way
  • by adonis Location: alcoa on May 26, 2009 at 07:44 AM
  • by Crystal Location: Knoxville on Sep 4, 2008 at 01:50 PM
    Ryan U will always be missed by me and your neice and nephews. I will never forget you and you didn't deserve to die. We are going to make sure that no one ever forgets you if I have to wear my shirt everyday of my entire life. The kids of knoxville need to wake up and realize that all this stuff that they are doing is stupid and unnessasary. No one deserves to die. We lost someone that we love and we will miss dearly due to some unnessary. No one will ever be able to replace him or give us his life back!! We will miss you and a change needs to be made before anymore innocent kids pass away!!
  • by doretha Location: knxville. tn on Sep 3, 2008 at 03:43 PM
    i think that this could have been prevented. we need metal detecters in our schools and we also need to watch kids more because when kids get in fights you dont just let it go. you investigate and you make sure those kids dont meet in the hallway and then one of them dies. this is really sad it took this for us to realize that we need more protection because we have some very crazy people these days. i really wish this had not have happened. this is so tragic but it happened and we have to deal and learn from our mistakes. my heart and prayers go out to all the people that where effected by this. may god bless you.
  • by Lulu Location: Sev on Aug 26, 2008 at 06:37 AM
    Metal detectors are ridiculous. Guns will still fire outside and uniforms and clear backpacks are just a waste of money. If a student wants to shoot someone, they'll find a way. This all boils down to bad parenting!!!
  • by lisa on Aug 26, 2008 at 04:51 AM
    God's name may no longer be in school but God is still there. You can believe that God was there and there was a reason for this to happen. God will get glory out of it and the family of the victim will be surrounded be Gods love and blessings for this. I know God was there....all the children didn't die. Sometimes we see the bad and we should look for the good also. I am positive that alot of parents were overwelmed with joy to see their own children that day. If nothing else, hasn't it already brought alot of parents and children closer? It sounds like it to me. And if the victim was saved...He is so much better off than all of us are now. I know he is missed but just know he is no longer suffering and never will again. Now he is just waiting on everyone else.
  • by Lisa on Aug 26, 2008 at 04:42 AM
    I watched the news when one student was talking about the shooter being her good friend. She said she knew he had been bringing the gun to school and she heard the threats against the victim. She said she didn't think he would really do anything so she didn't tell anyone (report it). Are there no charges going to be brought up against these students that could have stopped it? They are just as guilty for knowing there was a chance of something happening and not trying to stop it. The shooter is probably wishing now that his so-called friends had stepped up and stopped it. Now he has to live with this for the rest of his life. And I hope the ones that knew realize that blood is also on their hands. I think teenagers sometimes want so much excitement that they will do anything to get it, even if it takes someone's life. We have to teach them that they go to school to learn. Nowdays school is a dating game and a place to make friends and belittle ones that don't have as much as others.
  • by 2007 Graduate Location: Knoxville on Aug 24, 2008 at 02:12 PM
    One morning, during my Senior year @ Central High, I had just learned that one of my fellow classmates had lost their home in a fire. As I came into my 1st class of the day in tears, everyone asked what was wrong. Everyone knew this precious girl and alot of us knew her situation. After I explained to the the girl beside me what had happened, one of the "little Brats" that roamed those hallways chimed in and said,"Why do you care?! It was a 'crack house' anyways!" All the Brats began to laugh... When I stood up and told them that it was HER home no matter what it was, (b/c it wasn't a crack house), and told them to shut the H*** up. My teacher then FINALLY looked up and told me that that was enough Briana. All I could do was look at her disgust. She didnt speak one word to the Brats that had been Hee-Hawin' in someone else's expense. All I am saying is Wake Up Teachers! Stop snoozing behind the desk while your students are making drug deals under their desks! Pay attention to our lives!
  • by shay Location: tn on Aug 23, 2008 at 10:00 PM
    i have read some of the comments posted and i am very upset at any blame being placed on the school and teachers. i have been teaching for 15 yrs, when i first started-parents and students cared! i remember the days when i called a parent about a concern and they were there to help, now when i call and express a concern i am cursed at, threatened, told i'm picking on their child, and that i don't like their child. parents have complained so much that we now just teach the objectives the state has mandated and pass the kids along whether they are ready or not. i wish schools could go back to the way they use to be...and then yes...BLAME us then!!!! but until we have some type of punishment we can put on students besides sending them home our hands are tied. we aren't their parents, but we are the ones expected to teach them right from wrong and when they do wrong...our hands are tied because we aren't aloud to do any type of discipline.
  • by John Location: Ohio on Aug 23, 2008 at 06:23 PM
    I have read below comments about Bullying. Is this why this happened? What is the story? Was the shooter fed up with being bullied and lashed out or was HE the bully (or are people assuming the bully theory)?


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