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Memphis police thwart 'potential mass shooting' outside Hebrew school: Authorities

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Memphis officers said a man with a handgun allegedly opened fire outside a Hebrew school after he tried to gain entry.

Officers in Memphis said they shot and arrested an armed man who allegedly opened fire outside a Hebrew school in Memphis on Monday.

Police responded to 911 calls from Margolin Hebrew Academy around 12:11 p.m. CT of a gunman outside of the school, according to officials.

The unidentified suspect allegedly tried to gain entry into the school and opened fire outside of the campus when he couldn't get in, assistant police chief Don Crowe told reporters at a news conference.

PHOTO: A screenshot from security footage at Margolin Hebrew Academy shows a suspect at the pre-entrance of the school.
A screenshot from security footage at Margolin Hebrew Academy shows a suspect at the pre-entrance of the school.
Obtained by ABC News

A screengrab from the school's security footage, obtained by ABC News, showed the suspect going through the school's pre-entrance doors.

"Thankfully that school had a great safety procedure process in place and avoided anyone being harmed or injured at that scene," he said.

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The suspect fled the scene in a maroon truck, but school officials were able to provide officers with images of the suspect and a description of his vehicle, Crowe said.

PHOTO: Memphis police officers work the scene of an officer-involved shooting, July 31, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn.
Memphis police officers work the scene of an officer-involved shooting, July 31, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn.
WATN

Officers were soon able to locate the suspect's vehicle and were able to conduct a traffic stop three miles from the school, according to Crowe.

The suspect allegedly exited the vehicle with a handgun in his hand, and an officer shot him, Crowe said. The suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to the police.

PHOTO: A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent and Memphis Police Department officers respond to the scene of an officer-involved shooting near the intersection of McCrory Avenue and Gary Street in Memphis, Tenn., July 31, 2023.
A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent and Memphis Police Department officers respond to the scene of an officer-involved shooting near the intersection of McCrory Avenue and Gary Street in Memphis, Tenn., July 31, 2023.
Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal/ USA TODAY NETWORK

Crowe declined to give details about what prompted the officer to fire his weapon or if the suspect fired any shots during the traffic stop, citing the ongoing investigation.

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Memphis Police said in a statement that their officers "mitigated a potential mass shooting situation."

PHOTO: Memphis police officers work the scene of an officer-involved shooting, July 31, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn.
Memphis police officers work the scene of an officer-involved shooting, July 31, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn.
Adrian Sainz/AP

"I personally truly believe we prevented a tragedy," Crowe said.

Two weeks ago, Memphis police said they prevented a mass shooting attack where a 28-year-old suspect was allegedly plotting to shoot people who were leaving an event at the FedExForum.

Although police didn't immediately provide specifics about the alleged plot, rapper Yo Gotti claimed on social media that his annual birthday bash performance at the Forum was the target.

ABC News' Kerem Inal and Christopher Looft contributed to this report.

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