Florida Teen Shot Classmate, Says He Only Meant to Pistol-Whip Him
Jorge Milian, Palm Beach Post
ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla.
A Florida high school student is being charged with three felony counts after he allegedly shot a classmate following a dispute on a school bus, according to an arrest report.
Artnell Shemar Brown, who turned 18 years old Nov. 16, is accused of shooting the classmate on Oct. 26 when he was still 17. The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office chose to file adult charges against Brown, who is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on $150,000 bail.
Brown is charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a weapon on school property, the Palm Beach Post reported.
According to an arrest report, Brown got into a dispute with the 14-year-old victim after they “mistakenly” bumped against each other on a school bus. Brown then asked the boy if he had a “problem.”
The argument continued after the boys stepped off the bus.
Brown then pulled a handgun from his waistband, pointed it at the boy and “cocked it,” the report said. Fearing for his life, the victim reached for the gun. During the struggle, the gun went off and the victim was shot in the right foot.
Brown told West Palm Beach police that he intended only to “scare” the boy by pistol-whipping him and that the gun “accidentally” went off. Brown demonstrated to police how he wanted to pistol-whip the boy but “his demonstration didn’t corroborate his said intentions,” the report said.
Brown told police he brought the gun to school for personal “protection.” He said he hid the gun in a garbage can at a park near Royal Palm Beach High School, then retrieved it at the end of the school day.
The firearm — a Kel-Tec PF9 — was tossed into bushes by Brown and later found by police wrapped in his sweatshirt. The report does not indicate who owned the gun.
An inspection of the firearm by police revealed one spent shell casing that failed to eject, the Palm Beach Post reported.
“It is reasonable to say that Artnell Brown may have discharged this firearm a second time,” the report said.
The victim, who is a ninth-grade student, was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, but no further details were released regarding his condition.
According to the report, Brown was not riding on his assigned school bus. Instead he took the school bus where the argument with the victim began because he wanted to visit a friend in the Briar Bay communitynear where the bus stopped.
During an court appearance Tuesday morning, Brown was ordered not to have any contact with Royal Palm Beach High School, the victim or county school buses.
Once Brown posts bail, he will be placed on in-house arrest and will wear a GPS monitor. He is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 5.
The shooting was the second of three gun-related cases between Oct. 10 to Nov. 1 in county schools.
A student at Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens was arrested Oct. 10 on a school bus for allegedly having a gun. The 16-year-old faces a charge of a juvenile in possession of a weapon.
A 12-year-old Jeaga Middle School student was arrested Nov. 1 after students found a pistol magazine loaded with bullets under his desk in a classroom. The school’s principal then found a semi-automatic handgun that the boy had stashed in a bathroom at the school, which is on Jog Road west of Florida’s Turnpike and north of Okeechobee Boulevard in suburban West Palm Beach.
District officials were not available for comment Tuesday, although they have previously declined to answer questions about the incidents, saying its policy was not to discuss security incidents on its campuses.
The boy who brought the gun to Jeaga is accused of possessing a gun on school property and was ordered by a juvenile court judge on Nov. 2 to remain on home arrest.
The Post is not naming either the Dwyer or Jeaga students because they have not been charged as adults.