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Murrah High School senior becomes victim of attempted armed robbery

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 7:26 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Security concerns were raised at Jackson Public Schools after a Murrah High School student was held at gunpoint last week during an attempted robbery.

On Wednesday, May 4, Murrah High School senior Jarek Peterson was walking to his car to leave for the day. However, before he could even get to his car, three men stopped him in his tracks.

“As he was walking to his vehicle, it was said that some three gentlemen were parked in a brown SUV beside his car. And as he was getting to his car, he was put into a chokehold, and a gun pointed to his head,” Jarek’s uncle, Brad Ford explained.

Ford said his nephew was searched by the men, but nothing was stolen before they drove away. He also says Jarek is currently home safe after the dangerous incident.

“He’s still in some severe pain. He’s coping with that right now. And of course, mental trauma, he’s seeing a counselor right now,” Ford said.

But where was campus security?

According to Ford and one Jackson Public School District Officer, there was only one member of security on school grounds that day, and they were dealing with a separate issue at the front of the school.

Ford said one officer in a school with over 1500 students isn’t enough.

“JPS should have had security there. Only having one security to be on campus that day. That was ridiculous, with hundreds of students being released. There were no cameras behind the school back there to catch anything,” Ford said.

When asked about the situation and about security, JPS released the following statement:

“According to JPS Campus Enforcement, Murrah High School is staffed with more than one security officer. We too take this criminal act very seriously and are working closely with local law enforcement agencies to identify and arrest the suspects. We intend to make certain the individuals responsible are held accountable. The safety of our scholars and staff remains a top priority at all of our schools and offices.”

Ford said he wants to see real change in the school district for the sake of both staff and students, and that means doing two things.

“The main concern is to increase the security, increase the surveillance so that the kids can have peace of mind being on campus,” Ford said.

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