Family of victim in Fern Creek school shooting urges community t - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Family of victim in Fern Creek school shooting urges community to scrutinize student safety

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The family of Javaughntay Burroughs released a statement Thursday saying the boy, who they say was the victim in Tuesday's shooting at Fern Creek High School, is recovering at University Hospital.

They say they are thankful for the community's support and are urging school officials to take a closer look at the procedures in place to keep students safe. The statement does not explain what happened, but does say the family has questions about what led up to the shooting. They say their son Javaughntay was an innocent bystander in the shooting.  

It was the phone call that is every parent's greatest fear. “I was lost for words,” Julius Burroughs recalled.

Julius and Phillistine Burroughs were informed Tuesday afternoon their 15 year old son Javaughntay, an honor roll student, an athlete, an active member in the family's church, was shot at school.

“I had no thoughts, I probably couldn't tell you where I was at that very moment,” Julius continued.

Javaughntay's parents say they got the call approximately 10 minutes after their son was injured.

As this scene unfolded at Fern Creek High School and police looked for the person responsible, the Burroughs rushed to University Hospital.

Their son was in surgery after taking a bullet to the stomach, so they prayed.

“My prayer was Lord, let him be alright,” Phillistine Burroughs said.

Javaughntay's mother believes that prayer worked, their son is recovering and is expected to survive.

“You know being shot through the abdomen is not minor and through other parts of your body. We don't know what the extent is down the road,” Julius said.

The parents say their son isn't talking much but as they understand it he was walking down the hall just headed to the next class when he was shot.

They say he was simply in the wrong place in the wrong time and wasn't the intended target.

The 16-year-old suspect is a student at the school.

He was caught by police three hours after the shooting and is being held at the Jefferson County Youth Detention Center.

Yet instead of anger, this mother expresses something else toward the teen that put her son in the hospital compassion.

“I pray that he can overcome his issues that caused him to be able to even do what he done to harm another innocent person,” Phillistine said.

“We don't believe in throwing stone for stone,” Julius interjected.

A family determined to help their son recover, while realizing just how lucky they are.

“Because there are other parents that couldn't say that, but I thank God that I can still say I have my baby,” Phillistine said.

The family's formal statement is reprinted here:

The Burroughs Family would like to say thank you to the community for its showing of love an support during this difficult time following the shooting of their son, Javaughntay Burroughs, at Fern Creek High School. Javaughntay is still being treated at U of L Hospital for the gunshot wound he received to his abdomen. The family thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers and is hopeful that he will be able to come home with them very soon.

Like many in the community the family has numerous questions about what happened. Javaughntay is a sophomore at Fern Creek High School, an honor student, and was an innocent bystander to the shooting. The family is only beginning to try to understand why this tragedy occurred and the events that led up to it. In the days ahead the family hopes to be able to sit down with school officials and gain a better understanding of exactly what transpired prior to the shooting.

The Burroughs family feels that all of Louisville should use this incident as a wake-up call to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep our schools and children safe. Schools should be a place where our children can learn in a safe, secure environment. Violence anywhere in our communities is a tragedy, but violence in our schools is simply unacceptable. Hopefully, JCPS and the local authorities will use this shooting as an opportunity to take a fresh look at these types of incidents and how they can be prevented.

Unfortunately, significant medical bills are being incurred as a result of Javaughntay's surgery and continuing hospital stay. The community's support is requested to help the Burroughs family in their time of need. There are two ways you can help.

  1. Make a deposit to the bank account set up especially to help defray medical costs. Go to any Chase bank location and let them know that you would like to make a deposit to the account of “Friends of the Burroughs.”
  2. Mail your donation with check made out to “Friends of the Burroughs” to 312 S Fourth St. 6th Floor, Louisville, KY 40202.

JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens has been very supportive and has been to visit the family at the hospital on multiple occasions. The family is very appreciative for her care and concern. The family would again like to thank everyone for their continued support.

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