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Published On: Wed, Nov 19th, 2014

Tampa teen Elijah Howard charged with shooting at school bus

 Tampa police arrested and now charged the 15-year-old boy who shot at a Tampa school bus on Monday. Police say he will still be charged as a juvenile with aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle. 

Police say the boy, Elijah Howard was having an ongoing dispute with one of the students on the bus. There were no injuries in the incident, which happened in the area of Waters Avenue and 17th Street.

photo/Fbi.gov public domain

photo/Fbi.gov public domain

This bus was carrying kids from AMI, a private, non-profit organization for at-risk youth that works with contracts from area school districts. There were four students on the bus at the time of the shooting, all between the ages of 13 to 16.

Howard approached the bus with another student on a bicycle andopened fire with what appeared to be a medium- to high-caliber handgun.

Bus driver Donald Smith, 39, said he heard popping noises that sounded like gunfire, so he called 911. He said the only thing on his mind was protecting the kids.

“Kids first. Get them to safety,” Smith said. “It’s a tough situation to face. Very scary.”

When police arrived, they found three bullet holes in the back of the bus.

The suspect is being held at the county’s Juvenile Assessment Center. His mother told the press: “my son didn’t do this.”

Meanwhile, AMI Kids administrators are adding extra officers, and taking other precautions.

“At the facility, they’re on rotation now just to make sure no one decides to attack the kids from the facility. We’ve also stopped the bus from going into the neighborhood while the investigation is going on,” said Jordan Meyer, with AMI Kids.

Howard was arrested in late 2013, when he was 14, on a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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