Teen charged in fatal school shooting remains in custody

Arlington police investigate a shooting at Lamar High School in Arlington, Texas on Monday, March 20, 2023. (Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

A 15-year-old male student arrested in a fatal shooting outside Lamar High School in Arlington will remain in custody following a Tuesday detention hearing, the suspect’s lawyer said.

The Monday shooting left a male student dead from a gunshot wound and a female classmate injured by shrapnel. The early-morning gunfire prompted officials at Lamar High School to lock the building down for hours, although police said they arrested the student now in custody on a capital murder charge within minutes after the shooting.

Lisa Herrick, a court-appointed attorney for the boy, said that after questioning, a state judge Tuesday found there was probable cause for the teen’s arrest. He will remain at a juvenile detention facility for the next 10 days after which his custody will be re-evaluated, Herrick said.

Herrick said prosecutors are yet to formally charge the boy, but that in addition to the capital murder charge Arlington police referred a terroristic threat charge to the district attorney’s office. A spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney declined to comment, noting that the case is still under investigation.

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Police have not said what motivated the gunfire that began around 6:55 a.m., but said the suspected shooter fled without ever entering the school building. Police have not identified the victims and declined to release the alleged shooter’s name because he is a minor. TV station NBC5 DFW identified the student who was killed as 16-year-old Ja’Shawn James Poirier of Grand Prairie, attributing the information to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. The station also reported that Arlington police said the suspect was carrying a shotgun and that shells were found in his backpack when he was arrested.

Herrick said she does not know whether her client had a relationship with the victims and that he has not spoken to police. She declined to provide more details on the circumstances of the shooting and police investigation.

Herrick said her client has not previously been “involved in the juvenile justice system” and is “understandably emotional.”