NASHVILLE, Tenn. (APWMOT) — President Barack Obama will visit McGavok High School this afternoon, two days after a student there fatally shot a classmate.
The shooting took place within an hour of the president's State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, in which he renewed calls to curb gun violence.
Police say 17-year-old Kaemon Robinson was playing with a pistol at at an apartment near the school. It discharged, striking 15-year-old Kevin Barbee in the face. An attorney for Robinson says the teenager didn’t know the gun was loaded.
Democratic State Rep. Darren Jernigan has two children attending McGavock. He says that in spite of the tragedy, the community is excited about the president’s visit.
“Anytime the leader of the free world comes to your neighborhood, we get excited. We’re looking forward to hearing what he has to say about McGavock’s turnaround. Four years ago that school was on the wrong track, the state was about to take it over, and now it’s a model for the nation.”
Republican State Senator Bill Ketron says he isn’t sure why the president included Tennessee on the tour, but suggests the Obama Administration could learn from Tennessee’s economic success.
“We’re number one in the Southeast for GDP in manufacturing jobs. We’re making things attractive and encouraging businesses to come here based on our tax structure. We’re number one in the country for auto manufacturing and number one in the Southeast for personal income.”
The president is expected to begin his speech at McGavock High this afternoon at 3:30 p.m