Michael Jerome Barber, black male, 17, is smirking and hand gesturing peace signs in a picture with his sister, Makiya Barber. She picked him up from jail after making his $75,300 bail the day after being charged and took him to “his fav,” McDonald’s, for a “Big Mac and a coke.”
Michael Barber was previously arrested for killing a young girl at Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama. On Thursday, March 8, Michael Barber was charged with manslaughter and the illegal possession of a firearm.
Courtlin La’Shawn Arrington, 17, was shot and killed by Micheal Barber on Wednesday, March 6, when he sent a bullet through her heart and out of her back. Those on the scene began CPR on Arrington after the incident before medical professionals arrived and rushed her to a local hospital.
Huffman High School closed the Thursday after the shooting, and reopened Friday, resuming operations as normal.
Courtlin Arrington was officially pronounced dead only a half hour after the shooting took place. Arrington was a senior at Huffman High School and was set to graduate in a couple of months. Arrington was accepted into college and expressed a desire to become a registered nurse.
Police initially were tempted to rule the death of Arrington an accident, but once they were able to retrieve surveillance footage from the school, they were compelled to press manslaughter charges against Michael Barber.
Arrington’s mother, Tyeasha Tatum, told AL.com that she had no knowledge of her daughter even knowing Michael Barber, although they were classmates. It has not been reported whether there was a conflict between the two students during dismissal when the shooting took place.
The origins of the firearm Michael Barber came into possession of illegally has not been reported, nor has any motive been reported for him bringing the gun to the high school in the first place.
Birmingham School District reported that Huffman High School has two metal detectors on the campus, but for some reason, the school was not using them on the day of the incident.
The school district released a statement saying they would be examining current safety measures in place and working on their “protocols” for every school in the district, including Huffman High School.
One crudely written Facebook post that Makiya Barber made read, “And what y’all NOT about to do is make my brother out to be this horrible unparented child.”
Makiya Barber has expressed concerns that her brother is facing these charges unjustly and that the video surveillance evidence will exonerate him from the manslaughter charge, if not the illegal weapons charge.
The pictures taken of Michael Barber after he made his bail that were shared on social media by his sister do not reflect remorse or regret for the death of Arrington at his hands.
Shootings in schools have become a hot topic in the media again after a Florida man, Nikolas Cruz, went into a school in south Florida, firing off 100 rounds, killing 17, and injuring 17 others.
Cruz was reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) several times prior to going on the devastating rampage, but the agency failed to investigate or forward the tips to a field office in Cruz’s area so agents could determine the credibility of the threat.
Cruz also had police called to his residence dozens of times for various reasons prior to committing his heinous crime, but local authorities failed to pick up on the danger the young man presented.
Broward County Sheriff’s Officer’s who were on the scene of the Cruz shooting, including the school’s resource officer, hid outside of the school instead of engaging the shooter, and effectively allowed Cruz to roam free, firing on innocents at will and with abandon.
Democrats have been pushing for tighter firearms regulations in response. President Trump also expressed his willingness to consider more gun control legislation but has since backed off of those ideas after a public backlash.
While school shootings are tragic, there are measures that can be taken to reduce their rate of occurrence. If Hoffman High School, where Arrington was killed, was employing the metal detectors already on their campus, Michael Barber may not have been able to get the weapon in the school.
Michael Barber obtained the firearm illegally, so any restrictions purposed by democrats on firearm purchases would have had no impact on his ability to get the gun.
The Arrington family has been devastated by this tragic incident and are holding a funeral for the slain girl March 24.