US teenager shoots family members after refusing to get out of bed for school

Police officers gathered near the apartment at Porter Road in East Nashville, where the shooting took place.
Police officers gathered near the apartment at Porter Road in East Nashville, where the shooting took place.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM NEWSCHANNEL5.COM VIDEO

A teenager allegedly opened fire on his family members after getting into an argument over waking up for school.

According to local newspaper The Tennessean, a fierce quarrel broke out when a relative tried to rouse the 16-year-old - who was not named - from bed in their apartment in East Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday (March 1) morning.

"There was a quarrel about getting up and getting ready for the day when he ran to a closet, got a 9mm handgun and started firing," Nashville police spokesman Kris Mumford told the paper.

The teenager's 67-year-old grandmother, Earline Hill, was shot twice. His 12-year-old sister and six-year-old nephew were grazed by bullets.

All three were taken to hospital for treatment and are expected to make a full recovery as their injuries were not life-threatening, the paper said.

Despite also turning the gun on his 42-year-old mother, Sheryl Williams, the teenager missed when she ducked behind a couch in the living room. His two-year-old sister was also unhurt.

He then threw the gun in a nearby apartment and fled his home on foot, police said.

A schools spokesman said six nearby schools, including one that was acting as a polling station for Tennessee's primary elections, had to be placed on lockdown because of the incident.

The teenager was arrested after police found him walking along a set of railroad tracks, less than a kilometre away from his home.

The handgun was eventually recovered, although police said they were informed by the teenager's family members that they were not aware there was a gun in the closet.

He has been charged in Juvenile Court with four counts of attempted homicide and one count of reckless endangerment.

A statement from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said the teenager attends Johnson Alternative Learning Center, which takes in students previously expelled from school.