Boy, 15, dies after being ‘shot by classmate’ in hallway of Arkansas school


A 15-year-old boy shot at an Arkansas junior high school earlier this week in what police have described as a ‘targeted’ attack carried out by a classmate has died.

Lt. David DeFoor, Pine Bluff police spokesman, confirmed the death Wednesday night, citing the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office in Little Rock. 

The boy, identified by his family and the Watson Chapel School District as Daylon ‘DaeDae’ Burnett, succumbed to his injuries after two days under intensive care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

Thomas Quarles, 15, appeared in court on the same day and was charged as an adult with first-degree battery

Daylon Burnett (left), 15, died at Arkansas Children’s Hospital at 5.35pm on Wednesday, two days after he was shot at his school. His alleged killer, Thomas Quarles (right), 15, appeared in court on the same day and was charged as an adult with first-degree battery 

Authorities said Burnett's shooting at Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on Monday was targeted

Authorities said Burnett’s shooting at Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on Monday was targeted

‘Y’all my boy got his wings at 5:35 pm,’ Burnett’s mother, Keisha Lee, wrote on Facebook. 

Earlier Wednesday during a probable cause hearing, Burnett’s classmate Thomas Quarles, 15, was charged as an adult with first-degree battery and ordered held on $1million bond in Jefferson County’s juvenile detention center, reported 5 News Online. 

Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter had told the judge that if the victim died, Quarles will face upgraded charges. 

A homicide charge has not been filed as of early Thursday morning.   

Authorities have said they believe the shooting was targeted, not random, but they don’t yet know a motive.

The school was evacuated by the authorities as officers searched for Quarles, who was eventually found hiding off campus

The school was evacuated by the authorities as officers searched for Quarles, who was eventually found hiding off campus 

Law enforcement personnel gather evidence Monday at Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff, including from first responders

Law enforcement personnel gather evidence Monday at Watson Chapel Junior High School in Pine Bluff, including from first responders 

According to a probable cause affidavit cited by ArkansasOnline.com, the shooting took place in a hallway outside the school library just before 10am on Monday, which was supposed to be the first full day of in-person learning at the junior high school.

Police who responded to the scene found Burnett being treated by a nurse. He was breathing and had a ‘slight pulse.’

Officers found two .380-caliber shell casings next to Burnett in the hallway. As they were in the process of evacuating the school, a female student allegedly told them that it was Quarles who shot Burnett, according to the document.

A judge set Quarles' bond at $1million. He is expected to face an upgraded charge

A judge set Quarles’ bond at $1million. He is expected to face an upgraded charge  

The victim's mother, Keisha Lee, broke the news of her son's passing on Facebook, writing: 'Y’all my boy got his wings at 5:35 pm'

Daylon Burnett was known to his friends as DaeDae

The victim’s mother, Keisha Lee, broke the news of her son’s passing on Facebook, writing: ‘Y’all my boy got his wings at 5:35 pm’

Quarles was last seen leaving campus on foot, dressed in khaki pants and a hooded sweatshirt.

Law enforcement officials and the Arkansas Department of Correction K-9 search team followed in pursuit and located the teenage suspect hiding behind a house not far from school.

The 15-year-old was taken into custody without incident and police found a Ruger LCP handgun in his pocket.

Quarles is due back in court for another hearing on April 12. 

Burnett played on Watson Chapel Junior High School's football team, as did the suspect

Burnett played on Watson Chapel Junior High School’s football team, as did the suspect

Both the suspect and the victim played on Watson Chapel Junior High School’s football team and were friends on Facebook.  

Meanwhile, the victim’s family have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his funeral expenses.

‘Any and every dollar you donate will go directly to Daylon’s going away party,’ his mother wrote in the description. ‘I try not to say funeral because my son wouldn’t want us sad, he would want us laughing smiling and enjoy whatever time we all have left on this earth.’ 



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