Resident J.J. Greer, 22, who lives on Park Avenue near Robin Hood Lane said he was unaware of the shooting but was unsurprised.
“It’s not as safe as I thought it was,” Greer said, “Overall, it’s a safe neighborhood, but around Sherwood Elementary, I think some stuff has been going on.”
According to a Memphis Police Department report, the incident involving three adults occurred between 8:13 and 8:23 a.m. at 1156 Robin Hood Lane. The school was promptly placed on lockdown, but no children were injured.
The two arrived to the school in separate cars, Maldonado in a red Cadillac Deville accompanied by 19-year-old Harold Gales and Tillman in a blue Ford Explorer. Reports said an altercation in front of the school near the Cadillac resulted in Maldonado stabbing Tillman in the arm. Tillman then crossed the street to his car parked on Maid Marian Lane and retrieved his gun. He began firing at Maldonado.
Parents dropping their children off at school, which started at 8:30 a.m., witnessed the incident. Clara Smith, whose daughter attends Sherwood, said she was at the corner of Vanuys Road and Robin Hood Lane with a crossing guard when she noticed a man and woman arguing in front of the school's sign.
"I said, 'He look like he going to get a gun or something,'" Smith said about Tillman. "Then I saw (him) pull it out and put it down his pants, and he took it out as he crossed the street and went like this pow, pow, pow, pow."
Smith said she saw Tillman shoot at Maldonado.
"She was running and hollering and then he was shooting at this man," she said, referring to Gales, who had jumped out of the Deville and returned fire toward Tillman. No one was hit, though a 2007 Ford Explorer parked nearby was struck by several rounds of bullets.
Denobrah Owens Communications manager for Memphis City Schools said most children were inside eating breakfast that began at 8 a.m. The school immediately enacted a lockdown during which all class room and school entrance doors were locked to ensure no one could enter or exit. Students and teachers had practiced the security drill three weeks prior and were prepared.
Meanwhile, Maldonado and Gales and Tillman left in their respective cars.
Police soon found the Cadillac Deville that Maldonado and Gales left the scene of the crime in abandoned on the side of the road at 1080 Goodman Circle, a few blocks from Sherwood.
When they arrived at the address of the car's registration, Gales and Maldonado were in the front yard. According to the report, an officer found a weapon behind a tree outside of the house. The two were arrested. Maldonado was taken to the Shelby County Crimes Victim Center at 1750 Madison Ave. and Gales to 201 Poplar Ave.
Gales was booked at the Shelby County jail that afternoon at 4:07 p.m. on charges of carrying a weapon on school property and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. His bail was $200,000.
Tillman remained unaccounted for until 5:33 p.m. when officers received a "wounding call" from Saint Francis Hospital where Tillman went to get medical help for his stab wound. He was arrested and taken to 201 Poplar. He was then booked at the Shelby County jail.
Tillman's court date is set for Feb. 22. He faces charges of aggravated assault, carrying a weapon on school property, domestic assault (bodily harm), employment of a firearm with intent to commit felony and reckless endangerment. His bail is $200,000.
The school's lockdown was lifted after the administration deemed the grounds safe an hour later. Many parents arrived to pick up their children. One witness said a line formed at the back door of the school where the children were released.
No suspects have previous records of violence or gang affiliation, according to police reports. The incident occurred the day after Maldonado turned 27.