Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, TennesseeiStock

A Tennessee judge has ordered a mental evaluation for a man charged with trying to enter a Jewish school with a gun and firing it at a contractor there before he was shot by police, The Associated Press reports.

Judge Karen Massey on Tuesday issued an order for a psychological evaluation for Joel Bowman, who was released from a hospital Friday and was being held in a medical ward at Shelby County Jail, said his lawyer, Mitch Wood.

Police said Bowman went on July 31 to Margolin Hebrew Academy-Feinstone Yeshiva of the South school in Memphis with a gun and tried to enter the building, but he was denied entry. Class was not in session, but there were limited staff and construction workers there at the time.

In an affidavit, police said Bowman walked around its exterior and fired two shots at the contractor, who was not hit. Bowman, 33, then fired two more shots outside the school before driving away in a pickup truck, police said.

Officers tracked down Bowman a short drive from the school, in a residential neighborhood. Bowman exited his truck with a gun in his right hand and pointed the weapon at an officer, who shot him, police said. Bowman was hospitalized in critical condition.

A possible motive for the attempt to enter the school has not been disclosed. Family and friends said after the incident that Bowman, who is a member of the Jewish community and former student at the school, suffered from mental illness.

Bowman was charged with attempted second-degree murder, carrying a weapon on school property and other alleged offenses. He has pleaded not guilty.