***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.
BLOG POST #201: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime about a school shooting involving two 16-year-old high school students.
The bullying had escalated to the point where the boy who’d been bullied took a stolen gun he’d acquired to his school that had no metal detectors and at the time, didn’t do bag searches.
According to the shooter’s statement, the Friday before the shooting, he’d been in an off-campus fight with boys. Over the weekend, there were texts circulating about who had won the fight.
The shooter went to school Monday concerned he might get jumped so he took his gun. When he stood in the crowded hallway before classes talking with a friend the victim punched him in the face. They scuffled and the shooter used his weapon.
According to news reports quoting law enforcement and a student witness—the victim was shot as he walked away from the fight.
The school resource officer said several people knew in advance there would be an altercation at the school, but said nothing.
The Law Said
The shooter was arrested and charged as an adult with first-degree murder.
The Superintendent said, “The shooting appears to have stemmed from a case of bullying.”
When the grand jury considered the evidence, they reduced the charge to second-degree murder. Several months later, he pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
The judge sentenced him to a maximum of nine years in prison.
Worth Mentioning: Gossip circulated about the school not cancelling classes after the shooting. Teachers used social media to say classes, and athletic practices and games were indeed cancelled. The majority of 2,000 students were released to parents. Students who had no way home were held at the school. Teachers took the opportunity to talk with the handful of kids about gun violence. They did not teach nor did they test. They grieved with the kids and shared feelings about what had happened.
Since The Shooting: A year later… So there is no confusion in an emergency, the school has added overhead beacons throughout the school that will flash different colors based on the type of alert—Red for Lockdown, Yellow for Modified Lockdown, Green for Evacuate, Blue for Weather. An anonymous See Something-Say Something form is available on the school website. All volunteers are required to pass a criminal background check. Unannounced periodic safety screenings of a classroom, a building, or the whole school are conducted. No individual will be selected for a safety screening. Bags will be visually inspected; no-touch wands and metal detectors may be used.
What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.
Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
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Source: WSOC-TV (ABC), Matthews Police Dept. arrest affidavit, The Charlotte Observer