Butler High School Classes Resume Hours After Student Shoots Classmate To Death




 

A high school in Matthews, North Carolina, resumed classes on Monday just hours after one student shot and killed another on campus ― a disturbing indication of just how common gun violence has become in the United States.

Butler High School, roughly 12 miles southeast of Charlotte, went into lockdown around 7 a.m. Monday after a male student fired a gun at another male student during a disagreement in a crowded hallway, reported The Associated Press.

The victim was transported to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries, officials said. The suspect was taken into custody and questioned by police. Authorities have not released the names and ages of the students.

By 9:30 a.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced that the lockdown had been lifted. Parents were allowed to pick up their children, but for the remaining students, classes remained in session, the school district tweeted.

Only a small number of students remained on campus by 1 p.m., though teachers were instructed to finish out the day, Tracy Russ, chief communications officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, told HuffPost.

"Classes remained in session so that we could keep students on campus while transportation arrangements were being made," Russ explained.

An armed school resource officer was on duty at the time of the incident, but it's unclear whether he engaged the shooter, Russ told HuffPost. The school, which does not have metal detectors, plans to review its safety protocols in the wake of the shooting, he said.

"This is a tragic event," Russ said. "It is an event that will require support from the entire community of students and family and staff. ... There will be a great deal of healing taking place in the coming days and weeks."

Counseling is available to students and staff members in the wake of the shooting, the school district tweeted. Clayton Wilcox, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, told AP that many students witnessed the shooting.

"We're incredibly saddened by the fact that we had a loss of life on one of our campuses today," Wilcox said. "What makes it doubly difficult is that it was one of our students who was the shooter."

"I don't know how a young person gets a handgun in the state of North Carolina," he added.

The school district's announcement that classes would proceed on Monday drew strong reactions from students, parents and activists on Twitter.

"This is nightmarish," tweeted Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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