A suspect has been “taken into custody without incident” hours after a shooting at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, left one student dead, authorities announced Wednesday evening. No other details, including the suspect’s identity or a possible motive, were immediately released.
The victim, identified by authorities as William Chavis Raynard Miller Jr., was rushed to a hospital where he later died of a gunshot wound.
Just after noon local time, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office reported a shooting “on school property” had wounded one student but said all other students were safe. Mount Tabor and surrounding schools were placed on lockdown as Winston-Salem police and first responders secured the area and began reunification efforts.
An hourslong search ensued before the suspect, who is believed to be a fellow high school student, was taken into custody Wednesday evening, officials said.
The police department tweeted its condolences for the victim, writing, “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today and in the difficult days to come.”
“I don’t know the grief of losing a child. I don’t even know how to fathom,” Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough said at the press briefing.
“Certainly this is a sad day for the Winston-Salem community,” Mayor Allen Joines said at an evening press conference.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper released a statement decrying the shooting.
“For the second time this week, we have seen a shooting in a North Carolina school,” Cooper said. “I have been briefed by law enforcement and the Department of Public Safety is ready to provide any support necessary. We must work to ensure the safety of students and educators, quickly apprehend the shooter and keep guns off school grounds.”
A parent to one of the high school students told The Associated Press that his son heard the shooting while in the school gym and students were told to hide.
“You see stuff like this in the media,” Christopher Johnson told the AP. “It’s scary to know that it actually reached out and touched you this time. My son’s not a victim, but he’s part of this and he’ll probably remember this forever.”
Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson, who was emotional throughout Wednesday’s press briefing, said that no other students were physically hurt, but one student suffered a seizure as the incident unfolded.
Reporter Marissa Tansino of CBS affiliate WFMY-TV in Greensboro, North Carolina, tweeted video earlier in the day showing parents and neighbors who had formed a “prayer circle” for those affected by the shooting at Mount Tabor High School:
#BREAKING: A very active scene near Mount Tabor High School as police investigate a shooting on campus. The school is on lockdown. Law enforcement says they’ve secured the area. Working to learn more pic.twitter.com/OlDR6tz9Kx
— Marissa Tansino (@MarissaTansino) September 1, 2021